Tuesday, January 30, 2007

China's CCTV bans pigs on TV

I can't begin to tell you how surprised and utterly disappointed I am with China's CCTV.

I would have expected this kind of self censorship in the name of political-correctness in the Middle East, Malaysia, Indonesia... or even US and Europe, but China?

What's next? Remove the pig from the Chinese zodiac and replace it with a camel?

What the heck is going on in China?

Luckily, Singapore is still sane... check out Swatch's Piggy Snout ads in the little red dot:

Swatch "Be Lucky" CNY Collection 2007 - Piggy Snout Ads

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Caught up in a Climate of Defamation

By now, you must have seen how 2 bloggers are being sued by NST for defamation. Understandably, local bloggers have been going overtime citing freedom of speech and arguing against censorship. The mainstream press quotes "freedom with responsibility" which is another name for self-censorship. They're both right, you know. And rather than argue what's a dick versus what's a prick, what I want to know is if traditional defamation laws can actually apply to online Blogs.

According to Drahaman, Cirami who published the article "Defamation on the Internet - Malaysia", a defamatory statement is defined as follows:

What Is a Defamatory Statement?
http://www.accessmylibrary.com/comsite5/bin/comsite5.pl

None of the common law countries that are considered here have a statutory definition as to what would qualify as a defamatory statement. However case precedent has recognised the necessary criteria which could be broken down to the following:

Defamation is the publication of a false statement which reflects on a person's reputation and tends to lower him in the estimation of right thinking members of society generally or tends to make them shun or avoid him or holds him up to ridicule or contempt.
The article provides a good summarised background of legal defamation concepts as to its applicability (or inapplicability, as the situation may prove) to online blogging.

The FAQ of US-based Electronic Frontier Foundation has distilled the Online Defamation Law (US) into the following elements:
The elements that must be proved to establish defamation are:
http://www.eff.org/bloggers/lg/faq-defamation.php

1. a publication to one other than the person defamed;
2. a false statement of fact;
3. that is understood as:
a. being of and concerning the plaintiff; and
b. tending to harm the reputation of plaintiff.
4. If the plaintiff is a public figure, he or she must also prove actual malice.
The key factors common to both and imho, most applicable to Malaysian bloggers, are:
- publication
- false statement of fact
- tending to harm a person's reputation

- Tending to harm a person's reputation

This factor is consequential (ie. a result of other independent factors which caused it) and I think the traditional standards can apply equally to online defamation. The plaintiff needs to prove that his/her reputation has been harmed.

To examine whether blogs can indeed result in defamation, we need to examine HOW (or WHETHER) this reputation can be harmed by the other 2 factors which are causal (ie. causing the consequence). Therefore I will concentrate the rest of this posting on the causal factors of defamation:
- publication, and
- false statement of fact.

Having dissected the concepts of defamation as such, it's obvious that a blog needs to be a PUBLICATION of STATEMENTS OF TRUE FACTS before they are subject to defamation laws. So, are blogs publications? And are they statements of true facts?

- Are blogs publications?

According to the Oxford dictionary, to 'publish'verb is to:
1 prepare and issue (a book, newspaper, piece of music, etc.) for public sale.
2
print in a book, newspaper, or journal so as to make generally known.
3 announce formally.
4
Law communicate (a libel) to a third party.
No.4 says that publishing (in a legal sense) is as simple as communicating to a 3rd party. Well, blogs are caught. Blogs are used by millions of internet users to communicate with billions of others. There is no denying it. Admittedly, this gapingly wide definition would also encompass writing "You're a wanker!" on a piece of cardboard and hanging it from your porch... but let's not go there.

Traditional media like the press, books, broadcasting etc. would be clearcut publication. They were printed/produced, they were physically distributed and most likely entailed some form of payment as well. But as far as defamation law is concerned, simply printing a bunch of leaflets and handing them out on the street is publication enough. And I agree, because there is a point when the publisher (leaflet-man) knows exactly that the act of communicating has been completed... ie. when someone takes the leaflet from him.

What if... you print a stack of leaflets and leave it at your doorstep for the wind to blow away? Hopefully someone picks one up, but chances are just as good that nobody will. And you are never really sure, where the wind has blown the leaflets to, and you never know if anyone actually picks one up. That's exactly what blogs are. We write stuff onto little files on the internet, but we never know if anybody will access those files to read the stuff we write. If people do read our stuff, great... but it wasn't as if we were peddling it mano-a-mano on the street corner.

And just to throw a spanner into the works,... Singapore's courts have ruled that it is ok for someone to broadcast unsecured wifi signals into public space. However, it is NOT OK for anyone to log onto those unsecured wifi broadcasts without the express and explicit permission of the broadcaster. They will be committing an offence. This means that simply broadcasting unsecured wifi to the public does not constitute an open ended agreement for that public to use it without explicit permission being given, even though the broadcaster intentionally left the wifi signal unsecured.

The possible implication of this ruling on blogs, is that maybe... simply posting blogs onto the public internet does not constitute an open-ended agreement for other internet users to read these blogs, although bloggers specifically know that virtually anyone can read their blogs. Therefore, UNTIL express and explicit permission is given by the blog owner to those readers, can we then construe that publication or communication has not yet taken place?

Drahaman, in the article quoted above, goes into the detailed legalese of what might actually constitute publication or communication on the internet.

Having said that, I reckon the main question remains... "Are blogs communicating TRUE FACTS?"

- Are blogs statements of true facts?

This is the all-important question.

Are blogs like broadsheet newspapers or TV news, where there is an expectation and an express duty to communicate truthful facts in an unbiased manner?

Or are blogs like the gossip magazines and "scoop" afternoon newspapers that nobody in their right mind would take seriously (remember the concept of 'right thinking members of society' within the definition of defamation)?

Or are blogs like editorials, current affairs programs and talk shows where facts are supplemented by lots of comments and lots of opinions? I think most blogs, especially those that might conceivably attract defamation suits are in this category. Interestingly, according to Drahaman, there is a concept and defense in defamation law called FAIR COMMENT.
The defence of fair comment has its roots in common law and was established to protect comment generally upon a matter of public interest.

The comment has to be made upon true facts and must be an honestly held opinion.

But who is to judge what an honestly held opinion is?
An opinion may be totally lopsided, one sided or prejudiced, this does not mean that it was not honestly held
.

