Not sure if Fifth Gear read my earlier post (Euro vs JDM - Civic Type R specifications only review), but they decided to do a track shootout in episode 3 of the current season. The conclusion... was I right or WAS I RIGHT?
Anyway, Fifth Gear provided some performance figures for the JDM CTR that I was not able to find. A sub-6 second century dash [vs the Euro's 7.0s (Honda Sg website) or 6.6s (Fifth Gear)] and a top speed of 160mph / 256kmh [vs the Euro's 231kmh (Honda Sg website) / 140mph (Fifth Gear)].
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Not sure if Fifth Gear read my earlier post (Euro vs JDM - Civic Type R specifications only review), but they decided to do a track shootout in episode 3 of the current season. The conclusion... was I right or WAS I RIGHT?
The Singapore F1 GP will be held next year on 28 Sept 2008. And yesterday, exactly one year before the race, FIA gave its approval for the finalised track layout. The finalisation of the track layout sets everything else in motion.., from roadworks, additional construction to the recruitment of race marshalls and volunteers.
Now the only question that remains is whether the race will be held at night. Confirmation will only come early next year but current lighting trials overseas are promising. In any case, the official Singapore GP website is optimistic. They've got their countdown targeting a race start of 8PM.
Go here for the news report on ChannelNewsAsia. It's filed under the date-category of 28 Sept 2007 with the title: 'Countdown to F1 race on 28 Sep 2008 begins, night race pending.'
Friday, September 28, 2007
Malaysiakini has this headline: Is the tape authentic? That's the panel's ONLY job.
The Star confirms this by quoting the Chairman of the panel, Haidar Mohd Noor as saying:
Haidar pointed out that the panel’s terms of reference “is very clear” – to check on the authenticity of the video clip. -OK... then here's a simple question.
Since all we're concerned with is the authenticity of the Lingam video, then why don't we just send the video to the FBI along with Nurin's web-cam recording?
I'm sure the FBI would be able to do a much better job getting to the bottom of the video, than two former judges and a professional collector of directors' fees (apparently all of unquestionable integrity, we're told by our DPM... and there I was... thinking that integrity was earned by a history of honest deeds rather than granted by executive order,.. silly me).
You know what..., you don't even need the FBI... the American CSI, especially the teams in Las Vegas (night shift), Miami and New York, have been known to do some amazing things with evidence analysis. I bet they can confirm a forensic match for the face on the video to Lingam's IC photo and by analysing the background noise, they can tell you if there was indeed someone on the other end of the phone call, who it was and what he said.
So, if authenticity is all we're concerned about, isn't the FBI a better technical choice? Unquestionability of integrity aside.
I wonder if the fact that the "independent" panel of unquestionable integrity -
(1) derives virtually all its power of investigation and inquiry from the leftover (read: tampered) evidence of our police and other govt agencies (also of unquestionable integrity);
(2) Cannot actually make contact with those implicated (??? WTF?); and
(3) has to submit its findings first (for appending and amending, I presume) - to the very Cabinet of Unequestionable Integrity, some of whom might possibly have their integrity questioned by the video;
... have anything to do with not choosing the FBI? (refer to 'How the Panel works)
And does that mean the cabinet member who obviously has the highest unquestionable integrity - especially when he insisted that there was "No crisis, no problem. I don't see any scandal" - could actually be the first one [and quite possibly the only one] to read the panel's report in its original, unamended form?
Despite all the chaps with unquestionable integrity - ummm, I choose the FBI.
According to NST, Beyonce Knowles has shown the finger to religious zealots and moralistic morons in Malaysia.
The much anticipated concert by bootylicious Beyonce Knowles in November has been called off.At the risk of sounding like Oprah Winfrey...
It is learnt that the concert, which would have been the first by the sexy R&B singer in Malaysia, will not go on as planned, as many organisations are against it.
Pineapple Concert chairman Razlan Razali refused to comment but said that a statement would be issued today.
However, in the last few weeks, rumours had been rife that the concert was called off as Beyonce had apparently refused to adhere to the government's dress code.
"You go, girl!"
Lots of pictures of the Bar Council's Walk for Justice from Screenshots, Sun2Surf, Malaysia-Today and the Bar's website.
For me, these 2 pictures from Screenshots probably best tell the story of the socio-political condition in Malaysia right now.
On one side, are the people are on the streets, demanding that their voices be heard. Demanding that the institutions of democracy, good governance, religious freedom and rule of law be restored to their rightful places.
On the other side, are the politicians and bureaucrats sitting in their ultra-luxurious offices in ridiculously expensive complexes which irrelevance is only surpassed by the even more ridiculous amounts of public funds squandered by those who walk their halls.
And finally, the police and armed forces stand in the middle, blocking the way of the people, protecting the politicians. Do they not remember where their true allegiances lie? That they should be protecting the people from criminals, and not the other way around?
Also read Malaysiakini and Screenshots about how the Internal Ministry sent explicit 'instructions' to the mainstream media not to feature the Walk for Justice with any prominence.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
I never fancied lawyers very much. I resent the fact that they charge too much (a few thousand ringgit to photocopy a Sale & Purchase agreement?...) and as the native Americans would say, 'man in black suit speak with forked tongue' or f*cked tongue... (same difference though).
So as the voices against Sauron... oops Pak Lah's govt, grew (the Lingam video being the latest sensational news), and as the govt changed its stance from ignoring those voices to silencing them... imagine my surprise that the Malaysian Bar Council has turned out to be the foremost defenders of public voice, governmental & judicial integrity and most importantly, the primacy of the constitution and the (civil) laws of Malaysia. Here's a professional organisation that's actually willing to take a stand for what's right, even if it antagonises the govt (thereby putting their rice bowls on the line). For that, they have earned my respect.
Today, a march to Mordor... oops, Putrajaya was organised by the Bar Council. See Walk for justice ends with memo submission on Malaysiakini. Kudos to the Bar Council and I promise I'll never make any more lawyer jokes... well.., I promise I'll try not to.
