Saturday, January 31, 2009

LABU WITH MALAYSIAKINI: Understanding Badawi, Tony and Airasia

Early January 2009

Malaysia's cabinet approves

a low-cost air terminal
to help out a political ally

by asia sentinel

With barely three months until March when Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is due to relinquish his office, he has approved a project that reeks of an attempt to salvage the profitability of conglomerate Sime Darby and to further buoy the country’s budget airline, AirAsia, which is controlled by a Badawi ally, Tony Fernandes.
[Is Badawi Bailing Out his Friends?
Asia Sentinel, Hong Kong]

Late Januari 2009

Labu airport
is as good as off

by hamidah & regina
friday 30.1.2009

The proposed new airport in Labu by AirAsia Berhad is as good as off. The decision was conveyed to AirAsia executives when they met the Deputy Prime Minister this afternoon. A source said the Government felt that AirAsia would not be able to raise the funds to develop the new airport.

Instead, Malaysia Airports Holding Berhad will build a new terminal near the Kuala Lumpur International Airport where they will work closely with AirAsia, a source said. AirAsia’s inputs in the building of the new terminal will also be taken into consideration,” the source said.

The Cabinet is expected to formalize the decision in the next few weeks.

Earlier, AirAsia chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes briefed Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat on the proposed new airport to cater to low-cost carrier.

Fernandes presented a detailed report on KLIA-East and plans to make Kuala Lumpur the regional hub for low-cost carriers. Representatives of the Malaysia Airports Holding Berhad, Transport Ministry, Finance Ministry and Economic Planning Unit also attended the one-hour briefing.
In an immeidate reaction, Fernandes said: We were happy with the meeting. This is a big step for the development of AirAsia."
[Labu airport is as good as off
New Straits Times, Malaysia]

Today 31st January 2009

Decision on new LCCT
in Labu in 3 weeks time.


"Actually the goverment has not made a decision on the matter. What's important is that all fact finding and details arising will be scrutinized" Ong Tee Keat told bernama. (Decision On New LCCT In Labu In Three Weeks' Time Bernama)

MYANMAR WITH MALAYSIAKINI: Poverty drives Rohingyas into death trap

Malaysia put heavy emphasis since day one on education as a way to bring up society and economy. Everybody has to go to school from year1 [standard 1 or darjah 1] right up to form 5 or tingkatan 5. Then they can venture out into higher learning or works. There is PTPTN which dutifully gives out loans for studies. Thats what some say as democratization of education. So democracy is not only about parading on streets or secretly videotaping people and show it to the whole world. Democracy is more than cheap political talks.

On a wider level, we are blessed with reasonably good transport network, bus systems, water reticulation system, power supply, and health system. I dont know, but past leaders, government and agencies must have played their role to bring about all these good things. Of course some would argue that it was the British that had put and left such a good system for the rest to improve further.

Wonder what happen over in Myanmar. They are hiding. But the Rohingyas, being the minority, and being neither here nor there are the real victims. Poverty had driven them into death traps. Lets read what Anis, Sanjeev, Nizam Ahmad from FADANARDALE, Bangladesh had to say....

Poverty drives
Myanmar Rohingyas
into death traps

by Nizam Ahmad

friday 30.1.2009

Mohammad Iqbal was one of a 250-strong group of stateless Rohingya who left Bangladesh a month ago in a rickety wooden boat, lured by agents promising a job in Malaysia.

Now his family is hoping he is one of those who survived brutal treatment at the hands of the Thai military who have admitted to towing hundreds of the Muslim boatpeople from Bangladesh and Myanmar far out in the Andaman Sea before cutting them adrift.

"I am waiting and waiting. No one knows anything about my husband and the others who were in the group," Iqbal's wife, Nur Kahtun, said in the coastal village of Fadanardale, 400 km (250 miles) southeast of the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka.

Some people in the village said they had seen pictures of Iqbal, 30, in a television footage of a detention centre for illegal migrants in Thailand.

"I don't know if it is true, we haven't heard from him since he left," she said as her two-year-old son and her mother-in-law looked on.

More than 550 Rohingya, a Muslim minority group in pre-dominantly Buddhist Myanmar, are feared to have drowned in the last two months after being towed out to sea by the Thai military.

The Thai army has admitted cutting them loose, but said they had food and water and denied the engines were sabotaged.

A group of 78 Rohingya are now in Thai police custody while another boatload of 193 washed up on Indonesia's Aceh coast.

Myanmar's military junta does not recognize the Rohingya as one of the country's around 130 minorities, and many have fled to Bangladesh alleging persecution at the hands of the military.

Bangladesh says there are some 200,000 Rohingyas living illegally in the country, in addition to the 21,000 housed in two UN refugee camps in the Cox's Bazar district.

It is the men and women who are outside the camps who are fighting a desperate struggle for survival

Many such as Iqbal have been lured by human traffickers offering them jobs in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore.

"They (traffickers) take 30,000 taka (about $450) or more from each individual looking for a life in Malaysia or neighbouring countries," Iqbal's mother Nurun said.

"But not many could afford this. Those who did are cheated by the traffickers, like being dropped on unknown shores," she said.

The lucky ones have found work in Bangladesh, on fishing boats or rickshaws. Others have taken to chopping wood in forests and some others have taken to petty crime.

"These people take so much risks only because they need to survive, need to keep their families well," said a government official in Cox Bazaar.

(Writing by Anis Ahmed; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)


DEMOCRACY WITH MALAYSIAKINI: MACC , a new political force.

It was during Zaid days when reforms were daily issues almost. Millions of dollars given out to sacked judges [retrenched?] as compensation to previous deeds. MACC surfaced in a hurry and now they are spreading their wings.

MACC, a new born child is heading into a familiar terrain as they stimulate the most sensitive issue. They are now trying to nip the biblical cord of political game, and soon nobody knows how will the game be played as enterprising leaders try to spread wings and influence. Lets understand why 50 or so youths staged a peaceful demo in front of their own political house, Umno Hq. Then one may ask oneself, with the newly found independence, who will MACC refer to and check before they do and act on somethings?

50 stage protest
outside Umno HQ

The star online
Kuala Lumpur
Friday 30.1.2009

About 50 people gathered outside the Umno headquarters where the party’s supreme council was meeting to stage a protest against the Umno disciplinary council and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Com­mission’s (MACC) arrest of party members.

The group, said to be Umno Youth members, arrived at 8pm holding placards and banners at the main entrance of Menara Dato’ Onn and shouted their demands as party leaders arrived.

The placards and banners read: “Lembaga disiplin sudah nyanyuk,” “Jangan ambil hak ahli Umno” and “Kami menolak SPRM, boleh blah.” (Disciplinary board is senile; Don’t usurp Umno member’s right: We reject the MACC: butt out)

When Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi arrived at 8.35pm, the group presented a memorandum to him.

Among its contents was a protest against Umno disciplinary board chairman Tengku Tan Sri Ahmad Rithauddeen’s suggestion that the main wings of the party be abolished and on the alleged beating of Umno members during interrogation by MACC officers.

Zuraidi Abd Rahim, who claimed to be a delegate from Baling, said the group represented about 2,500 Umno Youth delegates nationwide.

He claimed that 39 party members in Pahang were called for interrogation by the commission, alleging that some of them were beaten.

“Two or three of them have lodged police reports,” he said, adding that the reports were attached to the memorandum.

Zuraidi said party grassroots were hoping the leadership would listen to their plea and make the necessary changes. [50 stage protest outside Umno HQ Malaysia Star]




by Brad Woodhouse
29 jan 2009

While the House of Representatives passed the economic recovery package Wed. evening by a wide margin, scoring a major victory for American workers and families and a beleaguered American economy, they did so without a single Republican vote.

Republicans appear to have learned nothing from the message sent to all of our elected officials in the most recent election that it's time to set partisan games, politics and ideology aside and work for bold solutions to the daunting challenges facing the American people. Rather than address the most severe economic crisis America has faced in a generation, Republicans retreated to the partisan games and failed policies of the past eight years, which cost them dearly in the last two elections. In turning their backs on the American people during a time of historic economic crisis to score cheap political points, Republicans in the House at worst may have committed political suicide and best proved their irrelevance to the process.