Further... is speculation barred? Can no opinion be held upon [unconfirmed or unverifiable] facts that are honestly believed to be true?

* seantang's edits in brackets
Doesn't FAIR COMMENT seem to be exactly what the blogs are doing? I see 2 difficulties for the courts when assessing the argument of fair comment.

First is the requirement of "honesty" in the opinions held. As alluded to by Drahaman, the fact that an opinion may be biased, prejudiced, politically incorrect, or wholly speculative - does not automatically mean that it was not honestly held. Dumb people have dumb opinions. Rude people have rude ones. Suspicious, untrusting people have suspicious, untrusting opinions. Gamblers totally believe that the next roll of the dice will make them rich. Racing drivers are absolutely convinced that they are immortal.

The point is, unless one is a Vulcan (like Mr Spock), or very handy with a polygraph
lie detector machine, nobody can say that those people did not honestly believe in their opinions.

Second, these opinions must be made upon "true facts". What is the required standard of truth? What does it take before a fact can be held to be true?

Must blogs adopt the investigative reporting standards of the mainstream media? Must all facts be documented from it's original source before it is fit to be published? Can blogs use information from other sources (websites, normal media, other blogs) without doing the kind of fact checking that professional reporters and news agencies do? Can blogs reasonably depend on these 'sources' of facts to be 'truthful'? What is 'burden of truth' on non-professional entities like blogs? And remember, layman bloggers will inevitably have very different standards compared to professional news reporters on what they honestly believe to be 'truthful'.

And as Drahaman mentioned, does this requirement of 'true facts' mean that all speculation is off-limits? Many mainstream news agencies engage in speculation. Almost all talk shows and current affairs programs speculate... sometimes wildly. Blogs speculate as well, of course. So, who draws the line? And when the party you speculate about, holds the pen... how do we be sure that they will draw the line correctly?

Phew... this must be one of my longest postings yet. Anyway, I'll be watching the current events unfold with bated breath. Good luck, guys.
Other related reading:
Dangers of misusing blogs (The Sun)
Bloggers subject to same rules (NST)
Walk With Us
Bloggers United Official Page
Cite PM Abdullah & NST for Prejudice and Subjudice
rocky's bru
screenshots
End

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Official Secrets Act (OSA) 1972 - Bane of Transparency?

According to Jacqueline Ann Surin from The Sun:

The (Official Secrets) Act (1972) stipulates that any document classified as "Top Secret", "Secret" "Confidential" or "Restricted" by a minister, the mentri besar or chief minister of a state, or any public officer appointed as per the Act, is an "official secret".

And here's the rub. The act of declaring something an "official secret" cannot "be questioned in any court on any ground whatsoever".

The OSA also clearly defines the following as "official secret":

>> cabinet documents, records of decisions and deliberations, including those of cabinet committees;

>> state executive council documents, records of decisions and deliberations, including those of state executive council committees;

>> documents concerning national security, defence and international relations.

This means that all kinds of government decisions, for example, how the cabinet under Mahathir decided to build the crooked bridge or how the cabinet under Abdullah decided to abort the project, is automatically off-limits to the public.

http://www.sun2surf.com/article.cfm?id=14763

That two senior cabinet members decided to invoke the OSA when being questioned about some govt contracts with the "private sector", we really shouldn't be surprised at all.

Here's Lim Keng Yaik invoking the OSA:

PUTRAJAYA (Jan 18, 2006): Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik said it was up to the cabinet to decide whether to make public the water concession agreement or the audited accounts of Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) which are classified under the Official Secrets Act.

He said he was prevented by the OSA from publicising these documents, and he had informed those who sought the information.

http://www.sun2surf.com/article.cfm?id=16709

And here's Samy Vellu doing the same:

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 25, 2007): The Cabinet is not prepared to make public the toll agreements inked between the government and highway concessionaires, says Works Minister Datuk Seri S.Samy Vellu.

"I have also suggested that the Cabinet take appropriate action against the person (or persons) who had stolen and exhibited an agreement. The agreement is solely between the government and the company and it is a secret document," said Samy, adding that he brought up the matter at the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

http://www.sun2surf.com/article.cfm?id=16815

I'm not interested in the legality of the OSA. Laws are made by lawmakers. Lawmakers are elected by the people (and apparently some dead people as well). And that's that. Having said so however... the first party that repeals the application of the OSA to the following:

>> cabinet documents, records of decisions and deliberations;
>> state executive council documents, records of decisions and deliberations;

... will automatically get my vote at the next General Election. Elected representatives make decisions by the grace of the people, and they should not be allowed to hide the basis of those decisions from us. That is simply good governance and transparent goverment.

Now... What I'm really interested in is why the lawmakers ie. our elected members of parliament, do not share the view of the people ie. you and me - that the OSA is hindering the transparency of the government's decisions and their accountability to the people.

Here's what Minister in the PM's Dept, Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz had to say:
"We need the OSA to carry out the government's task efficiently and without disturbance,"

"It is not true at all that the OSA is hindering efforts to combat corruption."

"The 1997 Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) Act has given powers to the ACA to view all documents categorised as OSA."

http://www.sun2surf.com/article.cfm?id=15517
Fine, governments should be allowed to run efficiently and with no disturbance. Malaysia is no different. We don't need a nationwide referendum for every decision that needs to be made.

However, after the decisions have been made, don't you think that there should be an avenue of review? Some checks and balances? Explanations to answer the public's concerns?

The ACA's power to view all documents under OSA is laudable. But I do have many questions regarding the independence and effectiveness of the ACA itself. But that's another article for another day.

If the water concession agreements and toll agreements are deemed too "sensitive" to be declassified under OSA and made public, the government has to explain clearly to the people - exactly HOW those documents are "sensitive" and WHY their disclosure would be detrimental to the country's interests.

If the cabinet is "not prepared" to make those documents public, then I want to know WHY the cabinet feels that way.

Simply saying the cabinet is "not prepared" or "decided not to"... is NOT GOOD ENOUGH! The Malaysian public are not children, and the govt are not the parents. Being condescending and patronising by telling the people, "BECAUSE I SAID SO", is not going to cut it.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Swatch "Be Lucky" CNY Collection 2007 - Piggy Snout Ads

Will this advertising campaign for the Swatch "Be Lucky" Chinese New Year Collection 2007 hit Malaysian shores? This ad appeared on the front page of Singaporean newpapers today.