And speaking of websites, the Bar Council website, malaysianbar.org.my, has morphed into a really good socio-political website. Frequently updated with news from paysite Malaysiakini (good for impoverished homeless bloggers like me), insightful editorials and legalistic viewpoints into current events. I find it as enlightening a read as my usual bevy of alt-news blogs. It's a refreshing difference from the usual postings and announcements about meetings, new by-laws and CPD (Continuing Professional Development) events that you usually find on these professional association websites. Give it a go.
And the perfect pair of breasts belong to...
by ANN LEE - Monday, September 24, 2007 It's every woman's dream to have perfect breasts and one cosmetic surgeon claims to have found a formula for the best chest.
Patrick Mallucci spent hours scrutinising photos of topless models in lads magazines and tabloid newspapers - all in the name of research – as he formulated his theory. [Photo inset: Caprice... The perfect breasts]
The model breast has a nipple that points slightly up with an upper half that is a bit smaller than the bottom half, according to the cosmetic surgeon who will outline his findings in a lecture titled Concepts in Design for Breast Augmentation.
“The ideal is a 45 to 55 per cent proportion – that is the nipple sits not at the half-way mark down the breast, but at about 45 per cent from the top,” Mr Mallucci told the Daily Mail.
He will present his formula, which he hopes will be used by other surgeons, at the first international conference on breast enlargement in London this week.
“I studied a wide variety of photographs of the most popular topless models to work out the various proportions they had in common and what made those particular features attractive,” said Mr Malluicci, who only studied pictures of models who had not had breast enlargements.
“These findings allowed me to form a template around which to plan a breast augmentation, and set a standard of aesthetics.”
According to Mr Mallucci, the best breasts belonged to model Caprice Bourret while the worst were Victoria Beckham's “unnaturally round globes”.
He is one of the founding surgeons of Mybreast.org, which shares best practice on breast enlargement.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Turkey's Prime Minister Gul is seen as an Islamist in his home country, and a regular target of criticism from Islamophobes in Turkey and the EU.
In responding to critics of his religious agenda, he gives the Turkish people and the EU an assurance...
Turkey CANNOT be like Malaysia... or Iran.1. Malaysia has become an example of what NOT to be.
Pak Lah was right you know. Malaysia has become an example for Muslim countries. Like the smelly homeless chap holding the tin cup, that mothers warn their schoolchildren about if they don't study hard... we've become a bad example.
And coming from what is really the only other 'democratic progressive' country with a Muslim majority (besides perhaps Indonesia) and the fact the Gul's presidency was on the back of a conservative religious ticket, this dubious honour is doubly harsh.
2. It draws a parallel between Malaysia and Iran, in terms of UNattractiveness.
And if that is not an utterly damning statement of Malaysia's reputation (or disrepute), I don't what is.
Read these articles from Turkish newspapers :
- Gül: Should Headscarved Women Stay at Home? (Bianet)
- Turkey would never turn into another Malaysia (Sabah)
And also Lim Kit Siang's blog which clued me in on to this.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Update 4 Oct 07: Astrocannot is also Cosmocannot
According to The Star, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar is our astronaut. According to Malaysiakini, he's a part-time model AND astronaut.
According to NASA however, he's neither Astronaut, nor Cosmonaut (ie. Russki ler)... but get this... he's a "Spaceflight Participant". In NASA-speak... that basically means baggage. The kind a space crew needs as much as you'd need a pair of testicles growing out of your forehead.
And the website also has short descriptions of what each person will be doing on the mission:The Expedition 16 crew members pose for a portrait at the Johnson Space Center. From the left (front row) are Russia’s Federal Space Agency cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, flight engineer and Soyuz commander; astronaut Peggy Whitson, commander; and Malaysian spaceflight participant Sheikh Muzhaphar Shukor. From the left (back row) are European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Léopold Eyharts, astronaut Garrett Reisman and astronaut Dan Tani, all flight engineers.
Commander Peggy A. Whitson - Whitson is the commander for Expedition 16. This is her second tour of duty aboard the station. She also was a flight engineer and science officer for Expedition 5 in 2002. Whitson also worked underwater as a NEEMO 5 crew member in 2003. + BiographyEveyone's either a flight engineer or the commander. But what will our jaguh kampung will be doing?...
Flight Engineer Daniel M. Tani - Tani will fly to the station aboard space shuttle Discovery on STS-120 and join Expedition 16 as a flight engineer. He will return home aboard space shuttle Atlantis on mission STS-122. + Biography
Spaceflight Participant Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor - Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor will launch with Expedition 16 and land with Expedition 15. + [no Biography linked].Ahem... that's as concise as it gets... he go up, waste some oxygen, and he come down. And THAT folks is what our tax-payer millions is paying for. Wasteful and grossly misplaced national pride. Well... that and a live test on the trajectory of ejaculate when one masturbates in space. Because judging from the amount of respect our 'space flight participant' is getting from NASA, wanking will be about all he's allowed to do.
Also read how I insulted our space flight participant earlier on Outer Space - The Final Frontier for Malaysia Bodoh... oops Boleh.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
The legal counsel for T.Saravanan, Subashini's estranged dubiously converted husband - submitted his argument yesterday. You can find it on Sun2Surf and Malaysiakini. Their headlines are ominous... Civil courts have no jurisdiction: Counsel and Subashini can "submit" to Syariah Court, respectively.
Apart from citing the arguments of Article 3(1) that Islam is the religion of the Federation and Article 121(A) regarding the jurisdiction of the syariah court over matters of Islamic law, he said:
...Saravanan could not subject himself to the civil courts because he had converted to Islam. However, Subashini could go to the civil court or choose to go to the syariah court.Just because the syariah court deems itself fit to make judgements over non-Muslims DOES NOT mean that non-Muslims need to submit themselves to the judgements of the syariah court. As far as the Federal Constitution and non-Muslims are concerned, the judgements of the syariah court are as binding on non-Muslims as the raspy shouts of the my angry old neighbour are over where my dog takes a dump in my garden.
Hence, he argued, the non-Muslim – in this case, Subashini -- should go to the syariah court instead of preventing the Muslim party from seeking justice.