[Political suicide
Chicago Tribune, United States]

MOSQUITOES WITH MALAYSIAKINI: Worst Dengue Epidemic in History

In trying to understand about food chain, when one animal becomes food to another and so on, I am thinking if we can go back to nature to solve this impending problem in a natural way. I saw the other day a cicak jutting out its tongue to grab a mosquito.

But of course, a quicker way is to spray them with ordinary mosquito spray, shelltox or whatever, and to clear out bottles and containers which could retain water and become breeding ground. One may clear up one's house, but mosquitoes travel quite a distance, therefore the whole community has to get some communal activities going to safeguard their area.

The fogging people cannot come everyday to spray white smoke. And what about the abandoned projects which had become haven for not only drug addicts but mosquitoes too ?

But Ismail Merican had given ample warning of worst yet to come ..... So folks, lets open your door when fogging people come knocking.!
[The dengue rash is charact eristically bright red petechiae and usually appears first on the lower limbs and the chest.] from: SPEAK UP MALAYSIA

Worst Dengue Epidemic in History

Prensa Latina
Kuala Lumpur 30jan09

The government of Malaysia today confronts the worst dengue epidemic in the history of the country that has already caused 14 deaths and closet o 5,000 infected this year.

The director general of the Health Ministry, Ismail Merican, told the press that the number of victims represents almost three times those registered in 2008 when five deaths and 2,223 infected were reported.

Merican called on the citizens to avoid combating the disease with pesticides that only kill adult mosquitoes not larva.

Kuala Lumpur warned that the epidemic threatens the economy of the country.

In the meantime, health authorities relate the growth of the virus with strong rainfalls in the last few months that lead to create wells and swamp lands in residential regions.

Dengue is a febrile viral disease that is transmitted by the mosquito Aedes aegypti with symptoms that include fever, intense pain in the muscles and joints and inflammation of the lymphatic glands. Its hemorrhagic strain is endemic in Southeastern Asia.

The disease spreads in the large cities, above all, due to the stagnation of water, the favorite habitat of the mosquitoes. [Malaysia: Worst Dengue Epidemic in History Prensa Latina]



It was said some 70% of the first RM7 billion stimulus package had been disbursed through 4,667 projects in the package for education and health that had been awarded. It is an effort by the government to stimulate economic activities. It wasnt far back when many asian countries including Malaysia had to go through extensive economic downturn late 90's. I thought the economic interventions then were much bolder and penetrated deep into the economic web. And people are still talking about it and about Mahathir.

This particular economic turmoil is far different because it is worldwide and it hit harder. Yeng ai chun assembles some interesting comments by readers as Najib opens up the stimulus package. Lets read further.

What people want
from the government

The star online
by yeng ai chun
sat 31st jan 2009

Many of those who responded to what the Government should offer under the stimulus package are asking for an income tax-free year and tax exemption for buying locally-made goods.

They also asked the Government to improve public transportation and reduce the country’s dependence on foreign workers in order to create more jobs.

While some outlined ideas to help the economy, not all was in ringgit and sen, but issues on good governance, integrity and transparency were also mentioned in Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s blog.

Since Najib posted the entry on Jan 22 to ask for ideas on what to be included in the second stimulus package, 210 comments had been left on his blog –

A reader, Md Dashirul, said the Government should start improving the public transportation system since it was labour-intensive and would create more jobs, thus spurring the economy.

Many readers felt that there should be an allocation for better transportation to alleviate traffic congestion in the Klang Valley.

A reader, Vincent TKL, said it was mindboggling that a person who was retrenched or unemployed was still expected to pay taxes for his last drawn salary or compensation.

The country’s dependence on foreign workers were also mentioned by NKKHO and he suggested that there should be a cap on the number of foreign workers a company could hire to provide more job opportunities for the lower-income group.

Another respondent, Bangsa-Malaysia, said the actual effect of any stimulus package would be minimised by virtue of the rampant corruption that was endemic in the government administration and private sector.

He added that Malaysia could not afford to keep wasting its precious resources on corruption and cronyism and that such practices must stop.

Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) president Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam who e-mailed a reply to The Star, said it was important that the total stimulus package be released urgently before the next Budget to forestall and pre-empt the effects of the coming economic downturn.


GARDENING WITH MALAYSIAKINI: critical for nations survival

In assessing the possible impacts that the widespread financial and economic crises may have on the nation’s economy, Prime Minster Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas has stressed the importance of subsistence farming to protect nationals in the case of a deepened recession in the larger economies.

Dr. Douglas told SKNVibes that small-scale gardening is one definite way of reducing the domestic reliance on high-priced food and that a movement toward large-scale farming can undoubtedly reduce the nation’s dependence on imports.

“There is no question about it that if we are able to grow most of what we are eating here then it could impact on the importation of food which continues to be a challenge to us and which of course will be exacerbated at this time of crisis when money is going to be short. We have a situation where one can be encouraged to grow what one is eating and as a result of that one does not have to go into the supermarkets to get such food supplies.

“If you are producing on a higher level,” he added, “you may be able to make a relationship with the small grocer. We would also have situations where we try to establish relationships with larger farmers and the hotels to ensure that there is a reliability of produce.”

“The Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, in an effort to enhance this new thrust, will provide the necessary packing and sorting facility so that small farmers can take their produce there, prepare, package and appropriately store them and even have them for sale to those who may wish to consume.”

PM Douglas explained that the government initially launched its Food Security/Backyard Gardening programme in September 2008 during the Independence Agricultural Exhibition, as it was recognized that there was a growing need for the nation to produce enough food to satisfy the local market. He informed that with the aid of the Taiwanese Embassy, the Government would be able to move the agricultural drive to “a higher level”.

“The Taiwanese Embassy is just about to start a major commercial farm. I link that with food security and the backyard gardening because it is expected that farmers who potentially would have gained some experience from the backyard type of farming would now be able to simply demonstrate that skill by taking a small area in that agricultural zone to do their farming.

“The Embassy will prepare farmers with irrigation, equipment and even seedlings. And so we are asking small farmers who have an interest in that area to simply turn up there after going through the necessary checks and join the pool of small farmers who can really apply their experience and their own initiatives in the development of our food security plan.”

Douglas underscored that there are several public education programmes including a radio show from the Ministry of Agriculture which reminds the public of “what we are producing, what we can produce and how the Department of Agriculture can assist in this regard”.

The Prime Minister further stated that there has been a concerted effort to link the new agricultural thrust with fitness and healthy diets so that “we can have the best in terms of our own preparations for healthy living. Of course linking agriculture with health is one of the ways by which we are packaging the initiatives in agriculture with the public”.

By VonDez Phipps

Friday, January 30, 2009

PERAK WITH MALAYSIAKINI: as Najib is taking over

is diversity in Perak so wide that it lacks the uniqueness exhibited by other states such as Kelantan and Terengganu. The northern coastal part has kedah/penang influence right from Parit Buntar to Pantai Remis. Folks over there are very familiar with the Tun Mahathir's dialect. Further down, from Sitiawan to Teluk Intan, dialect is a softer Perak dialect where mike, kome, ayor are words spoken with ease. Bagan Dato area has a large pocket of third generation Jawa decendants.

2. As Sungai Perak meanders to the mountains in hulu perak, accent is the true Perak. These are towns and villages visited by previous sultans as they travel up and down to oversee or to exert some control and protection. There are royal tombs on the bank of Sungai Perak and most are situated in Parit and Bota area. Tuntungs [river terrapins] had witnessed royal voyages and burials for hundred of years.

3. Of course, the influence of Gangga Negara could have moulded the accent to its present form. Over in Beruas, people speak with a similar slang as those in Kuala Kangsar, Kati and Sitiawan. And as many would have realised, Bota has the heaviest form of Perak accent. The tagline "biar pape asal bergaye" sounds proper and correct only with Bota accent.