If this watch and advertising campaign launches in Malaysia, do you reckon the PPIM (Persatuan Pengguna Islam Malaysia) will campaign against it, burn effigies of pigs and instigate a boycott of Swatch watches? Are they still boycotting Starbucks? Is it haram to wear a watch with cartoons of pigs on it?


And Swatch comes up with the "Do the Piggy Snout" tag line.



And finally, this is the watch itself. Pretty cute. I don't mind wearing one myself.

Related posts:

Ultraman says: "Up Yours, PPIM! I'm not Insensitive."

When even Paddle Pops are Religiously Insentitive

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Video of Police Arrests during 21 Jan 2007 Anti Toll Hike Demonstration in Cheras

Here's a couple of pictures from merdekareview.com and a video of people being arrested by the police during the 21 Jan 2007 Anti Toll Hike Demonstration in Cheras.




Reports are that they were man-handled by the police. The Sun: http://www.sun2surf.com/article.cfm?id=16771

The first picture above clearly shows the policemen grasping the windpipe of the protestor. I'm not sure if this is the correct restraining technique according to the police standing orders, but I've never seen it used during Cops, Bad Boys, 911 or 999 on tv before.

In the video, check out the plainclothes policeman in a blue shirt and blue trousers who climbs into the police truck with the 2 arrested chaps near the end of the video. Looks to me, he's definitely swinging punches at one of them in the police truck.

It's this mean-looking, ugly bastard.

This is no less than assaulting a restrained (handcuffed) person. He wasn't fighting, he wasn't kicking and punching... he was just asking to pick up his damn shoe.

How about the IPCMC now?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

She needs a new heart to go home

I was sitting in my living room, notebook on my lap, just mulling over stuff... as I'm wont to do on Sunday afternoons when I'm just lazy and sapped of spirit - in anticipation the upcoming working week.

As I counted the things that were wrong with my life, being slightly angry at how I have been held back, held down and wondering how much happier my life would've been if I had been dealt a better hand of cards.

Then I came across this article during my daily dose of news websites. After reading it, all the things I had been fretting about seemed so small, so trivial, so insignificant compared to what this brave little girl goes through each and every day. I realised I'm a whiner, a coward and an idiot.

So in typical sean-the-man fashion, here's my gem of wisdom for the day:

"Be happy, be grateful, for the value of your lot in life is measured by what you make of it. Eat less, laugh more, work out and sleep in. And pick up that phone to call your parents."

Little Ms Tee Hui Yi, I hope you get your new heart very soon and I hope the length of your next visit to KLCC will be to your heart's content. My prayers (unorthodox though they may be) are with you, and god (in whatever guise) bless.

NSTOnline 21 Jan 2007
Rina De Silva
http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/nst/Sunday/National/20070121081313/Article/index_html

KUALA LUMPUR: Tee Hui Yi looks every inch your average teenager but looks can be deceiving. Tee is certainly no ordinary 13-year-old.

And the mini travelling bag which she dragged around at the KLCC park contained a 9kg portable battery to power a mechanical heart which can be seen peeking out from underneath her T-shirt.

Tee is a patient at the National Heart Institute (IJN), and she would have been more than happy to share her remarkable story if anyone had approached her.

"No I don’t feel embarrassed. It is OK," she said while taking a one-and-a-half hour walk around the park.

The walk is part of Tee’s rehabilitation exercise since she was implanted with the mechanical heart on Sept 29.

The device will buy her some time until she gets a new heart. She was diagnosed with end-stage heart failure when she was two years old after suffering from a viral infection.

From then on, she became a regular face at the Batu Pahat Hospital and the IJN.

Tee is the second mechanical heart recipient after 16-year-old Mohd Fikri Nor Azmi. Fikri received a new heart on Dec 16, 2005.

Before starting her walk, she had chatted with reporters while having her breakfast of rice, egg and sambal.

"Which paper are you from? May I know your name?" she asked with great interest.

But behind the friendly smile is an anxious girl waiting desperately for a new heart.

"Please, cari (find a) donor," she said.

Read the rest of the article from the link above.

Was he punishing us, or testing us?

What do you reckon?

Was god punishing me/us, or was he testing me/us?

Whichever it is, he just cost us S$878m or RM2bn.

Which raises a very good question actually.

Was he testing me, punishing you OR was he punishing me, testing you?

Prove one, it disproves the other. Either my version of god is god & your's is not.... OR your version of god is god & mine isn't. This is not a question which we can agree to disagree. We can't be both right.

I venture a 3rd option. We are both wrong. And that's the most likely answer, in my opinion. Your god's not god... and my god's not god either.

Maybe there is no god. At least not in the omnipotent, almighty sense of the word. If there was, he would have whupped the asses of all the other gods from the start, instead of leaving it to George Bush and the Jihadis to do his dirty work for him.

And there'd be peace on earth and no suffering. And no natural disasters.,, What heavenly purpose could natural disasters have, in the godly mega-program to make us better people? To initiate the outpouring of caring and humanity, like in the aftermath of the tsunami? Was 120,000 deaths and millions more displaced a fair price to pay for a little display of post-traumatic TLC? Maybe I'd come to a different conclusion if I used god's calculator... no?

Maybe god was simply a lousy cosmic project manager, who in a bid to impress the universe - bit off more than he could chew, during the last staff meeting at the beginning of time.

What if god was just one of us, just a slob like one of us, just a stranger on a bus, trying to make his way back home...
.

Jeremy Clarkson's MotorWorld - Japan

An episode of Jeremy Clarkson's MotorWorld from the 90s. This is a series where JC hops from country to country, checking out the car scene. This episode's on motoring Japan.

Jeremy has more hair than he does now, discovers Autobacs, talks to Drift King Keiichi Tsuchiya, tries the ground-breaking Nissan Skyline GTR R31 and rides with the Midnight Club where all member cars are capable of 250kmh on the expressway. Also see Jeremy Clarkson as you've never seen him before... in an uncomfortable black suit,... to interview Yakuza chieftains about their favourite mafia rides.

Other episodes of JC's MotorWorld can be found here. Extremely good viewing for fans of JC and Top Gear: http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=jeremy+clarkson+-+motorworld

Singapore... Monaco of the East?

Singapore just might be hosting a F1 street circuit GP in the not so distant future. The argument for it :- if Monaco can do it, so can Singapore.