Similar or better remedies were available to the non-Muslim spouse under syariah jurisprudence.
But here is the greatest FLAW in Saravanan's argument, which ironically is also its main thrust.
Haniff said the civil marriage between Subashini and Saravanan ended under Islamic law upon the husband’s conversion.Uhhh... I'm sorry, I'm just as unversed in Conman Law as I am in Ekornomics.
Isn't a marriage a contract, an arrangement, an agreement between 2 parties? And being such, can one party take unilateral actions to change the terms of the agreement? Doesn't both parties have to mutually agree on any changes to the contracted terms?
Can someone like Saravanan come to my coffeeshop one evening and consume RM1,000 of Guinness Stout on his tab, then he converts to Islam the next day and reneges on his contractual obligation to pay his RM1,000 tab on the argument that Muslims are not allowed to be party to a contract that involves things that are haram? Notwithstanding the fact that he had already gotten nicely pissed drunk on my booze which he hasn't paid for yet? Is that fair?
So, we cannot, as decent, right-minded people accept such blatantly mischievous attempts by irresponsible persons to renege on their legal obligations by backdoor means, such as conversions. In addition, I am surprised no end, as to why the syariah court allows itself to be manipulated like a puppet on a string by insincere converts, time and time again.
May I submit that Saravanan's conversion does not end a civil marriage, but merely provides grounds for it to end within the confines and continued jurisdiction of civil law?
And if we take the indisputable logic of timeline further, isn't it reasonable to conclude that Saravanan's conversion is illegal in the first place, as he was still encumbered by his civil law marriage, before and at the time of conversion?
If his civil marriage was not important or 'haram' enough to void his conversion from the start, how can it now, suddenly be so important as to be automatically void due to the conversion?
For my view on how conversions needs to be in a civilised Malaysia, read A Solution to the Article 11 Impasse.
To read Subashini's argument, see 'Subashini matters'.
Here's other background reading on how all this impacts the lives and loves of non-Muslims in Malaysia: - http://sean-the-man.blogspot.com/search?q=subashini
This is a website that allows you to check your status as a voter. All you need to do is enter your IC number.
Mine looks okay, but apparently th blogauthor of Rocky's Bru found out that he's a voter in Gopeng / Simpang Pulai (Parlimen / DUN) when he's never even registered as a voter. He's not even from nor ever resided in Perak.
So, since the website's just... like sitting there - take the 2 minutes and check if you're a PHANTOM VOTER like Rocky. Who knows? You might have voted BN for every election in the past without even knowing it!
Btw, you might wanna forgive the Election Commission for not being able to spell half their name correctly. The word 'Commission' is spelt as 'Comission'. EC's employing more 'glokal' graduates, I presume? Plus the fact that this webpage is for checking the 'Electoral' Roll, rather than the 'Electors' Roll.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
The UMNO-led outrage over the flag burning incident during the opposition protest where 2 unarmed protestors were shot shows no signs of abating.
Below is the photo that was carried by the mainstream press and broadcasters... and as someone must have calculated, sparked a big hue and cry over the alleged desecration of the Malaysian flag.
But before you jump on the bandwagon and throw both your hands up wailing that the incident is a national insult by a member of the opposition party, a blogger named mohdnasir has posted an analysis of the photo on his blog.
He basically picks apart individual elements of the photograph and puts up some arguments as to why he thinks that it is a doctored, photoshopped picture comprising of superimposed images.
And I have to say, his conclusions are intriguing.
The colour tone of the flag is too uniform and unrealistic, since it was night time.
Kita lihat gambar bendera yang dipegang oleh pemuda itu. Ia jelas satu lukisan bukan satu imej bendera sebenar. Tone warna bendera itu sekata dan ini amat tidak realistik memandangkan suasana ketika itu adalah waktu malam.
Warna jalur merahnya, robekan bendera di sebelah bawah, lambang bulan-bintang berlatarbelakangkan biru dan asap apinya juga tampak jelas semuanya adalah dilukis dan rekaan semata-mata kerana satu hal yang tidak logik malah tidak mungkin sebaran asap itu mempunyai bentuk kaku yang tidak realistik. (lihat kawasan yang ditandakan dengan garis)
Many aspects of the flag, from the stripes, the folds at the bottom, the crescent moon, stars, blue background and the smoke are clearly drawn as a separate construct.
The frozen appearance of the smoke is unrealistic. Look at the area that has been outlined.
Kita lihat pula pemuda yang mencangkung seraya membakar bendera itu.A. The hand of the flag-burning youth and the images of the trousers and sarong of the 2 people behind him are clearly superimposed.
Imej pemuda itu jelas ditampal kerana kecacatan yang wujud di sekurang-kurangnya 3 tempat:
A. Tempelan adalah ketara di tangan pemuda itu dengan imej seluar dan kain pelikat dua orang pemuda di belakangnya.
B. Apabila imej itu diteliti dengan resolusi yang tinggi kita akan dapat melihat kesan tampalan di aliran badan pemuda yang mencangkung itu.
C. Kedudukan bayang-bayang pemuda itu salah kerana aliran cahaya dari hadapan tidak memungkinkan bayang-bayang untuk berada tepat di atas objek.
B. When the image is viewed in high resolution, we can see the effects of superimposition around the silhouette of the squatting youth.
C. The position of the shadow under the youth is incorrect as it is impossible for the light source (which is in front) to throw a shadow that corresponds to a light source which is directly on top of the youth.
Close up of point (C).
Malaysiakini even goes so far as to post a 'reconstruction' of that night's events based on first person accounts - I'm not sure though if it corroborates this analysis of the photograph.
Not withstanding that, what do I think?
I think mohdnasir makes a very sound argument. I think we should all take this photograph with a large pinch of salt. If nothing else, the persistent efforts of UMNO to talk only about this flag burning (as if to crowd out all other current events that have cropped up since, from the public eye) DEMANDS that we place their efforts and hence, their 'evidence' under intense scrutiny.