4. Now the issue of Najib taking over the post of Perak Umno and Barisan liason committee caught everybody by surprise [Najib takes over as Perak chairman Malaysia Star]. The crisis is definitely real and damaging. The question posed by many observers hinged on the fact that Tajol handles opposition team poorly. Remember what our coach did when we lost against a neighboring team. He consoled and raised up the morale and enthusiasm. Perak Umno and Barisan is in exactly the same situation. For Tajol has never tasted defeat, he may justbe in a state of lost.

5. His boys and girls need assurance and morale boosting. Losing power is not an easy thing to handle. To make the matter worst, a few ADUNs failed in their bid to defend political post at division level. Dato Hamdi from Beruas or rather Pengkalan Bharu is an example. It is like a double blow. Their existence is uprooted.

6. But somehow Nizar handles newly found power properly. Element of humbleness is flowing and spreading. Hadi in Terengganu had failed years ago, and it will not be repeated. Kedah and Perak to my opinion play the tempo right and proper.

7. At the end of the day, Umno has to sit back and scrutinize issues other than projects and development. That is image building! Najib may share his wisdom and sense of direction with a losing team to boost up their morale as what coach of a losing school team will do. Arent we all schoolboys/girls before?

Time will heal.


BOTA WITH MALAYSIAKINI: Ali Rustam ask Nasarudin to relinquish

Lets walk down the memory lane. In an effort to teach boys and girls, teachers had resorted to simple election for class monitor beginning of the year. Some teachers held their trump card, reserving their right to select assistant class monitor of their choice. At a very tender age we play democracy as a newly found toy. The joy to raise hands in chorus when a favourite name was mentioned, was sweet.

2. Somehow teachers inserted face-saving measure in the democratic game. The candidates, or the calons had to be ushered away while raising hands and countings were carried out. Votes gathered by candidates would be rubbed out before they walk in. Oh.., the candidates had perculiar sheepish look back then.

3. As we grow older, skins get thickened and but heads not necessarily wiser. Somehow we end up being very much bolder so must so that we shift from choosing a guy or a party with ease. Ibrahim Ali is a living proof. His case is as good as given, borrowing a golf term. Kopitiam regulars point to lingamgate videographer as a another peculiar choice, wondering whether voters pick the man, the party, the gate, or the star rating of the most viewed video in Malaysia. Whatever voters said, we just have to agree and definitely a little nod and "correct,correct" will suffice. Rights belong to voters!

4. As Nasarudin Hashim hit a birdie at the 18th hole with deafening cheers from the grandstand, some guys are not too happy. Tajol Rosli has reacted in harakiri, relinquishing political post within two months. By doing so, Tajol had accepted responsibility. On the other hand, Tajol will be spared from further pain of another by election or more cross overs.

5. When Ali Rustam comes out with a strong statement, asking Bota assemblyman to let go his electoral tag and get on with a fresh mandate, we are starting a political avalanche. Perak is never the land of Pashtuns as Ali had visualised. Who else in this world had exhibited honour with religous and tribal fervour other than the Pashtuns. I suppose only the Bugis will come close. I still wonder whether Pashtun is really the root of Ali, as another kopitiam regular confidently pointed out. The legends of Sungai Manik cleansing and Birch murder proved the point that man will do what a man got to do.

6. It is nonetheless a bait, so tentalising that a quick grap will tighten and bend the rod in a sea of political baracudas. What Ali is testing is the meaning of third time lucky as Permatang Pauh, Kuala Terengganu and Bota sit quietly in a neat row. In the end, it is the voice of Bota people that matters and their tagline "biar pape asal begaye" will be hoisted high for all tuntungs [river terrapines] to see. We got to get on with life ....

Refer: Nasaruddin Should Relinquish Assemblyman Post, Says Mohd Ali. Bernama
Datuk Nasaruddin Hashim should let go his post as Bota assemblyman following his defection to Parti Keadilan Rakyat from Umno, said Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam.



global growth gloom.


The world is headed for the worst recession since World War II, which will inevitably affect Australian jobs and growth.

The International Monetary Fund's dire forecasts issued today come as the Reserve Bank of Australia appears set to significantly cut official interest rates in the wake of the worsening economic outlook.

Reflecting the sense of gloom hitting the nation, Australian Industry Group chief executive Heather Ridout said yesterday that interest rates should be slashed to 2 per cent.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and United States President Barack Obama have also talked about the ''need for coordinated international action in the present global recession, including through effective fiscal stimulus''.

Closer cooperation to tackle climate change, nuclear non-proliferation and an ''even more active'' Australia-US alliance were also discussed yesterday during the 25-minute conversation between the leaders their first since Mr Obama was sworn in.

Meanwhile, the IMF's World Economic Outlook says the US, Japan and China Australia's major trading partners are expected to experience significant slumps in growth this year. Global growth is projected to fall to 0.5 per cent in 2009, with advanced economics expected to suffer the worst recession since World War II.

Collectively, these economies are predicted to contract by 2 per cent this year. It would be the first annual contraction in the postwar period.

''In the current circumstances, the timely implementation of fiscal stimulus across a broad range of advanced and emerging economies must provide a key support to world growth,'' the report said.

''Given that the current projections are predicated on strong and coordinated policy actions, any delays will likely worsen growth prospects.''

Treasurer Wayne Swan said the IMF had drastically revised down its forecasts for the global economy since November.

''Against the sobering backdrop of a global recession and collapsing commodity prices, it is inevitable that Australian jobs and growth will be affected,'' Mr Swan said.

''While our economy is better placed than most other countries to face this crisis, we can't completely resist the pull of international economic forces.

''The IMF is now forecasting that the global recession will be much deeper and more protracted than previously envisaged.''

The Rudd Government had already taken ''decisive action'' to protect the economy from the worst effects of the global recession.

He cited the guarantee of bank deposits and wholesale funding, nation building investments and the $10.4billion pre-Christmas stimulus package with one-off payments for pensioners, parents and carers.

There is mounting speculation the Government will deliver a second stimulus package soon, while the Opposition has repeatedly called for the Government to bring forward tax cuts slated for July.

Mr Swan said the Government ''stands ready to take whatever action is required, in a responsible way, to respond to these rapidly changing global conditions''.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported yesterday the consumer price index fell 0.3 per cent in the December quarter the largest quarterly fall in more than a decade.

The statistics have prompted economists to predict the Reserve Bank will slash official interest rates when the board meets next week, its first meeting for this year.

Westpac chief economist Bill Evans predicted yesterday the bank would cut rates by 100 basis points, with the cash rate to reach 2 per cent by the June quarter.

Westpac predicts the Australian economy will contract by 0.7 per cent this year and the unemployment rate will rise to 7 per cent by the end of 2010.

[IMF's global growth gloom The Canberra Times]

Thursday, January 29, 2009

GLOBAL RECESSION WITH MALAYSIAKINI: Asian businesses in UK to lead fight

Interestingly, somewhere else had witnessed serious manoeuvre by businesses to cushion global recession. A lot of things can be done. It has been said that a country with big portion of small and medium enterprises will be able to cope recession better. Businesses in Malaysia, where do we go from now? Lets follow what Rita has for us.

Asian businesses in UK
to lead fight in global recession

by Rita Payne

Oct 27, 2008

This has been a turbulent year rocked by what some analysts have called the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression nearly 80 years ago.

However, the latest edition of Asian Who’s Who International was launched at a glitzy event here in London with encouraging words of hope from leading members of the business community. The editor’s note summed up the prevailing mood: “ I firmly believe that Asian businesses in the United Kingdom will lead the fight against the global recession and come out as winners.”

Awards were handed out in several categories and individual stories of the winners were inspirational and heart-warming. The award for “Asian Leadership in Charity” went to Gautam Lewis, who was abandoned in Calcutta in India at the age of three after contracting polio. He was rescued by Mother Teresa’s missionaries, adopted by a female nuclear physicist with dual UK and Irish nationality and grew up in Britain. Among other things he became a music manager looking after some top British pop stars. He took up photography, trained as a pilot and is now spearheading a campaign to eradicate polio in India and worldwide.