Having said that, the detractors have been taking time out from being constipated, to point out that Singapore is not Monaco. It doesn't have the heritage, the panache, the 5 figure flat rentals, the falling signboards that flatten numerous former F1 drivers each year on the streets of Monaco... And right they are. So, what is Monaco then?

Jeremy Clarksons MotorWorld - Monaco
The Home of the Grand Prix of Monte Carlo. And also of every major name of motorsport. Whats it like to live there? Find out.
I think if Singapore plays its cards right (and admittedly, it has to get a very good hand), it has a fair chance of being the Monaco of the East. The Asian 1 million dollar club is growing at 5-10% per year. And the new rich, typically look for places to frolic, buy and spend. The moneyed Europeans and Americans do so in Monaco. But rich Asians can't quite flock to Monaco. Being Asian in Monaco is like going to tuxedo party in a white waistcoat. No matter how rich you are, everybody thinks you're the damn waiter.

Singapore could put an end all that. Let's make the whiteman feel 3rd world and out of place, for a change.

There's another possible Monaco of the East,... Shanghai. It has as much, if not more aristocratic, crazy money heritage than Monaco. It's got the Bund, the buildings brimming with history, the cobbled streets, and more recently the shiny skyscrapers. But it also has... communists. Millions of them. No zero taxation there, mate.

So Singapore... let's see what you can do.
Related posts:

The Proposed F1 Singapore GP Street Circuit

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Lip balm kiss test and Micheal Winslow makes "noises"

This lip balm kiss test shows that girls have as little modesty, are just as superficial, just as horny and just as driven by their genitals as men are. One look at the male models and they turn the simple kiss test into a tongue mashing suck fest with complete strangers. Guys need never feel guilty about their penises doing the thinking again. Apparently vaginas have the same brainpower.

He is Michael Winslow (from Police Academy fame) and he makes noises. Enjoy.

Shilpa Shetty and Big Brother. Was it Racism?

You must have, by now, heard of the huge, huge ruckus with Bollywood diva, Shilpa Shetty (left), Jade Goody (right) and other housemates on UK Channel 4's Celebrity Big Brother.

Much of the big hoo-hah has to do with allegations of racism. Well you see... Shilpa's an Indian amongst a bunch of caucasian Brits and Americans.

Primary among these allegations are:
- Jade Goody calling her "Shilpa Pappadam".
- Danielle Lloyd said Shetty should "fuck off home" and could not speak English properly.
- Housemates Jade Goody, Danielle Lloyd and Jo O'Meara made fun of Shetty's accent.
- The trio also complained that Shetty had touched other housemates' food with her hands (and they commented they didn't know where her hands "had been").
- Former S Club 7 star O'Meara said that Indians were thin because they were always ill as a result of undercooking their food.
- Danielle Lloyd called her a dog.
- Jack Tweed called her a cunt.
- And the mother of all arguments between Shetty and Goody over cubes of chicken stock.
But was it outright racism?

I have watched the videos (linked below) and I have to say... no, not really.

During the actual arguments, there weren't any racist slurs. Nothing racist was said to Shilpa Shetty's face. There was a lot of foul language and racially-neutral derogatory comments, but all that says is that Shilpa's housemates were rude, had no class and were badly brought up - but there was no explicit racism.

Where the racist comments did pop up though, were during the "private" moments when the trio (Jade Goody, Danielle Lloyd and Jo O'Meara) were doing their 'girl-talk' thing. The kind of talk when a bunch of like-minded mates sit together over a drink. Lot of hush-hush, snigger-snigger and chuckle-chuckle. Elbow-elbow, prod-prod.

But that's the kind of stuff each and every one of us are guilty of. Which among us have not said something mean about a different race or nationality or culture? More specifically, which of us have not made racist jokes and spoken racist opinions to like-minded friends over a teh tarik?

What sets us apart though from Jade, Danielle and Jo is the fact that we are weren't dumb enough to say all that on national TV, and they were.

So again, were they racist? ... yeah I guess, but not more than the rest of us.

For more background, here's a link to Big Brother 2007 articles on BBC. (Click the search button again to refresh the list of articles).

For an opposite viewpoint on the whole issue, have a read of this article. It basically floats the idea that Shilpa Shetty was manipulating her housemates. She is, after all, a very good actress.

Celebrity Big Brother Racism Row on ITN News 17.01.07

The Chicken Stock Cube 1/2

The Chicken Stock Cube 2/2

Danielle & Jo on Shilpa & Indians

Danielle calls Shilpa a dog

Euro NCAP website

WWW.EURONCAP.COM is the official website for European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP).

If you find yourself distrusting all those Proton-inspired 'paid advertisement' safety endorsements like "Lulus Proton", TUV certification or other such "BMW of Asia" (Waja) and "My first Lotus" (Savvy) rubbish... why not try checking out if the new car you're considering has been crash tested properly by an internationally recognised organisation like Euro NCAP.

And it is worthwhile to note that the new Toyota Yaris (now available in Malaysia) gets the same high ratings under Euro NCAP as it does under the US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests (link here: Small Cars Come Up Short in Crash-Test Safety Study)



Thursday, January 18, 2007

UPM's Chinese-language society banned

A Chinese language and culture society in UPM has been refused registration and barred from organising activities for its members on campus.

According to the society's president, the purpose of establishing a Chinese-language society was to promote the language and Chinese culture to students and the community. There is no restriction of membership to Chinese and its activities are open to all students.

However...

UPM's student affairs deputy vice-chancellor Prof Dr Azali Mohd was quoted in the society's bulletin as saying registration was dis-allowed because the society was only for one race and language.

"Malaysia is a multiracial country. A race-based society would disunite the people," he was quoted as saying.

http://www.sun2surf.com/article.cfm?id=16706

Let's see what other clubs and societies that UPM has sanctioned. Let's see if these clubs and societies cater for ALL races and ALL languages.