Read here for Malaysia-Today's take on UMNO's insistence on pursuing the flag-burning issue. RPK makes an excellent point, which I'm about to paraphrase. Why does UMNO feel so angered and outraged by bloggers, youtube rappers and flag-burners (when these incidents are ultimately trivial and superficial) and yet, they feel no shame, nor experience as compelling a call to action when confronting rampant corruption, police shootings, racial & religious extremism and spiralling crime?
Here's the 18-race calendar for 2008, with new street races in Valencia and Singapore on the agenda. Both new venues still require circuit approvals, while the Canadian Grand Prix remains provisional.
Revised 2008 Formula 1 calendar (source: itv.com)The Singapore F1 GP will be on 28 Sept 2008. Hotel rates are said to go up 4-fold during F1 weekend. So, I'm now taking applications for the use of the 2nd bedroom in my flat. Please include in the application a full-length picture, your vital statistics and what you'll be willing to do ;p
Mar 16 - Melbourne, Australia
Mar 23 - Sepang, Malaysia
Apr 6 - Sakhir, Bahrain
Apr 27 - Barcelona, Spain
May 11 - Istanbul Park, Turkey
May 25 - Monte Carlo, Monaco
June 8 - Montreal, Canada*
June 22 - Magny-Cours, France
July 6 - Silverstone, Great Britain
July 20 - Hockenheim, Germany
Aug 3 - Hungaroring, Hungary
Aug 24 - Valencia, Europe**
Sep 7 - Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
Sep 14 - Monza, Italy
Sep 28 - Singapore**
Oct 12 - Fuji, Japan
Oct 19 - Shanghai, China
Nov 2 - Interlagos, Brazil
** subject to circuit approval
For other blogposts on Singapore F1 GP, see here.
The victim is aged between 8 and 10, is 150cm tall, fair skinned, weighs 18kg, has curly short hair, a sharp nose and a birth mark on her left thigh.The card reads "Rest in peace with god. Malaysians will not let you die in vain."
The child's naked body was found stuffed in a foetal position inside a gym bag on Monday morning. The bag was left in front of a shoplot in PJS 1/48.
Petaling Jaya police chief ACP Arjunaidi Mohamed said a post-mortem conducted by the Kuala Lumpur Hospital showed that the girl died of an infection. Her intestines had ruptured after foreign objects were forced into her private parts. There was no trace of semen.-NST did a very emotional piece today on this. Read also Malaysiakini and The Star.
Arjunaidi said bruises on her body suggested that she was tortured before she died.
I sincerely hope they catch the monster that did this. But alas, I fear we might have to... [ie. let her die in vain].
What is the PDRM doing about this? Why do cases need to be sensational and shocking before the police do their job like they are supposed to?
Were we not promised better public safety, faster investigations and higher criminal convictions after the recent spate of violent robberies and rapes?
What can we hope for from a police force that has only 7% of it's personnel actually investigating and fighting criminals? (source: DAP's The Rocket newsletter).
May we ask what the 33% actually do when they are classified under administrative staff? Collecting fines and processing salary increases?
And is our country so ridden with internal subterfuge and public disorder that you need to have 39% of the force doing Internal Security (33%) and Special Branch (6%)? Do we need 39% of the police force fully engaged in the govt's fight against bloggers, youtube rappers and alleged flag burners?
Maybe we do... a case in point is where the Johor police dept sent 100 officers to control merely 200 peaceful protestors just because they were protesting in front of the Menteri Besar's house. (Read To Protect & Serve... Who?).
How many more need to stabbed, robbed, raped and tortured before our boys in blue realise that there is something very wrong with a police force that allocates only 7% of their effort to protect the people against crime, but allocates 33% to paperwork and 39% to protecting politicians from the people?
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Is it just me, or is that chickadee looking directly at the guy's crotch?
And does her hand look like it's reaching out to grab something.. and it ain't no bottle of beer?
It REALLY doesn't get any better than this, you know. Damn, I need to buy more beer. Need to attract more babes to my crotch ;p
One question though... does she need to drink the beer, or do I - in order to get the desired outcome?
This print ad should be all over the papers by today. IMHO, it'd make a pretty good cover for a Private (*wink*) DVD too.
This follows my previous post on UPM: Universiti Perompakan Malaysia (trans: M'sian Univ. of Robbery)
In this Malaysiakini video, student Yee Yang Yang (damn... he must get loads of crap about his name) relates his story of what happened during "the robbery".
I reckon Yee's account basically re-confirms the high-handed thuggery and buffoonery that the public has come to expect from UPM's "authorities".
But did you catch the last few sentences of Yee's statement in the video... about his visit to the police station to make a report?
What?! TIDAK DIBENARKAN? Since when does the police have the right to refuse taking police reports? Isn't accepting and investigating police reports a basic and fundamental duty of the PDRM? The IGP needs to investigate and penalise (if necessary) the police personnel concerned... but I've got a bad feeling that we'll be watching cows come home instead.
Kami pun bercadang pergi ke balai polis to melaporkan polis.
Masa ke balai polis, pihak polis pun cakap tadi pihak sekolah pun sudah ada call kami. Mereka janji akan bagi balik pada hari Isnin, iaitu hari ini. Jadi kami tidak dibenarkan untuk melaporkan polis.
- ad verbatim, Yee Yang Yang on Malaysiakini.
Read here for more on the refusal of some police personnel to accept reports.
Subashini, her converted-to-Muslim husband, and their 2 kids (whose religions are in dispute)... are in the news again.
The Sun: http://www.sun2surf.com/article.cfm?id=19371
[Subashini's] argument would revolve around the jurisdictional issue between the civil and syariah courts. [T]hey would submit that the High Court, and not the syariah court, had the jurisdiction to decide on disputes involving non-Muslims.If you were in a vacuum of socio-political awareness for the last 6 month's or so, here's some background reading and how all this impacts the lives and loves of non-Muslims in Malaysia: - http://sean-the-man.blogspot.com/search?q=subashini
Subashini is seeking a divorce from Saravanan, who had embraced Islam, custody of their two young sons and maintenance payments. She is also challenging his right to convert their first son without her consent.