The title of “Asian of the Year” went to Ranjit Singh Baxi, a businessman and recognised expert in the recycling business. The award was presented by Lord Swraj Paul a past winner of the title. In his address, Lord Paul said, “If anyone can withstand the credit crunch it will be the Asian community.”

A new addition to the awards this year was one for “Asian Leadership in Music and Culture,” which was won by Channi Singh, a singer who has become an idol for fans of Bhangra music in the UK and around the world.

Speakers paid tribute to Jasbir Singh Sachar, who founded the Asian Who’s Who directory in 1975 at a time when a large influx of Asians from Asia and Africa were beginning to make their mark in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Sachar recalled the difficult early days. “They worked hard in factories, sold newspapers in their corner-shops and were not shy of doing any menial job for their survival.”

The Asian community has come a long way since then with ever-increasing numbers playing a leading role in fields as diverse as economy, politics, travel, tourism, religion, entertainment and arts. Their enterprise and determination could now play a key role in helping to overcome the current economic downturn. As their success and influence continues to grow, Asian Who’s Who International has become an essential point of reference for people within the community and outside.


TAJOL ROSLI WITH MALAYSIAKINI: looking through and through.

Tajol Rosli,

and through

one does as acceptance of responsibility is immaterial, whether it is harakiri, stepping down, quiting or a 2 weeks vacation to clear up the mind. An action spurs a reaction as we had been taught in physics. Nasarudin Hashim hit a birdie or probably an eagle on the 18th hole for everyone to cheer. As for Tajol, the cut is the deepest.

2 He will quit as Gerik Umno chief effective March 29. He also announced that he will not be contesting a Majlis Tertinggi seat at party elections from March 24 to 28. He will bid farewell as it were, from the doorstep of PWTC, the venue of Umno elections.

3 The same mood was probably felt by Wan Mokhtar when Hadi triumphed and hug the sultan with ease. The difficulty to adjust tone and life within the political perimeter is real, and now Tajol is feeling it. When Nasarudin dropped the bombshell, it was just tough to handle. Decades ago a researcher killed himself when bacteria broke out from his laboratory threatening a widespread epidemic in UK. The helplessness is not a joke.

4 In the earlier posting I joked about the fact that Perak's Menteri Besar has always been a hulu or hilir perak boys and that is not good. I dont know, it may just be true. Other places, the pulaus, the tasiks, the bukits and the gunungs are never short of comparable leaders. It could just be a little cry from boys, complaining about dad not being fair and practice favouritism.

5. What Tajol had just announced [Tajol Rosli To Quit As Gerik Umno Division Chief ] will send ripples down the line beyond the boundary of Perak especially when he/she overstays the tenure. Who say it is easy to be a leader?


PERAK WITH MALAYSIAKINI: The peculiarity of leadership and Gangga Negara.

Of Perak leadership,
UMNO, Pakatan Rakyat,
the rebirth of Gangga Negara

and its peculiarity

Turn of events moulded Perak in its current form. Lets stretch history back as far as the first known human settlement [civilisation?] in Perak. Very much like Brunei where its city was anchored around the large river mouth, not a delta, closer to a bay I think. It must be the calmness provided by a well hidden lagoon that allows settlement to take place, where boats can lower their anchors and people built houses.

2. Perak is very much the same. A nice river mouth, maintains calmness, protected by Pulau Pangkor. Pangkor counterpart on the mainland is Lumut. Tanah Merah is said to be the earlier name. It was within this geographical vicinity that a known civilisation thrived once before. It was gangga negara. Beruas, Pantai Remis, Sitiawan, Ayer Tawar, Lekir, Lumut and Kayan are close by. We were left with artifacts and little footnotes in historical treatment of Perak and Malaysia. Beruas housed a museum for that purpose.

3. A photoblogger by the name minaq jinggo[Minaq jinggo] has roots there, where beaches are either muddy or sandy.

4. Then the British in a shrewd politico economical manoeuvre, invited Raja abdullah on board to sign Pangkor Treaty. Birch murder happened further down in Pasir Salak where Ramli Ngah Talib had been religously elected as ADUN [hence Menteri Besar] and MP in his later days.

5. After Merdeka, Perak failed to put Gangga Negara in a modern perspective so must so that most Menteri Besars were either from Hulu Perak or Hilir Perak. There were Ghazali, Kamarudin, Wan Ahmad, Ramli and Tajol. Had it not been for BN defeat, the Pangkor boy, Zambri Abd Kadir could have been the Menteri Besar.

6. As a consolation, the Pakatan Rakyat chose Nizar ADUN of Pasir Panjang [within greater Sitiawan] as the Menteri Besar. He, i mean Nizar was a government sponsored student who studied in UK during the boom of Dasar Ekonomi Baru. As jenny haworth said in Optimism, depression see the birth of creativity. I see the turmoil of 13 May as the catalyst for DEB which has uprooted the malays from their traditional fishing and farming roots.

7. There were great guys in the previous era by the name of Dato Malik and Dato Ishak. But they failed to make it to the top. It has to be hulu or hilir perak and not from any where else. God knows why. Dato Malik leaned towards the B team once, and his son in law amplified the inclination.

8. Nasarudin Hashim, a new kid in town amongs Pakatan Rakyat team could have his own reason for doing what he has done, switching sides or rather crossing over. I suspect the next cross over will be from the surrounding area, definitely not from hulu or hilir Perak. Maybe just maybe, there will be brighter light within the vicinity of Pangkor or Manjong or mid west Perak to rekindle the glory of gangga negara. With two power plants within its vicinity, one in Segari and the other off the coast of Lekir, it is going to be real power house.


UNEMPLOYMENT WITH MALAYSIAKINI: Bankers worst nightmare materialise

Bankers worst
nightmare materialise

Bankers' worst nightmare is the unemployment rate climbing toward 10%, a level at which credit losses could balloon unpredictably because of high defaults among people with previously strong credit histories.

Right now, bank balance sheets don't appear in a position to deal with unemployment moving sharply higher from its current 7.2% rate.

Building up bad-loan reserves to deal with a 9% to 10% rate could produce enormous losses and pulverize capital when banks are trying to preserve the thin cushions they have. And fear of rising unemployment could deter lending when the government wants banks to expand credit. True, the Obama administration's stimulus plan could reduce unemployment expectations. But right now, banks are hoisting their joblessness forecasts.

Last week, consumer lender Capital One Financial increased its unemployment forecast to 8.7% by the end of 2009, from its previous expectation of 7% by midyear. And Capital One added that it is building more-severe unemployment scenarios into lending decisions.

Also last week, Kelly King, chief executive of regional bank BB&T, said unemployment of 8% to 8.5% is "kind of manageable," but 9% to 10% would "have a dramatic impact on our scenarios."

Why the trepidation of going above 9%? Take a regular credit-card book. Past data show that a percentage-point increase in unemployment leads to roughly a percentage-point rise in the charge-off rate, the amount of defaulted loans written off at a loss.

But as unemployment exceeds 9%, bankers think charge-offs will start to increase by more than the increase in unemployment. The reason? A high rate could cause an unprecedented wave of defaults among prime borrowers, who tend to have bigger loan balances.

"The situation is so extreme and beyond what we've seen in past cycles that management teams are becoming reluctant to predict the relationship between unemployment and credit losses," said Kevin Fitzsimmons, analyst at Sandler O'Neill & Partners.

House of Cards

Even as the subprime mortgage fallout continues its ripple effect across the economy, fiscal storm-watchers have an eye on the next gathering cloud: nearly $1 trillion of consumer credit card debt. Defaults are up; in November, the percentage of charge-offs — money card issuers give up on ever collecting — rose to 5.62 percent. According to some economists, that percentage could double before this current downturn is over. The bearish RGE Monitor predicts the default rate could rise as high as 13 percent, eclipsing the previous high-water mark of a 7.85 percent in the first quarter of 2002.