Go here to see the list of clubs and societies on UPM's website:
http://www.upm.edu.my/?aktvt=content&kat=X&kod=20061114318164114172165447

Here are some that I've picked out:

Clubs and societies in which only one race will ever be interested:

o Kelab Bahasa Arab
o Persatuan Seni Silat Cekak Malaysia
o Persatuan Seni Silat Cekak Hanafi UPM
o Persatuan Seni Silat Lincah UPM
o Persatuan Seni Silat Gayung
o Persatuan Seni Silat Sendeng
o Kelab Caklempong
o Kelab Kompang Seni Warisan
o Kelab Kijang Emas (Dikir Barat)
o Kelab Nasyid Nahwan Nur
o Kelab Rebana Ubi

Clubs and societies that are race or religion specific :

o Kelab Tarian Klasik India (Putra Kalashektra)
o Kelab Nahwar Nur
o Persatuan Hindu
o Persatuan Buddhist
o Ikatan Kristian
o Persatuan Katholik

Clubs that only one race will ever be qualified to join:

o Kelab Alumni Matrikulasi UPM

Therefore, with so many sanctioned organisations for specific racial groups... how can the vice-chancellor justify saying that UPM only allows clubs and societies that cater to ALL races and languages? If a Chinese language and culture society is banned on this basis, shouldn't the ones above (which are equally as guilty of being racially exclusive) be banned as well?

In addition, UPM is not exactly a showpiece of racial integration, is it now? How can we forget the UPM canteen racial harassment incident back in July 2006?

The UPM Canteen Incident.

A Slap on the Wrist forthcoming for UPM Hoodlums?

Chief Syariah Judge concedes that Syariah Court has no power over Non-Muslims

Have you read this post?

The Scope of Syariah on Non-Muslims?

I argued that non-Muslims cannot be subject to the Syariah court, as it is illogical for a person to submit himself to a court drawing its power from a religion he does not profess.

Apparently, the Chief Syariah Judge agrees. Have a look at Today (18 Jan 2007) newspaper article below:

That bit about compromise and voluntary cooperation... here's an idea for ya:

Why don't the Syariah court be compromising and voluntarily cooperate with the rest of Malaysia... by staying the hell out of the affairs of non-Muslims.

NST sues Jeff Ooi, Rocky's Bru for defamation

Bloggers are under attack again.

PETALING JAYA (Jan 18, 2007): Bloggers Jeff Ooi (Screenshots) and Rocky (Rocky's Bru) have been sued for defamation by the New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) and individuals of the company over the postings on their blogs.

Ooi Chuan Aun aka Jeff Ooi was also served an interim ex parte injunction to refrain from further posting articles against the plaintiffs.

http://www.sun2surf.com/article.cfm?id=16725
According to the article, a source close to NST had this to say:
"The purpose of the suits is to help to promote responsible blogs,"
Correction mate. One purpose of blogs is to help promote a responsible press... by telling the truth when they [the press] won't.

Introducing... the BURKINI

What do you get when the Taliban turn fashion designers and cross-breed a burkha with a bikini?

You guessed it... the burkini.

"The burkini is a 2-piece (swim)suit incorporating a head covering."

The picture shows only the face and hands are exposed. And though you can't see her legs in the picture, it goes right down to the ankles as well.

Anyway, I think it looks absolutely silly. Going swimming in a burkini will make you stand out in a crowd... like wearing a wet t-shirt with stiff nipples on a cold frosty morning. You will inevitably get a lot of stares and sniggers.

But I firmly believe anyone should be allowed to dress as ridiculously as they want... as long as they don't try to force everyone else to dress the same way.

I'll end with a sean-the-man original joke:

"What do you call sticking duct tape on your eyebrows and ripping it off as violently as you can?"

"A Burkini Wax."
G'night folks.

No Concern of Witness Tampering as Majority of Witnesses are Police

Here's an interesting case of an ASP who was arrested for assaulting a couple of police detainees, but was later released on bail of RM3,000.

What's interesting isn't the fact that it was a policeman beating someone up. After we've had the Inspector General of Police giving the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia a black eye, this is small, small potatoes by comparison.

What interests me are the circumstances underlying the granting of bail in favour of ASP S. Suresh:

http://www.sun2surf.com/article.cfm?id=16676

Defence lawyer M. Puravalen asked for his client to be released on RM3,000 bail.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohd Abazafree Mohd Abbas objected bail, saying there was fear that the accused, being a police officer, could have access to the witnesses.

Puravalen said there was no concern of witness tampering as a majority of the witnesses were police personnel.

Magistrate Tasnim Abu Bakar set bail at RM3,000 which was later posted by the accused.
Wait a minute... you're saying that witness tampering is not a concern because the witnesses are policemen? What kind of logic is that? And how come the defence lawyer says RM3000, the magistrate sets bail at RM3000? Who's making the decisions here? The magistrate or the defence lawyer?

Anyway, let's see... A senior officer beats someone up. His underlings see him doing it. So, you arrest him and try to convince his junior officers to blow the whistle and testify against him.

HYPOTHETICAL QUESTION: Which is more appealing if you're that junior officer, desperately seeking courage to testify against your boss whom you know from past experience, is perhaps a vicious and vengeful man?

A: Your boss is in the lockup. you don't see his face until the day of the trial.

B: Your boss is free, he visits your home, playfully waves his service revolver in your face, pinches your wife's ass and reminds you that he'll take care of her if anything... "unfortunate" should happen to you.

So what if they're policemen? What are they, bulletproof?

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Proposed F1 Singapore GP Street Circuit

Layout for the proposed Singapore F1 GP.

Looks fancy... actually.., looks like something from the City Circuits section of PS2's Gran Turismo 3. Neat blocky corners and a compulsory roundabout.

Fast straights into the slow corners should provide plenty of overtaking, given the wide intersections characteristic to Singapore's CBD.

And it's at night...

Related Previous Posts:

Singapore
F1 - possibly Sept 2008 & a NIGHT race!


Singapore
to have F1 Street Circuit? Sepang leh, how?

Sunday, January 14, 2007

An ode to Barbara Weisel

I wish MCA and MIC had a negotiator like Barbara Weisel 50 years ago. She's the US' chief negotiator in the current free trade talks with Malaysia. Commenting on the talks, she said:

"I think there are ways to find resolution to these issues that don't undermine the policies that have been in place for a long time and allow the Malaysian government to open the market."
http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v3/printable.php?id=241114

Very diplomatic so far... but here's where she grabs you by the balls... and twists anti-clockwise.
"However, the Bumi preferences issue needs to be worked out before both sides could come up with a comprehensive agreement - "we're not willing to close the deal and come back to it in five years" she said."

None of that open ended, no time limit rubbish social contracts that the non-Malay members of our country's founding fathers were brow-beaten into accepting, 50 years ago.