The high court had earlier rejected her application for an injunction to restrain Saravanan from proceeding with his plans to annul their marriage and seek custody of the older child, as Saravanan had already filed a similar suit with the syariah court.
However, the high court granted her a temporary injunction pending her appeal to the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal, in a majority decision on March 12, turned down her appeal for an injunction against her husband.
However, on March 30, another panel of judges gave her a temporary injunction pending the outcome of her leave application to the Federal Court. The Federal Court allowed the application and the appeal proper was briefly heard yesterday. It resumes tomorrow.
Read also: A Solution to the Article 11 Impasse on how religious conversions in Malaysia need to be tightened and restricted.
Monday, September 17, 2007
What do you call it when someone forcibly takes away your possessions and keeps it against your will?
If 'you' are a criminal and 'someone' means the police AND they have a court order... that's called appropriation of evidence.
But when 'you' are a student and 'someone' means the school jaga (ie. university 'security') and the only authority they have is a nightstick... that's called ROBBERY.
Everyone's putting in their 2cents about political conspiracies and campus elections. To a simple t-shirt and shorts kinda guy like me.., it's just robbery, pure and simple. And robbery's exactly what we've got in UPM or Universiti Perompakan Malaysia.
Firstly, a bit of background from screenshots:
According to documentary evidence made public, so had begun interference by university personnel, who tactically harassed student groups who are non pro-establishmentHere's the video and blurb on Malaysiakini:
Friday night, 4 staff members of the student affairs department (HEP) in Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Serdang, raided the room of Yee Yang Yang, a first-year student in Hostel 13 who is a member of a pro-student grouping.
He was interrogated from 11pm to 1am, and his laptop, handphone, MP4 player, 2 pendrives, leaflets and personal documents were confiscated.
Via Malaysiakini: According to Yee, the security guards were conducting a spot check on two rooms in his hostel with his room being one of them.
Yee was then subjected to a interrogation session where the security guards had allegedly demanded to know why he was involved in politics.
“I asked them: You (security guards) said earlier that you were looking for a stolen mobile phone, why are you asking me about politics?” said Yee when contacted.
The HEP staff, commanded by a UPM personnel identified as Jamali of the Unit Tugas Khas, left without giving any written acknowledgment of the items confiscated.
The following morning, other students went to the HEP office and demanded that the university's personnel give the raided student a written acknowledgment.
This video depicts several Universiti Putra Malaysia students confronting university's security personnel for refusing to issue an inventory of possessions following confiscation of a student's belongings.
When UPM security 'special duties unit' supervisor Zamali Haji Samsi refused, the students formed a human shield to stop him from leaving in a chauffeured car.
The students called in the police but they did not intervene. A police report was subsequently lodged over the incident.
On Friday (Sept 14) campus security had allegedly broken into the room of a student related to the group depicted in the video, and confiscating the student's laptop computer, MP4 player, pendrive, mobile phone and some documents.
The student was also allegedly interrogated on his involvement in campus politics between Friday 11pm until 1am the following day.
Harassment of students is common during campus election seasons. Campus polls are expected to be announced soon.
In the beginning, there was Rukun Tetangga trying to out-police the police. Then there was RELA. The police then showed them who's boss by shooting a couple of unarmed civilians. Now it's campus renta-cops?!
So, you still wanna study at UPM?
Additional reading: Other posts on UPM, including the infamous racist bullying incident in their canteen, which was subsequently given the faculty's stamp of approval:
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Recently, Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar was interviewed by BBC's Hardtalk about the country's treatment of its non-Malay minorities. BBC's synopsis reads:
In a HardTalk programme first broadcast on Thursday 13 September 2007, Sarah Montague talks to Malaysian Foreign Minister Dato Seri Syed Hamid Albar.Like a lot of other people, I couldn't get the BBC's Realaudio streaming of Syed Hamid Albar's Hardtalk interview to work on my laptop.
Malaysia has just marked fifty years of independence, and there's much to celebrate.
Living standards have improved immeasurably over the past five decades, illiteracy has been virtually eradicated and the economy is doing well.
But do Indian and Chinese Malaysians have as much to celebrate as the Malay population?
Sarah Montague talks to Dato Seri Syed Hamid Albar about whether the law giving preferential treatment to Malay and other indigenous groups is now outdated.
So, here's the interview on youtube. It comes in 4 parts.
So, what did you think?
Do you agree with the son of Albar Sr, the infamously anti-Chinese UMNO strongman in the 50-60s, that the NEP is justified if we look at the overall wealth of each race? Where the total wealth of Chinese exceeds that of the Malays.
My response to that is to simply reproduce Lee Kuan Yew's response to the same question nearly half a century ago, at the dawn of Malaysia.
"Of course there are Chinese millionaires in big cars and big houses. Is it the answer to make a few Malay millionaires with big cars and big houses?And that is what's making our blood boil. While 100% of non-Malays welcome the opportunity to assist ALL poor Malaysians (ie. that means poor Malays, and poor non-Malays as well), it's the rapacious enrichment of the rich Malays that anger us. It's the transformation of the concept of 'economic assistance' to 'racial entitlement' that makes us so apprehensive. It's the fact that a race-based NEP breeds institutional corruption that infuriates us.
If we delude people into believing that they are poor because there are no Malay rights or because opposition members oppose Malay rights, where are we going to end up?
They, the Malays, have the right as Malaysian citizens to go up to the level of training and education that the more competitive societies, the non-Malay society, has produced. That is what must be done, isn’t it? Not feed them with this obscurantist doctrime that all they have got to do is get Malay rights for a few special Malays and their problem has been resolved…"
Read the entire excerpt of this speech from his memoirs here.
So I ask again. Why not a means-tested NEP, rather than a race-based NEP (that does not discriminate between the rich and poor)?