This is bad news for the banks and third-party investors that hold this debt, as well as for consumers hit with the double-whammy of rising unemployment and restricted credit. Americans are relying on their credit cards to an ever-increasing degree. In 2008, the average credit card balance was $11,212, according to Compare this to 15 years ago, when the average credit card debt was a comparatively paltry $4,306. Factors like California’s plan to delay income tax refunds and long-jobless workers running out their unemployment benefits don’t help the situation, either. With no silver-bullet solution in sight, economists and analysts are nervous.

Credit card companies have already started to batten down the hatches by cutting cardholders credit limits and raising interest rates. “What institutions are doing now is circling the wagons,” said Dennis Moroney, research director, bank cards, at finance-industry research firm TowerGroup.

Additional retrenchment looks inevitable. Although about half of all credit card debt has been repackaged and sold as securities, it’s a much smaller pool of capital than the mortgage securities market, so a rise in default rates probably won’t cause the kind of systemic domino effect that the mortgage collapse triggered. It will, however, make third-party investors much more reluctant to purchase such debt — and risk getting burned — in the future. With mounting default losses on their own books, banks will have to raise more capital to meet their reserve obligations. Like a retailer trying to unload Christmas paraphernalia on December 26, they’ll have to slash prices if they want to attract buyers. As a result, consumers — especially those with blemished credit — are going to have difficulty securing loans or lines of credit.

In addition, the banking industry contends that new regulations passed by the Federal Reserve last month will give them no choice but to sharply curtail lending — putting at risk the consumer purchasing power that drives 70 percent of spending in the U.S.

Credit Squeezed

Credit card issuers are using a host of measures to make sure customers make their payments and fees keep coming in, now that banks are feeling as squeezed as their financially pinched consumers.

Some card issuers are clamping down on late payments and grace periods as they near new, stricter credit card regulations that go into effect in July 2010, consumer advocates say. Some lenders also are working out payment plans and, in certain cases, lowering interest rates for delinquent customers who are having a hard time keeping up with their bills.

The industry also is bracing for sweeping changes approved last month by the Federal Reserve to revamp rules governing penalty fees and rates. Among other things, card issuers will be required to send a bill at least 21 days before the due date so consumers have time to make payment before getting slapped with a late fee. And bankers won't be able to raise rates on existing balances unless a payment is more than 30 days late.

"They see the writing on the wall, and when these rules take effect, their ability to impose penalty rates and penalty fees are going to be so greatly curtailed that in the interim period they'll be aggressive in trying to impose fees to the letter of the law that's in the account agreements," said Ben Woolsey, director of marketing and consumer research at

With economic conditions deteriorating, card companies are stepping up their collection efforts in hopes of recouping what they can from consumers. They're also taking more telephone calls from cash-strapped customers.

Discover Financial Services has hired staff to respond to customers seeking help and launched a section on its Web site where cardholders can find more information on getting payment assistance.

American Express is calling card members in earlier stages of delinquency and offering payment plans that offer "flexibility around the interest rate, fees and plan length."

And Bank of America is waiving fees and reducing interest rates on monthly payment programs. Last year, the bank said, it modified nearly 700,000 credit card loans.

[Bankers' Worst Nightmare Materialize, Canada ]

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


We have been warned on what to come out of this recession. Workers had been retrenched, and more will be before the end of the year. To see foreign workers at strategic places; KLIA, petrol pumps, bus stations, etc, make hearts twitch. Of course, the government has laid out plans to cushion recession. We heard Orang Siam had pushed Rohingya migrants back to sea on engineless boats and without food. Singapore it seems will send Malaysian workers back home. These are scenarios within recession. Of course, lets be optimistic about it all and read jenny's piece.

Where did it go and
can we get it back?

by jenny haworth

THE Great Depression
gave us the jet engine and the electric razor, and the First World War provided the inspiration for some of the most moving poetry ever written.
It is only necessary to look at the innovations and creativity born out of hardship to realise times of difficulty can have positive results.

Historically, depressions have forced businesses to step up their game to survive, and some of the world's best literature has come from the minds of tortured souls suffering through hardship.

It is also claimed that difficult times can pull communities together, enabling people to forge stronger relationships, which in turn leads to more permanent satisfaction than that created by the quest for greater wealth and the desire for the latest gadget or fashion item.

According to experts, the current recession and anxiety could bring benefits that should make us positive, and fill us with optimism.

Mark Desvaux, an expert in social change, thinks the recession will help remind people what really makes them happy.

"When people are so consumed by money it can add great perspective to have to deal with a financial crisis," he said.

"We can all get tied up with chasing the golden pound during the boom times, so that we start to lose sight of what happiness is all about."

He added: "I think that during hard times the poor get poorer but the rich get even poorer."

Desvaux thinks we will see "community mobilisation", similar in some ways to the war effort.

"When something like a war happens, the entire country mobilises itself. In times of hardship we get community mobilisation.

"When times get hard like this, we can do small things on a local level that can make a difference. When times get hard, people pull together."

David Varson, a positive psychology coach, agrees that people could rediscover what brings happiness.

"People set themselves goals, maybe for career advancement and better salaries, but when they get there they are disappointed," he said.

"Instead they find that if they focus on their values in life they are happier. This involves becoming more mindful of what you are doing each day – the moment-to- moment experience.

"Perhaps spending a bit more time with your family, or just enjoying the time you have with them more."


The Great Depression altered consumer demand and forced the pace of innovation. Businesses had to innovate or die. The same is likely to happen again. In the US new developments included the car radio, the supermarket, the cotton tampon, and the Monopoly board game. In Britain inventions such as television and radar led to a boom in consumer goods that arrived out of the austerity of the 1930s.


The best literature has been written in times of hardship, often by people who are miserable. This has also been the case with other creative arts such as music and theatre. James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, George Eliot, all wrote in climates of adversity. Dostoyevski would hardly have written Crime and Punishment if he did not live in the troubled political and social context of 19th century Russia. Wilfred Owen could not have composed his moving war poetry without experiencing the torment of the First World War.

Stronger community spirit

It is not unusual to hear nostalgic comments about society pulling together during the war, forming a strong bond of community spirit to cope with the difficulties life presented. Indeed, last year research in the British Medical Journal reported that happiness can spread from person to person through societies, almost like a virus. In a study of 5,000 individuals it was found that happiness spread through close relationships such as friends, siblings and next-door-neighbours.

Less materialistic society

During the past decade of wealth many people have wanted for little. However, there is little to suggest that has made us happy. Once a child has one computer games console, he will probably want the upgraded model when it comes on the market. Fashion has changed rapidly during times of prosperity, enticing people to spend to fit new trends. The current economic downturn could cut the cycle of materialism that breeds dissatisfaction.

Good for the environment

The environment will benefit if we have less money to spend on foreign travel or long car journeys. Instead of holidaying overseas there is already some evidence that there is a growth in holidays closer to home. As well as helping cut greenhouse gas emissions from plane journeys, this could boost local economies.

Focus on the little things

Without large quantities of spare cash, people may have to get their satisfaction from small things in life. Research has suggested these can often bring greater happiness than material wealth. It could be spending time with family and friends, catching up on a hobby such as gardening or reading, or just sending a letter to a friend.

New US president

Barack Obama has just become US president, bringing fresh hope to the world. The inauguration of the new president has been welcomed across the globe for his stance on the economy, world conflicts and climate change. Now he has the tough task of not leaving us disappointed.

Lots to look forward to

Scots have so much to look forward to that it is difficult to imagine we can be miserable for long. The Year of Homecoming will bring a host of activities, and who can fail to be excited living in the country that hosts the best international arts festival in the world, has some of the most incredible wild landscapes and a culture that has spread events such as Burns Night across the globe.

It won't last forever

There is not a single expert who has suggested the current economic climate will be permanent. Depressions, we are told, are always cyclical. There will be another boom, and with light at the end of the tunnel, it is difficult to remain miserable for long.

Many are worse off

It may sound like the sort of cliche spoken by parents trying to get children to finish their plate of food at dinner time, but there are many who are worse off than us.