And I wish MCA and MIC have someone like her now, when UMNO is getting increasingly greedy. Is she for hire, do you reckon? Maybe the Chinese should conspire to pay only 70% of the Malaysian tax bill, instead of 80% and use that 10% difference to hire her, eh?
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RMK9 - Where the RM200 Billion is coming from!

All I can say is OH MY GAWD!

Contracting, without tender, the bus transportation of a hundred thousand National Service students to an unproven "bumiputra" agent who has no idea what a bus looks like - is a bad idea.

Borrowing RM200 or USD50 billion arranged by a rubbish "international" finance company with a PO Box in Sydney, Australia for an address, and channeling it through a 2 ringgit "bumiputra" company called Asasatu Technology Sdn Bhd, which is "a specialist contractor undertaking activities related to Design and Construction of Sewerage Treatment Plant" - is nothing short of preposterous!

What are the commissions involved? 2% or USD1 billion? Who is the hidden hand behind Asasatu or Union Financial Services Corp that is going to become a billionaire overnight?

Is this true? What the hell is going on?

Here's the breaking story from Malaysia-Today:
http://malaysia-today.net/blog2006/corridors.php?itemid=1859

Reading the three letters together, it is clear that Bank Negara has agreed that a private limited company currently in the process of being wound up is to be used as a front to borrow USD50 billion and that this company will act as a front for the Malaysian government so that it will not be seen that Malaysia is borrowing USD50 billion from overseas.

Secondly, the whole package was brokered by a Singapore outfit, but so as not to reveal that Singapore is involved, lest fingers start pointing to the prime Minister’s son-in-law, they shall put the whole thing through an Australian PO Box that will front as the ‘partner’ for the Malaysian outfit.

Thirdly, the Malaysian government will not officially borrow the money and the borrower will instead be a small mama-papa private limited company called Asasatu Technology Sdn Bhd. This will keep the Malaysian government ‘clean’ of any foreign borrowings.

Finally, it is clear that when the Malaysian government announced the RM200 billion RMK9 in Parliament, they did not have the money to finance it. However, not wanting it to appear like the country is borrowing interest-bearing US Dollars, plus is subject to currency fluctuations, to finance its development plans, they used a small private limited company as a front which again used an Australian PO Box company which in turn is backed by Singapore.

In short, through many layers or levels of front companies and PO Box companies, Singapore is funding Malaysia’s development proudly touted as the Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan or RMK9.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

JB schoolgirls competing to be No.1 in sex game

I need to go to JB more often!

Any girls from that secondary school reading this, CALL ME!!!

Schoolgirls competing to be No.1 in sex game

A GROUP of female students in a secondary school in Johor Baru are said to be competing among themselves to be the one with the highest number of one-night stands, Nanyang Siang Pau reported.

Each of the 10 students in the group, aged between 13 and 15 years old, would fork out between RM50 and RM100 to be in the game.

The student with the highest number of sex partners within a month would get a “reward”, which ranged from between RM500 and RM1,000, said the report.

Usually, a student would need between 13 and 15 sex partners to claim the “reward”.

It was learnt that the school had expelled some students involved in the activity, but the report added that it was still going on.

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/1/13/nation/16559011&sec=nation

Singapore F1 - possibly Sept 2008 & a NIGHT race!

More updates on the possible Singapore F1 race.

- possibly taking place in September 2008! That's quick, because it's a street circuit and you don't have to build a whole racetrack.

And Singapore already has a whole lot of experience with street spectator events. They host the annual National Day parade each year, and already have all the procedures and assets in place to seat thousands of people along the sides of roads, how to move them from the suburbs into town using public transport.. and then back home again, the authorities have lots of experience managing security and people flow in a huge street event like this. All they have to do is build the paddock somewhere... hopefully next to my office on Orchard.

- and the other thing... it might be a NIGHT RACE! Damn... that's going to be interesting. It'll be like Paris-Dakar, WRC or Le Mans - but this will be F1. And it's going to be spectacular.

Related post: Singapore to have F1 Street Circuit? Sepang leh, how?

Friday, January 12, 2007

Singapore to have F1 Street Circuit? Sepang leh, how?

If you believe in the principle of no smoke without fire, as I do... then you will figure, as I do, that Singapore might just pull off getting only the 2nd F1 street circuit in the world.

The only other street circuit in the current F1 calendar, is the jewel in the Ecclestone crown, Monaco. Cote d'Azur. I've driven around that amazing circuit countless times. Well, actually once... in a rented Renault Espace MPV after dinner, the other times on GranTurismo 4 for PS2. And it's breath-taking

What does this development bode for Sepang? For sure, the Singapore F1 spectacle will have none of the traffic problems, parking problems, fubars, customer fuckups and service cockups that perpetually plague the Malaysian leg.

And don't discount the fact that speed-constipated Singaporeans make up a large portion of the spectators at Sepang each year. Will they still make the 3 to 6 hour drive (depending on what they drive lah) from Singapore to Sepang each year, if they have a race at their doorstep?

But whatever the outcome, a F1 street race in Singapore will be tremendous. I can just picture it. 22,000 naturally aspirated V8 horses thundering down Orchard Road, ignoring the traffic lights and pedestrian crossings, speeding beyond the 60kmh limit in the bus lane, during peak hours, and without topping up their cashcards for the ERP... that'll just drive every traffic cop on the island mad. I love it!

Related post: Singapore F1 - possibly Sept 2008 & a NIGHT race!

Maid to live dangerously

If you're in Malaysia, the next time your Indon maid complains about too much work... let them have a look at this photo.

This is just some of the dangerous, mindfreak shit that maids in Singapore do.

Ask your lazy-boned, lard-arsed maid how she fancies cleaning the windows of a flat...


... on the 20th floor...

... from the outside?!...

AirAsia upbeat on Singapore-KL route

All the talk about AA flying the Singapore-KL route dominated by MAS and SIA's like bamboo in the wind. Sometimes it leans this way, other times that way - depending on which way the wind blows.

AirAsia's Fernandes upbeat on Singapore-KL route
Posted: 12 January 2007 1845 hrs
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stori...252175/1/.html

SINGAPORE - Malaysia's low-cost travel aviation pioneer Tony Fernandes said Friday he was optimistic a decision to liberalise the lucrative Singapore-Kuala Lumpur route would come by June.