In addition, since the "average" or "total" wealth of the races is used as justification... read Lesson 101: How to Justify Racial Discrimination about how I think that - as rich Malays get richer, they need to make poor Malays relatively poorer so that the "average" wealth of the overall Malay race does not exceed that of the Chinese... thereby ensuring that the rich Malays have an excuse to get richer and richer in perpetuity. Indeed, isn't the intra-racial wealth gap betweem the rich Malays and poor Malays getting wider and wider?
Do you agree that foreigners are misunderstanding Malaysia's circumstances and that the local non-Malays are actually happy and contented with the current situation?
I don't think so judging by the number of blogs and articles by disgruntled non-Malays. I think no civilised, educated and fair-minded person (non-Malay or no) can possibly condone it. Nuff said.
When I read this letter a JPA scholarship recipient sent to Malaysiakini complaining that his scholarship allowances had not been increased in next year's budget - I was incensed. I could not help blogging the responses below, which on hindsight might be a tad harsh and emotional, but which I'm sure reflects the feelings of many a Malaysian taxpayer. So, I've left my comments as is.
And note the words used in the letter - and the tone with which they were used - which I've highlighted in red! For brevity, I have also edited out some meandering bits which were of no consequence to the objective of the letter.
Budget: Hey, what about us in Egypt(Y)OUR money?! You mean MY money, don't you homie? You mean the Malaysian taxpayers' money, don't you? Let's get this straight. Scholarships are GIFTS! Not entitlements. It's not your money. It's my money... that the govt, in its 50 years of mismanagement, figures you should have.
FZ Rosli - published Sep12 on Malaysiakini.
I’m a Malaysian student currently studying in Egypt and am a JPA scholar. Ever since I was in the first year, we had been getting the same amount for scholarship, never more, which was US$220 per month which translates to RM840 per month. This year, as the US currency falls, logically we should be getting more in US dollars to be the equivalent to RM840 but surprisingly, we are still getting the same US$220. The big question is: ‘Where has our money gone?’
In any case, would you complain less if the USD exchange rate went the other way and appreciated against the ringgit? Then the RM840 will be worth less in USD terms. Would you therefore complain less if you received less than USD 220? Read your scholarship terms and conditions. Are you sure your allowances are not denominated in USD?
In October 2005, a JPA officer who came with the new students had a meeting with the old students to talk about our allowances and announced a raise of US$40. However, in the end after all the calculations were worked out, it only amounted to a raise of US$3. If you ask me, even in a poor country like Egypt, people will laugh when they know that your government gave you a raise of US$3 per month.A raise is something you get when you are drawing a salary or wage in return for providing a service. In other words, raises are for people who are gainfully employed. You, sir are not. If you have not noticed, you are merely mooching off Malaysians who are gainfully employed.
So it was with keen attention that JPA students in Egypt listened to the announcement of the 2008 Budget, with hopefulness in their eyes. Maybe the government was thinking of raising our allowance monies. Imagine our shock when Pak Lah announced that the allowances for JPA students in Egypt, New Zealand and some other countries would remain the same as they had been already been raised last year! I’m not sure whether it’s just me, or us, but seriously, we didn’t notice this ‘raise’.Raise?
Egypt, as a developing country, is hit worse than other countries when it comes to economic turmoil. Prices of essential goods have shot up over the past five years. Inflation is close to 50% and yet we are still getting the same amount of scholarship JPA students got 30 years ago.Like I said, scholarships are GIFTS. Stop talking as if we owe it to you. Since you have never been employed, you have not worked for it. And if you're like many govt scholarship recipients in the past, you'd probably stay overseas after graduating. Therefore, you won't be working for it after you graduate either.
We need the raise, we truly need the raise and we have the right to get it. But instead of getting it, Pak Lah is saying that the allowances have already been raised previously. Are people up there trying to brainwash us into believing something which is not real? It may work with some but not with all.
So HELL NO. You do not have a right to it.
Maybe the real problem is that in Egypt we don’t have a somebody’s daughter or son coming so it doesn’t matter if they don’t raise our allowances. Nobody will say a word. Thank you, Mr Budget Maker for taking care of your children first, and making sure that they get their good night’s sleep even if it is at the expense of other people. Your ‘hard work’ is truly appreciated.And at whose expense is your scholarship at? My tax payments have been funding scholarships (yours and that of other leeches like you) for the past 10 years. Those payments would have been put towards my own education or that of my loved ones, had it not been for 'your' scholarship.
So, yeah... it is at the expense of other people. Namely ME! and the countless other taxpayers like me.
It's ironic really. My parents and I paid for absolutely all my education ourselves, with not a sen from the govt. And our tax money is now paying for yours,... But you're the one who has the goddamn gall to complain about this 'arrangement'? Screw you, you P.O.S!
If you need more spending money, here's an idea... GET A F*CKING JOB! Wash plates, wait on tables, sell Amway. Show some backbone, why don'tcha, instead asking for larger handouts?
Btw... you are a JPA scholarship recipient. NOT a (JPA) scholar. A scholar is someone who has considerable and significant knowledge, skill and wisdom - to an uncommon extent - as a result of ongoing academic pursuits. Unless you received your scholarship by bettering your peers, and not by the colour of your skin (or the strings pulled by your parents) - you are no scholar.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
DAP had raised the question why there were differing Development Expenditure numbers for 2008 being presented recently. This, according to the Star, is the Finance Ministry's explanation:
The Finance Ministry has clarified that the 2008 Development Expenditure allocation (RM48.1bil) and estimated Development Expenditure (RM40bil) shown in the Economic Report are not contradictory figures in achieving the Government’s targeted fiscal deficit of 3.1% for next year.Some simple questions from a non-Ekornomics graduate:
A statement released by the ministry explained that the fiscal target was based on the estimated development expenditure, which represented the Government’s best estimate of actual expenditure in 2008.
At the same time, however, the Government was also proposing an allocation of RM48.1bil for 2008, the statement added.
Why is the Govt proposing an allocation which differs from it's best estimate?
Does the govt intend to allocate an additional amount which it was unable to (best) estimate?
If they weren't able to estimate the additional allocation, how then did the govt estimate(?) that it wanted to allocate 8.1bil more than the best estimate?
Or Why is the Govt making estimates which differs from what they want to spend (allocate)?