We are fortunate to live in a country with a welfare state that will not allow widescale descent into poverty.

Signs of world-leading projects

There are already signs of invention in Scotland that could help to pull us out of the recession. One example is in the area of renewable energy. Tidal and wave projects that could not only make Scotland rich, but also give us a secure and cheaper energy supply. Just yesterday a new world-beating scheme was given the go ahead, in the form of a large wave farm off the Western Isles.

Good for our diet

Digging for victory is not everybody's cup of tea but some people may respond to the current economic difficulties by getting out into gardens and allotments to grow their own vegetables. This would help provide a healthy diet. It would also cut down on food miles, benefiting the environment. Already there have been reports of a take off in demand for allotments in Scotland.

More exercise

One way to cut down on a costly expense is to leave the car at home and walk instead. Environmental groups say leaving the car at home is not only healthy, it makes the streets safer and benefits the environment.

Wealth does not equal happiness

There is evidence to suggest happiness is not linked to financial wealth but to relationships with loved ones and friends, religious involvement, parenthood, marital status, age, and proximity to other happy people. There have even been suggestions that financial wealth should not be used as a measure of success of a nation, but instead public happiness should be the basis. Research has shown that although on average richer nations tend to be happier than poorer ones, beyond an average GDP/head of about £11,000 a year, average income makes little difference to the average happiness.


Humans are resilient because they respond well to adversity and do not dwell on misery. Whether out of determination, boredom or strength, they respond by taking action to improve their situation. According to expert Mark Desvaux, people go through phases, starting with denial, then anger, then depression, and finally it leads to action. "It's then that you start to get perspective and you realise there are still people far worse off than you. We start to act because otherwise we will just shut down."


This year there will be a landmark conference in Copenhagen that should help nations globally reach a deal to tackle climate change. This could help provide the first step towards a solution to one of the biggest threats to the future of the planet, and help lift anxiety about the issue from many shoulders.

Face to face interaction

People are likely to spend more time chatting face-to-face in times of financial difficulty, even if just to save on the phone bill. Experts say this can also stem from a greater tendency to borrow from neighbours, rather than to buy a new item. This can rekindle friendships and lead to a tighter community.


To a certain extent the credit crunch is acting as an equaliser. With most people in the same boat – worried about money and the future – it is no longer a social stigma to refuse a dinner invitation and suggest a home cooked meal at a friend's house instead. According to social change expert Mark Desvaux, "People don't have to try to keep up a facade of the high and affluent. It almost becomes unfashionable to spend money."

Greater empathy

With neighbours and friends losing jobs and struggling to cope, people are likely to develop a greater sense of empathy, according to Mark Desvaux. "People start to hear of friends in situations of difficulty and as a result it brings empathy back into people's lives."


Bizarre as it seems, comedy regularly comes from hardship and is also enjoyed by audiences in situations of difficulty. Stand-up has even become a hit in Gaza in recent years. This suggests that people like to be cheered up in times of adversity, even in a war zone. This is likely to lead to increased creativity.


KUGAN WITH MALAYSIAKINI:Police arrest 5 at funeral

Shall we rest in peace. A breather, and a space to think beyond the obvious. It has been far too long, that malaysian politics is issue based and thrive on discredits. How some politicians really require issues to continue another day. Thats the way it is going to be. It is so sad to see deaths are dealt with political nonchalance.

Kugan Funeral Procession:
police arrest 5
January 28th, 2009
Kuala Lumpur (AFP)

Malaysian police arrested five people Wednesday as large crowds took part in a funeral march for an ethnic Indian man who died in police custody, triggering a murder investigation.
More than 1,000 people gathered in pouring rain at a Kuala Lumpur cemetery for the funeral rites of 22-year-old A. Kugan, chanting "justice" and "power to the people" as a police helicopter hovered overhead.

Kugan died Jan. 20 at a police station where he had been detained on suspicion of stealing luxury cars. The case drew attention to Malaysia's police force and its reputation for corruption and abuse.

"The funeral today must be the last such case of abuse by police," said Sivarasa Rasiah, a senior member of the opposition Keadilan party.

"The people want justice, and the government must ensure that Kugan's death is fully investigated and that those found guilty are really prosecuted and not allowed to get away," he said.

Hundreds of mourners gathered at a mortuary where Kugan's body had been held, at the start of a long procession.

Before they set off, three men were detained for wearing T-shirts bearing the name Hindraf, a banned Hindu rights group, and two others were arrested for scuffling with police, the state news agency Bernama said.

In line with some southern Indian traditions, the coffin was carried in a car decorated with banana leaves as the cortege made its way to the police station where Kugan died, and then to the cemetery for funeral rites and burial.

Security was tight along the route, with riot police guarding major intersections.
The mourners were mostly ethnic Indians, who are a minority in multicultural Malaysia, where the population is dominated by Muslim ethnic Malays.

Peter Selvanayagam, a 38-year-old engineer who attended the ceremony along with his wife and three children, was one of those who linked the death with alleged discrimination against the community.

"My family and I are here to show that we will not accept the injustice towards the Indian community. We want the guilty to be prosecuted and not to escape justice," he said.

[Malaysia Police Arrest 5 At Funeral March After Custody Death, France]

read these too:

[Don't regard criminals as heroes - Syed Hamid
New Straits Times, Malaysia]
..... The people should not regard criminals as heroes and the police who enforce the law as demons, Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said today. ....... “I am not pinpointing anybody,” the minister stressed. He explained that police had detained three suspects including Kugan following investigations into 19 cases of vehicle theft and armed robbery. ....
[Murder suspect nabbed at Kugan’s funeral procession
Malaysia Star, Malaysia ]
.... A murder suspect was arrested during the funeral procession of A. Kugan, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said. He said when arrested, the suspect was wearing a t-shirt depicting the outlawed Hindu Rights Action Force movement (Hindraf). ...


ANWARISM WITH MALAYSIAKINI: Leadership is about more than charisma

Anwarism is a new thing. An older one, Mahathirism has laid down solid foundation on leadership issues. Anwarism being new, is yet to be seen the extent of leadership on forming the future. Because Anwarism hinges heavily on charisma, I find it relevant to share this short article as an eye opener. A charismatic leader may pose a danger as he is about to leave. Remember Bush junior has to engage Iraq on the most deadly war to stay another term. Bush case amplify the need to emerge as a hero out of brutality. Please read further.

Leadership is about more than charisma

by Fay Schopen

If there is a cult of the chief executive, then Steve Jobs must stand at its head. Many business leaders have been closely associated with their brands, but none more so than the chief executive of Apple. Mr Jobs, with his understated black polo necks and round glasses, has come to personify his company, a fact highlighted when recent news of his medical leave of absence caused Apple's share price to tumble.

“Apple is surprisingly dependent on Steve Jobs,” Tim Morris, director of the high performance leadership programme at Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford, said. “He has the magic combination of a fantastic technical insight and an ability to understand the market. He's also a master communicator.”

And he is an archetype, in his case the model of a charismatic leader - and that, in turn, is both a towering strength and a potential devastating weakness.

“Charismatic leaders can gather people behind them,” Jo Hennessy, director of research at the Roffey Park Institute, said. “They're inspiring and strong and, if they're able to engage staff, the results will follow.”

Maria Yapp, chief executive of Xancam, a business psychology company, said that “a big magnetic personality” can launch and revitalise brands, products and companies. “Tony Blair was great for new Labour to kick-start it,” she said, “and Steve Jobs has revitalised the Apple brand.”

But, Ms Hennessey said, “they're like the central pole in a big top: take the pole out and the tent will collapse.”

Rob Goffee, Professor of Organisational Behaviour at London Business School and co-author of Why Should Anyone Be Led by You?, said that strong leaders were good at developing disciples, but not successors. “The people that make leaders charismatic are their followers. Barack Obama, for example, is clearly charismatic, but he's also enigmatic. You can't pin him down and so he allows us to project our dreams and hopes on to him.”