"I think it is going to be this year. I think before June we should see something happen," the chief executive of AirAsia said in Singapore.

"It's just a feeling you get," he told reporters, adding "the pace of liberalisation is moving very quickly" within the region.

Fernandes' AirAsia has campaigned hard for access to the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur route which is dominated by Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines.

The two carriers account for 85 percent of traffic on the 30-minute route between the two cities, with a confirmed round-trip ticket departing from Singapore costing more than 450 Singapore dollars (294 US) including taxes.

Should AirAsia be granted access to the route, Fernandes said a one-way ticket would start from 60 dollars based on the ultra-successful low cost model of his company.

"Our model is all about stimulation. I think there is a lot of pent up demand here from both sides," he said, adding AirAsia's entry into the route would hardly impact the market position of Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines.

Fernandes was speaking after signing an aircraft components maintenance contract worth 130 million US dollars with Singapore Technologies Aerospace (ST Aerospace) in the city-state.
Related post where the bamboo was blown the other way: KL - Singapore route to remain high cost only
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Religious Learnings for make better Glorious Nation of Malaysia

I said it first in A Solution to the Article 11 Impasse

"The process of conversion must include complete legal resolution of EVERY aspect of the prospective convert's non-Muslim life where it might become a matter of secular & Islamic contention in the future. Anything less and the conversion cannot take place. Anything less must invalidate the conversion attempt!

Therefore, the answer is to compel a prospective convert to satisfactorily resolve all his/her non-Muslim affairs before conversion..."
The Mufti of Perak said it next in Didn't I tell you (AGAIN!) the conversion process needs to be tightened?
"... once they understood the religion, only then should their applications (for conversion) be looked into, processed and approved.

... the Islamic Development Dept (JAKIM) and the state religious authorities must come up with clearer guidelines on the matter"
Now, Chandra Muzaffar, president of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST), says it in a Sun2Surf article: From fiqh to Quran: Resolving apostasy
"One of the most urgent tasks facing the nation in 2007 is to establish clear, unambiguous rules on the entry and exit of a person from a particular religion. When a person enters a religion, there should be incontrovertible documentary evidence of his decision. Likewise, when a person exits a religion he should have concrete proof of his action, acceptable to all parties concerned. These rules should apply to all religions and should be effectively enforced."
You've now got 3 esteemed persons, veritable giants in their areas of influence... okay, okay... 2 esteemed persons and 1 loud mouthed blogger who shoots from the hip...

So, now you've got 3 opinions from 3 very diverse backgrounds, with basically the same prescription for our country's inter-religious disease:

Tighten up on conversion!

Why is nobody listening to us?

iPhone: "You had me at scrolling"

Holy cow, this iPhone is going to be something else.

I don't know, but the holy grail is looking less and less like the Nokia N95 (preview here!), and more and more like the iPhone. I just hope it can play media (music and movies) that is not purchased from Apple iTunes. This, to most OUS (Outside US) customers, will be the deal breaker.

Enjoy all 9 parts of Steve Job's keynote demo at Macworld 2007 introducing the iPhone. The phone is amazing, and it comes with 4GB and 8GB versions.

The multi touch screen is indeed revolutionary. Multi-directional keys, joysticks, arrow keys and styluses are now officially obsolete! Like the phrase that Steve Jobs used: "You had me at scrolling".


1 Intro (iPod + Phone + Internet)

2 User Interface

3 Design

4 THE TOUCH SCREEN! plus Music & Movies

5 Phone

6 SMS & Pictures/Camera

7 Internet (Wi-Fi and EDGE)

8 Safari browser

9 Widgets & Google Maps

I'm not sure if there's a 10th video, but I'll make sure I put it up here if there is.

And here's a link to an excellent pictorial of the demo with pictures of all the key points: http://www.engadget.com/2007/01/09/the-apple-iphone/

Monday, January 08, 2007

Sunway Pyramid Toll Hike Protest

A large protest against the recent toll hikes article was conducted in front of Sunway Pyramid on Sunday 7th Jan 2007.

Sun2Surf has this story on their website. Funny though, how NOT ONE WORD of this protest appears in NST Online nor The Star Online. Rocky's Bru has an interesting take on why the 2 major dailies are treating this piece of news like a prostitute with herpes. More stuff on the toll hikes from Jeff Ooi's Screenshots.



Above photo linked from Sun2Surf (html link above).
Remainder below linked from JeffOoi.com (html link above)







White man still the boss. Phoooi!

An ad in this week's The Edge Singapore for luxury condos shows a bunch of grovelling, subservient Asians pandering to a lordly gwailo prick.

I'm surprised if this ad attracts any Singaporeans. I'll be more surprised if it doesn't offend any Singaporeans.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The Real 'Social Contract'

Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman is a man almost unknown to most from my generation, and virtually invisible to the generations later. We knew him best as the dude that Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) in KL was named after.

In the NST article ‘The Tunku never acknowledged my worth publicly...’ [first of an enlighting series of articles on NST about this early UMNO stalwart], we are shown more insight of what truly constitutes the 'social contract' and 'special position of Malays' - which has proven to be dual thorns in the side of race relations in this country.

The social contract is bandied about by the politicians at every opportunity. It is blatantly used as an excuse to implement racially discriminatory policies and any discourse on it is labelled insensitive. And young non-bumi Malaysians are expected to comply and submit, as they are supposedly bound by the 'social contract' agreed to by their grandparents.

In any case, it is commonly believed [and we are frequently reminded by UMNO] that the social contract consitutes the granting of citizenship for Chinese & Indians, in exchange for their acceptance of the 'special position of Malays'

Taken from an article from NECF entitled 'Social Contract'
http://www.necf.org.my/

In his speech at the Asia Media Summit in April 2005, the Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Abdullah Badawi, cited Malaysia as a successful example where social contract had ensured peace and stability for 50 years.

"Perhaps the most significant aspect of the contract was the agreement by the indigenous people to grant citizenship to the immigrant Chinese and Indians. Chinese and Indians now sit in the federal Cabinet and state executive councils. In return, the immigrant communities agreed to special economic privileges for the indigenous people given their disadvantaged position."
That's what you and I have been told all these years, but... according to Tun Dr Ismail [in NST's article referred above], that is untrue and a misconception!
The leaders of the Alliance concluded that in an independent Malaya, there should be one language to unify the various races into one nation. The obvious choice was Malay.