Does the govt feel that it is good governance to make spending estimates that are not based on spending intentions (allocation)? What's the point of the estimate then?
At the end of the day, answer this: WHAT is the govt actually going to spend? What the left arm estimates (40bil), or what the right arm allocates (48.1bil)?
Read my other postings on more govt financial double talk:
PKFZ bailout: The CRONYNOMIC / EKORNOMIC rationale
What's wrong with NEP's Par Value.
Friday, September 14, 2007
It's been nearly 2 months since my previous pre-purchase review of the HTC Touch (see: HTC Touch - A touch of heaven in 112gms) and here's a quick follow-up hands on review.
Firstly, as a Windows Mobile 6 PDA - it's excellent for a low-end user like me.
True, the built-in memory's rather dimunitive and yada-yada-yada... But if you bought the Touch, I'm willing to bet that you did so because of the looks and the touch interface - not so much for the computing power and functionality.
Having said that, it's quite usable. Although I must say I don't use the productivity software as much as I thought I would. I'm very much old-school in that I still use a big, paper desktop diary/planner where I can scribble notes, appointments etc into individual boxes for each day. And notes... well, I have plenty of post-it notes in my wallet to remind me what to buy at the supermarket.
And I don't use the Outlook email or any email of the PDA because I'm too cheap to pay for one of those exhorbitant data plans from the telcos.
I have used the supplied MS Office Mobile... maybe once... since I bought this, and only to test out how it looks.
So, I'm strictly wifi and games only. And in this regard, the Touch fares no worse than other PDAs. It probably is better in real life, because I bring the Touch with me everywhere since it's so light. I'm not one to lug a regular fat, ass-sagging PDA around.
I've installed 2 Opera browsers - the Java-based ultra-lite one as well as Opera Mini. I actually find the simple Java one faster and easier to use.
As for games, I'm into strategy games. I don't mind a game of Minesweeper, but for the fact that it's awfully hard to get a good time using the stylus only (the stylus move that replicates the left+right mouse click to expose surrounding squares is very hard to get right consistently and I keep blowing up mines because of it). I'm finding that a lot of simple games that we take for granted on PC eg. Tetris, are a pain in the ass when it's stylus-only play. And many games are still made for the older Windows Mobile platforms, with their obsolete versions of vb and runtime files etc, which makes installation and operation in WM6 a bit tricky if you're not a geek.
So, right now, my main game is Pocket UFO. It's a Russian port of the hugely popular XCOM game for Windows. And I have to say that they were able to fit nearly the ENTIRE game (with the complete tech tree, turn-based combat, maps, sound and music - albeit a much smaller library) into around 10MBs. And it can be installed into the memory card which is great since the Touch has so little built-in memory to spare.
So, that's the PDA part. Now for the phone.
As a phone... the Touch SUCKS! 3 things...
WM6 uses Outlook for the contacts and calls lists. And it's okay... although it takes some getting used to if you've always been using regular handphones. But being able to separate or specify whether to use phone and/or SIM contacts would have been nice. So, if you're like me and like to keep a complete list of contacts in your SIM-card (simply because you switch SIM cards a lot... duh), you're farked. Each contact's doubled up. And the nifty Touch-Flo contacts cube... well, you can only use the contacts in the phone, but not the SIM. So to use SIM contacts only (ie. leave the phone contacts empty) will preclude the use of the Touch-Flo contacts cube.
2. SMS / Messaging
Here, it uses Outlook as well. That's fine as it's actually a pretty good text editor. However, the standard WM6 keyboard is atrocious as the individual keys are half the size of a pea and is virtually useless if you don't use the stylus - which in turn makes one-handed messaging impossible. That's why I installed a copy of HTC Phonepad which is an on-screen T9 phone keypad for touch screens. And voila, one handed messaging is possible again. Albeit, it's fairly uncomfortable to do stuff one handed on the Touch because it's so wide. Unless of course, you happen to have hands large enough to handle at least D-cups single-handedly.
3. Voice calls
This is where it really, really sucks.
Call quality is good. Calls are clear and crisp, and the speaker phone is actually better than most regular phones because the speaker is very loud.
Where the Touch drops the ball, and drops it very badly - is in the transceiver itself. Mine kept losing the telco signal (3 or 4 times a day, I guess) but I don't know about it because the signal strength indicator is showing full strength. You don't know the signal's dropped until someone calls in (and immediately gets routed to your voicemail) or you try to call / sms out (that's when you see the signal strength indicator suddenly change from full to searching).
So, 2 issues here:
a. The hardware or software (I don't know which) is incapable of sustaining a consistent signal.
b. The firmware is incapable of updating the signal strength indicator automatically when the signal has dropped. Either it's not programmed to update or it simply can't detect that the signal has dropped when the phone is idle / standby.
It's is so bad that I have to make missed calls every couple of hours... just to kick the transceiver in the pants and prompt it to (re)connect to the network (if the line has indeed dropped). Sometimes when I have a particularly busy day, a slew of SMS and missed call notifications will flood in after I make a missed call. Seriously, it's that bad. And it's pretty damn frustrating when you're waiting for important calls / messages or simply have to be contactable at all times.
And as a result of putting my thoughts into words here, I have just now decided to switch back to my trusty old Sony Ericsson K800i as my primary phone. As for the Touch, I'll use it for the prepaid Malaysian SIM card that I usually use when I'm home (to avoid roaming charges). At the very least, I don't receive life & death calls on the prepaid line.
In conclusion, if I knew what I know now about the Touch... I wouldn't buy it. The phone bug is a definite dealbreaker... unless HTC acknowledges the problem and updates the firmware.
UPDATE: I've just reflashed the ROM (ie. system) to a newer version from the recently launched Wasabi Green edition of the Touch (to version 1.17.707.2G WWE dated 23/7/07 from the older 1.11.707.1B WWE dated 24/5/07 in the Soft Black edition). It also includes a new radio version 02.097.90 (up from the older 02.093.90). According to internet forums, I read that GSM reception is perceptibly improved. Let's hope that it also fixes the line drop bug.