Ms Hennessy said: “A charismatic leader who likes fame and glory may be more concerned about results today than a long-term legacy. When we coach chief executives to develop their own succession plans, we say: ‘Does it always have to be you? Can you spread the leadership around more?'”

Gareth Jones, visiting professor at Insead, the international business school, said that people were fascinated by how leaders got results. “We're interested in those who excite others to exceptional performance. For instance, when Martin Johnson led England to victory in the Rugby World Cup, people were saying: ‘How the hell did he do that?'”

Johnson's successors might have wondered the same thing and, perhaps, if some of his magic might rub off on them. Sadly, in Professor Jones's words: “You can't borrow someone else's charisma. The task for leaders is to work out what it is about themselves that is compelling. We're all looking for the next Richard Branson or Steve Jobs and we're not looking at the different ways people are leading.”

Professor Goffee said that figures such as John Major, the former prime minister, used their very ordinariness to lead: “I get worried about the use of the word ‘charisma', as people think that these are extraordinary qualities that ordinary mortals haven't got.”

Moreoever, the tide of popularity can turn quickly. Ms Yapp warned: “If you're known on the strength of your personality, it's much easier to fail. People in the City tend to panic and see Steve Jobs as being Apple, in the same way that they see Richard Branson as being Virgin.”

There are several things that companies can do to ensure that they do not fall victim to the cult of the chief executive. They can build the loss of a leader into disaster recovery plans, Barry Spence, chairman and chief executive of Cubiks, an HR consultancy, said. They should ensure that they have a strong organisational structure and management team underpinning the leader and that all those in that team get a chance to shine. Crucially, companies should build the product's reputation as strongly as they build personalities. “While James Dyson is regarded as an innovator, the product has been developed in parallel. So if Dyson went under a bus tomorrow, people would still buy Dyson vacuum cleaners,” Mr Spence said.

And while we may love inspirational but fallible leaders, only one thing matters to the markets: results. Last week Apple posted record revenue of $10.17billion (£7.19billion). As Mr Spence said: “The numbers will always win out.”

Famous Four

Henry Ford The founder of the Ford motor company revolutionised mass production and brought car ownership to middle-class Americans. An avowed anti-Semite, he was admired by Adolf Hitler

Sir Richard Branson The self-made entrepreneur launched the “world’s first spaceline”, Virgin Galactic, in 2004 and was ranked the 236th richest person in the world by Forbes magazine last year

Jack Welch The former chairman and chief executive of General Electric increased its value from $13 billion to several hundred billion. Dubbed “Neutron Jack”, it was joked that he eliminated employees but left the building standing

Dame Anita Roddick Founder of ethical cosmetics group the Body Shop, she was a high-profile environmental campaigner before her death in 2007

[Leadership is about more than charisma
Times Online, UK]


POLICE WITH MALAYSIAKINI: anwar said, a royal commission on Kugan.

There were good times even in turmoil. Old great grandpa will smile and talk about ubi kayu and ikan kering during japanese occupation years ago. Now is police days, exposed too wide for convenient sake. This hate thing if goes unchecked will erode the essence of respect towards agencies and people in general.

Like the case of one bad teacher out of 300,000 or so teachers. Millions feel touched by doctors and days are punctuated by incidence of carelessness. Even guys like politicians do behave as vultures sometimes and that will not diminish honest contributions by politicians in general. Lets share and understand what Anwar has in store for us. Remember, Anwar is special because he thrived through brutality or chaotic environment and in the early days, famines had catapulted him beyond belief.

A royal commission
to probe Kugan's death

by kalbana
the new straits times

After visiting the 22-year-old’s family in Bandar Kinrara, Puchong, Anwar told newsmen the numerous allegations of police brutality and other abuses must be independently investigated.

“The commission must be a stand alone commission without interference by any political party. The investigation of such cases must be carried out by officers without affiliation or connection to the affected agency.

Frequently, the higher officers handling investigations are from the same agency. The level of transparency is less,” he said.

Kugan, who was remanded to assist investigations into several robberies and luxury car thefts, died at the Taipan police station in USJ, Subang Jaya, on Jan 20.
The first post-mortem revealed that he died from fluid in the lungs, but Kugan’s family claim police brutality while he was in custody. The family entered the Serdang Hospital mortuary the night he died and took photographs of his body, which showed severe bruising.

[Anwar demands royal commission to probe Kugan's death
New Straits Times, Malaysia]


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

DEATH WITH MALAYSIAKINI: On Kugan, be realistic from Japan

It is a sharing time. There are many angles to look at things or incidents. This is another one. But it doesnt stop one from feeling sorry about the death. Either way, truth at times is very painful.

Indians be realistic

by japan_my2003

The Star citizen's blog
Tuesday 27 jan 2009

The case of Kugan was a great eye opener for all Malaysian. We have read and seen many cases of suspect being dead in police custody irrelevant of race. Till today only few have hit the eyes of the public like the case of nude pictures of a lady and the assault on Datuk Anwar himself when he was arrested under ISA. Police assault and terrogation is not race base or kind of crucification of Indians. Probability there are good chances that the Indians have more hardcore criminals than other races, or Indians have become a victim of criminal master mind of Chinese, Malay or Foreign criminals to whom these young Indian boys are working with. The Indians need to work hard to find tangible employment for these lost boys rather than demonstrating against the police or the government. Street demonstration will not bring any good to our Malaysian society. Indians in Malaysia are from Malaysia, after being born, grown up with other races, we in Malaysia have an unique family. There is no other home other than Malaysia for Indians and Chinese.

Running away for home to seek assistance from India or Britain is a coward thing to be done. Only a person with weak self motivation and with high level of inferiority complex will use the tickets of race, color and religion to brainwash the poor and lost Indians. Malaysian in cooperate organization knows very well that there are very reliable Indians whom they can depend they business on. Many Indians have good reputation that once a task is given to them, it is considered to be completed and delivered timely. Why playing the cards of race, when many of Indians consider themselves as Malaysian only? Professional Indians are having the feeling of shame with the game of race, color and religion played by few selfish members of Indian society. There will be a lot more profession Indians whom are willing to come forward to help fellow Indians to be successfully only if the cards of race, color and religion is not being placed in front.

The many successful Indians never felt that their color or race or religion was a hurdle in any part of the world. Why it is becoming such a big issue to other fellow Indians. Maybe working on educating the Indians could help to remove the inferiority complex.

What ever said and done, Malaysia in the home for Indians, Indians need to work out a reliable formula with the government, irrelevant of BN or PKR or PAS or DAP government to provide quality education and training and most importantly some level of financially support to setup entrepreneurship. The output need to be supervised by strong task force whom are committed to built Indian inline with Malaysia as a family, not by cowards with inferiority complex whom have standby visa to runaway and give instruction remotely.

Back to Kugan's case it is important reliable lawyers should come forward to take up the case and bring those whom are involved to the eyes of the public. I hope the Indians do not split up due to few selfish Indians. Please put your hands and ideas together and work for the well being of all Indians. Do not get emotionally involved on lies and rumors spread by self exile coward. Please seek for the truth. We have honest guys locked up under ISA together with a selfish master mind. Hope the government will filter out these trapped guys. Many believe these honest guys could provide more realistic lead and bring honest change for the lost Indians.

Indian Be Realistic
Malaysia Star, Malaysia ]

Update 1:

This one look at the side of coin;


by: tj9880
The star citizen's blog

All the hassles getting the high profiled lawyers, getting private hospital to do the post-mortem and organizing the demonstrations during the funeral are in fact very expensive.

Someone must be financing it or the family is rich enough to finance it.

Could it be from the stealing of the very expensive cars all these while?

Then why would we allow those people who are rich from the suffering and griefs of others to manipulate the decent and rightful thinking people so that they can make even with the policemen who has been giving them troubles all this while.

Please see it further ..

Malaysia Star, Malaysia]



It is just a movie, where there is a storyline, actors, actresses, director, props and budget to get it done. Somehow movies are more than just movies. Movies are reflection of lives. I saw swordfish again.