It was imperative that if the Chinese — the real political problem since the other races were not dominant — were to be persuaded into accepting Malay as the national language, they should be granted citizenship as a quid pro quo

This was the real basis of the agreement between the three partners, particularly between the Malay and the Chinese.
There you have it!

In no uncertain terms, the deal was that: Citizenship was granted, in exchange for the use of the Malay language. NOT in exchange for the special position of Malays.

So what is the basis then, for the special position of Malays? According to Tun Dr Ismail, the special position is a privilege accorded to the underprivileged..., not a birthright entitled to a certain race.
This proved a less intractable problem because the leaders of the Alliance realised the practical necessity of giving the Malays a handicap if they were to compete on equal terms with the other races.

The only point of controversy was the duration of the ‘special position’ — should there be a time limit or should it be permanent? I made a suggestion which was accepted, that the question be left to the Malays themselves because I felt that as more and more Malays became educated and gained self-confidence, they themselves would do away with this ‘special position’.

In itself, this ‘special position’ is a slur on the ability of the Malays and only to be tolerated because it is necessary as a temporary measure to ensure their survival in the modern competitive world: a world to which only those in the urban areas had been exposed.

This analysis provides insight into how Dr Ismail perceived the Malayan situation. What is striking is Dr Ismail’s belief that the Malays would do the right thing in the long run, as well as his faith in the Alliance as a model of government capable of meeting these challenges taken as a whole.
As you can read, the privileges enjoyed by the Malays is supposed to be ONLY as long as their economic disadvantages warranted it. It is a 'TEMPORARY' measure, to be removed as soon as the necessity for it ended. It is NOT a birthright ie. permanent freebie given to someone for simply being born Malay or bumiputra.

With it, Malays are supposed to work even harder to make up lost ground. It is an INTIATIVE, NOT an ALTERNATIVE to hard work. It is supposedly something shameful to be 'TOLERATED'. It is NOT meant to be worn as a badge of pride and wielded as a keris to demand concessions from other races.

Tun Dr Ismail's revelations directly rejects the concept of Ketuanan Melayu which is being seen as one of the ways the special position manifests itself.

He also outright rejects the notion of granting privileges to the rich and powerful, even if they be Malay. In fact, he categorises urban Malays as having been exposed to the 'modern competitive world', and [by my interpretation] should already be in a position to ensure their own 'survival'.

And THAT, folks... is the real social contract.
Read Lee Kuan Yew's take on the social contract: The Original Quest for a Malaysian Malaysia

All hail Datuk Jean Todt, Grand Officier of the Légion d’honneur

Jean Todt's just on a roll. He was just made a Datuk of the Malaysian state of Trengganu not so long ago, and now he's a Legionnaire of Honour... a Grand Officier, which is France's 2nd highest honour no less.

To keep up, looks like the Sultan of Trengganu (now the reigning DYMM Yang DiPertuan Agung) will need to give him a Tan Sri, which our second highest honour (in rank lah, though the large number of recipients might not convey the same prestige).

Todt receives prestigious honour
Friday, 05, January, 2007
http://www.itv-f1.com/News_Article.aspx?PO_ID=38203

Ferrari CEO Jean Todt has received further recognition for his work at the Italian squad, by being awarded France’s second highest honour.

The Frenchman has been made a Grand Officier of the Légion d’honneur, six years after he became a Commandeur by his home country's Prime Ministry.

The Légion d'honneur is the premier honour in France, with the Grand Cross the highest of five classes in the order.
Other related posts:
- On Todt's datukship: All hail Datuk Seri Ferrari
- Info on the honours of Malaysia and UK: Sir Datuk Seri
Todt's the white dude on the left looking on approvingly as his Malaysian wife works her charms.

Monday, January 01, 2007

MCA to safeguard interests of Malaysian Chinese... HAHAHAHA...

MCA President, Ong Ka Ting pledges to safeguard Chinese interests - says theStar Online in 'MCA to ensure all Chinese interests are safeguarded'.

He said the Malaysian Chinese Economic Consultative Council, which was jointly formed by the MCA and Chinese guilds and associations, would continue to research and examine the economic policies to ensure that the interests of all Chinese were safeguarded.

The MCA will be persistent in its stand to disallow the implementation of any policies that are outdated, said party president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting.
Is that so? Are you sure? Does this mean Ong Tee Keat will get his ass kicked again by UMNO for simply stating an inconvenient fact?

Read this: Whose interests do MCA, MIC and Gerakan truly represent?
“The efforts made by the MCA are also aimed at ensuring that more Chinese professionals would join government-linked companies.
Really? Will you be helping Datuk Liew Chook San get his job back at Penang state GLC, PBA Holdings Bhd? Gerakan hasn't done this part very well... I wonder what MCA can do?

Read this: Ejection of Chinese CEO of Penang GLC not political worrr...
Ong said the party had successfully fought for the establishment of nine new Chinese primary schools and had received approvals for the relocation of 58 Chinese primary schools from 1999 until last year.
Personally, I'm against how the Chinese school system has been implemented in Malaysia. I'm against how Malaysian Chinese spend their own money to educate their children in semi govt SMJKs and private chinese schools, but then also foot 80% of the tax bill [apparently lah] to educate everyone else's children in fully government schools [which they won't send their kids to], including residential ones [which they can't].

Chinese schools in Malaysia need to be funded exactly the same as fully govt schools ie. fully funded. If you pay the same tax as everyone else, you should get fully funded education like everyone else.

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2007

I hope everyone had a satisfactory new year's countdown. The Thais sure did a 'bang up' job [pun intended] preparing for it... with 2 dead, many more injured. Anyway, it's my birthday today, errr... yesterday... [yes, on 31st December]..., and I'm not getting any younger. So please bear with me if I don't sound very chipper about this whole new year thing.

It's been a so-so year for me and the people important to me. Health has been an issue in 2006, and is something I pray improves next year.

Money has been okay.. economy's good this year, but there is [of course] much room to improve for a salary slave like me. I still can't afford a dang car in this ridiculous car-hating country.

And lastly, romance... sigh... I guess you'll know it's looking up when you notice this blog being updated less and less. Judging from the large number of posts this month (Dec 06), don't hold your breath, but here's to hoping ;p

So, to another year of blogging, calling a spade a spade, and using the damn thing to dig between the lines.

Cheers. Have a good holiday.