How to Steal a Government Slush Fund

by Uri Dowbenko

What really happens to secret government slush funds?

Historically "Operation Swordfish" was a government sting operation, set up to ensnare drug dealers in the late 1980s. Using funds illegally obtained from asset seizures, this undercover operation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Agency actually created dummy corporation fronts to get into the drug business. Eventually government agents and others were caught skimming the slush fund and stealing the money for themselves.

The premise of Swordfish the movie is that the slush fund created by this operation has grown to a whopping $9.5 billion.

Stan (Hugh Jackman) is a convicted computer hacker who is first seen driving golf balls near a tin shack in Midland, Texas. Enticed by a girl called Ginger (Halle Berry) wearing a skin tight red dress and spike heels - and $100,000, Stan goes to meet her boss Gabriel (John Travolta), a mysterious, wealthy character who wants him to hack into the slush fund and liberate the money for his own purposes.

Gabriel, Ginger tells him, "exists in a world beyond your world." She calls him "a calculating machine. She adds -- "he takes what he wants, when he wants. Then he disappears".

Stan desperately needs the money -- to pay for a lawyer to get his daughter back from his ex-wife, who's married to "the porn king of Southern California," living the LA life-style of the rich and decadent. In other words, Stan's really motivated - and besides he's a cyber-hero.

The back story is that the NSA (National Security Agency) has listed Stan as "the most dangerous hacker in America" -- after he had hacked into the FBI's notorious Carnivore software (a real-life program, by the way, which devours Americans' e-mails, faxes and other communication without regard for privacy, propriety or even legality).

Stan unleashed a virus into the Feds' system which set the Carnivore program back two years, according to Roberts (Don Cheadle), a government agent who helped send Stan to prison. Now Roberts is suddenly interested in Stan's reemergence on the scene.

After passing through a typical L.A. private club disco inferno, Stan meets Gabriel who gives him his first test: break into a Department of Defense computer with restricted access. After all he did get $100,000, but Stan has to do it under certain conditions. With a time limit. With a gun to his head. And with a girl's head embedded on his lap. That's the Hollywood version of hacking under pressure. Gabriel tells him, "What if I told you I'd give you ten million dollars to access seven different networks?" Stan, who plays the hacker as rock star, sits in front of seven computer monitors, typing code furiously, as the hip hop soundtrack pounds out a number that repeats "5,000 watts of funking" over and over.

Ginger explains Operation Swordfish like this -- "In the early 1980s, DEA set up a network of dummy corporations with $400 million." With these DEA accounts earning interest, the DEA slush fund is now worth $9.5 billion. All he has to do he's told is "pop the firewall [bust through the computer security] and get the money."

Stan tells him, "You need a bank as the backbone of the network," and Gabriel points to the bank across the street - the scene of a hostage crisis to top all hostage crises extrapolated to the Nth degree.

Swordfish is lots of fun. Great car chases. Great explosions. Great devastation in the material world. All the action movie stuff you would expect from a Joel Silver production. Also director Dominic Sena (Gone in 60 Seconds) directs a fast-moving script by Skip Woods. Computer geek types will love the arcane references to worms, viruses, crypto and other delicacies of the computer nerd life.

Travolta himself has fun with his character, bending and stretching his hit man persona from Pulp Fiction. He plays a scammer, but he insists that his job is to protect our freedoms - just like Iran-Contra gangsters General Richard Secord and Colonel Oliver North. Travolta's character claims he's just doing his part in protecting the American Way of Life. Think sub-contracting terrorism in terms of national security, and you'll understand the mindset.

Travolta's character Gabriel proclaims, "I will sacrifice lives to protect this country. Including my own." He implies that stealing from secret government slush funds is as good a way to "protect freedom" as any.

When asked by Stan the Hacker, "How do you justify this?" referring to the incredible mayhem and carnage, Gabriel the unrepentant spook answers, "To preserve our way of life".

Gabriel, the scammer-terrorist is a hero - at least in his own mind. He even deconstructs Dog Day Afternoon saying, "Audiences love happy endings."

When Gabriel gets double-crossed by a senator involved in these murky black ops, he tells him, "Thomas Jefferson once shot a man on the White House lawn for treason."

"I've changed my identity so many times I don't know my identity any more," he continues, implying that undercover agents who have been sheep-dipped (had their identities changes) are doing it all for God and Country.

Interestingly enough, Swordfish has been universally dissed. Mainstream critics have actually confessed that they didn't "understand" the movie. They don't get it.

Poor old Roger Ebert was apparently so confused by the movie that he actually wrote, "I defy anyone in the audience to explain the exact loyalties and motives of the leading characters."

Poor Stephanie Zacharek of bemoans the car chases and explosions. Her pissy review proclaims "a supposedly sophisticated shocker turns out like every other action thriller we've seen in the past three years - only more annoying."

Poor Stephen Hunter, writing for the Washington Post, confesses in his snide and sniveling review that "a hacker must do something I didn't understand: design a worm., whatever the hell that is, so he can insert it in a super-powerful government system, at the bank and order the system to deposit several billion dollars in certain offshore accounts.

And poor LA Times reviewer Kenneth Turan writes that "whatever interest the film creates is squandered via the smug showy amorality that runs through it." Welcome to the Real World, Pal

David McClintick wrote a book called "Swordfish: A True Story of Ambition, Savagery and Betrayal" about the operation. And there was also a 60 Minutes piece in 1993 about the DEA's nasty habit of using informants (chumps) in their undercover investigations and then throwing them to the wolves.

In a recent interview, former Iran Contra insider Al Martin recalls that "we got involved in the real Operation Swordfish at the time, back in the 1980s. It was a drug interdiction program in which there was an awful lot of cash missing. Toward the end, when there was a big investigation of Swordfish in 1991-92, it brought down a lot of FBI agents, when investigators found FBI agents' private safes stuffed with cash. This is what brought down the powerful and infamous Broward County [Florida] sheriff Nick Navarro. It ended his political hopes. The guy second in command Cacciatore made a deal with the Feds. The Feds went in and there was $800,000 in cash in Navarro's safe that he couldn't account for. That's what busted that entire cabal in Broward County."

"At the end the GAO reported that there was $3.6 billion missing," Al Martin continues, "but who knows what was really taken. The DEA set up fraudulent fronts to sting and entrap. That's all Swordfish was - a giant sting and entrapment scheme, but it involved the DEA, the FBI, and the IRS. It wasn't just the DEA involved. When some DEA agents and FBI agents were caught skimming the money, my friend got involved. Swordfish was an all cash deal, another typical sting and entrapment operation that got out of hand. Greed got involved. The CIA got involved. The CIA did all they could to protect their own narcotics traffickers. The CIA sometimes even set up DEA agents into these stings just to control them later on. The IRS CID [Criminal Investigation Division] got involved particularly in Fort Lauderdale. It also took down the mayor of Miami Beach".

Al Martin, author of The Conspirators: Secrets of an Iran Contra Insider ( says, "Everybody wanted a piece of the fraud. This was very late in the game. Operation Swordfish was in the late '80s, and everyone knew that the salad days were coming to an end. They looked at Operation Swordfish and said hey this might be the last great opportunity for everyone to line their pockets so everybody jumped on the bandwagon. It was originally an FBI operation. That's what forced Tommy Cash, the head of the Miami DEA office, to retire. It forced a lot of people out. Out of all the people that were exposed and forced out, the government never recovered one dime of the money, which they in turn had stolen from others. They scammed it from drug dealers. The government people then scammed it from the government itself. The slush fund was created by monies taken from drug dealers that was later not accounted for by different agencies."

When told that the Travolta character rationalized his scamming the slush fund money, Al says, "That's what they're doing. They're protecting the American Way of Life. People probably thought that was humorous, but they don't understand how right he is. It's probably safe to say that the American people don't know just how right the Travolta character is because the American Way of Life Is Fraud. That's the way everything works in this country. That's what it's all about. It's what keeps the country moving - fraud, corruption, graft - whatever you want to call it. And stealing that which someone else has already stolen from somebody else is certainly the American Way."