All travellers should take care at night as Ipoh has a prostitution problem.I'm not sure whether to laugh or be outraged. What the hell kind of patronising tourist guidance is this?
I'd be interested to see what they have to say about Bangkok or Las Vegas or London's Soho...
"These destinations have severe problems with large populations of whores and sluts brandishing pointy tits and wet pussies".
Thursday, September 13, 2007
This is an actual test of the Bugatti Veyron on the road and track. Seems Fifth Gear managed to pip Top Gear by getting their mitts on the Veyron first. The first-to-TV advantage is significant enough that Fifth Gear slots it into the very first episode of the current 12th season. Enjoy.
Watch also Captain Slow's top speed run: Bugatti Veyron... 407kmh... Top Gear
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
This is interesting.
The calculator asks you some health and lifestyle questions and then calculates your current 'Real Age' and life expectancy.
Nothing really socio-political about this, but is very much in line with my newfound wisdom about living life with no regrets.
Click on the pic to get to the flash tool.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
It was the police on one side. Civilian protestors on the other armed with no more than sticks and stones (which contrary to popular belief, do not actually break the bones of cops in riot gear).
The crowd gets rowdy, the police get riled up. The police actions to disperse turn into actions to suppress. Police firearms are discharged. Protestors get shot.
The police and govt officials come out in force to defend the shootings, citing mortal threats of fully shielded police being killed by dry sticks, loose stones and bra-strap catapults. And of course, the all-important maintenance of law and order, even at the expense of shooting unarmed civilians.
Now... this is what happened in Trengganu. But it is also exactly what happens in Palestine. And it is this very Israeli armed response to the protests of unarmed Palestinian civilians... that forms a considerable part of the very basis of the moral highground, that displaced Palestinians enjoy over their Israeli conquerors.
To me... the adoption of similar tactics by the Malaysian police has only 1 of 2 consequences.
1. The Malaysian govt now acknowledges the right of the Israeli forces to use deadly force in response to unarmed protests by Palestinian civilians. Therefore, they support the Israeli argument that the enforcement of law and order (by any means necessary) on the Palestinian population is a just and equitable objective.
2. The Malaysian govt acknowledges that it has committed the cardinal sin (amongst "civilised" nations)... of firing upon unarmed civilians. And must therefore repent and atone for it. The immediate resignations of the IGP, CPO of Trengganu and Internal Security Minister would be a good start.
So, has the Malaysian govt simply made a great, big miscalculation or is the Internal Security ministry now controlled by closet-Zionists?
Also read The Star: Ceramah clash in Terengganu and Cop was protecting women, kids
and Malaysiakini: Motion to debate 'bloody' ceramah rejected
Earlier, we had the RM4.6 billion PKFZ bailout (ref PKFZ bailout: The CRONYNOMIC / EKORNOMIC rationale
We all went "Damn! How bad can this shit get?"
Evidently... much worse:
Premium govt purchases:
Ref to The Star here and here.
How come nobody asked who sold RM50 car jacks for RM5,000?
How come nobody's investigating if the govt official approving these purchases is connected with the seller? It's so basic, I don't have to bloody teach you, do I?
RM23.9 billion oil pipeline project awarded to company with NEGATIVE equity:
This article is from DAP's The Rocket newsletter. Pretty interesting read for 2 bucks.
Drug screening for commercial drivers:
Commercial vehicle drivers will be tested for drugs under a medical check-up scheme when they renew or apply for new licences.Sounds good, but let's hear what The Sun has to say about this:
The new scheme, which will come into effect on Oct 1, will also see them being checked for other problems like alcoholism, drug addiction and cardiovascular and mental illnesses.
The move by the Road Transport Department (JPJ) is expected to affect more than 500,000 public service vehicle (PSV) licence, goods driving licence (GDL) and conductor licence (KON) holders.
JPJ deputy director-general Solah Mat Hassan said the scheme, called eKesihatan, aims to ensure that only medically-fit drivers are behind the wheel of commercial
He said that under the scheme, the results would be electronically transmitted to JPJ via a government-appointed gateway provider, Supremme System Sdn Bhd, while payments and registration for the tests would have to be done at post offices before a driver proceeded to the appointed panel clinic.
Those applying or renewing their goods driving, passenger service vehicle and conductors licences have to pay RM80 for the test.
Previously they paid RM50 for new applications and RM10 for renewals.
Asked about the increase, Solah said the tests were more comprehensive...
“The new medical screening will also test for designer drug abuse by drivers and conductors,” he said. - Ref: The Star
What makes this venture stink of another money-making scheme involving a chosen few, is that Supremme Systems will not conduct the tests. Instead, it will be carried out by a panel of doctors selected by the company, who will be paid less than half the proposed RM85 fee – RM30; with RM20 going for laboratory tests.Now... is it not obvious by now why the govt was so against the inclusion of govt procurement in the recently collapsed FTA negotiations with the US?
The remainder – about RM35 – will go to the company.
Many medical practitioners oppose the arrangement which they feel is nothing more than a rent-seeking exercise.
The doctors claim that they had, through Koperasi Doktor Malaysia Bhd, submitted a comprehensive proposal to the ministry last year with two scales of fees – much lower than Supremme Systems’.
They argue that it is the doctor who will have to carry out the tests and take responsibility for the certification and that there is no necessity for middlemen to be involved.
"They are getting paid for doing nothing. Any monitoring must be conducted by the RTD," said one doctor, adding that fees can be kept low if such middlemen were eliminated.
"It seems that the main agenda here is to make money and not to have more competent drivers on our roads,’’ said the doctor.
Did you really think that it was to protect the welfare of local businesses, in terms of fair access to the govt procurement market?
Think about it. It was to ensure that there will be no external scrutiny by the US and other outside parties into this blatant, widespread smorgasbord of corruption that is our country's govt procurement sector. If they let US companies into this sector,... the whole gravy train grinds to a halt. And for all those crony companies supplying the govt, that's like slaying the goddamned golden goose with their own hand.
Okay... so this is nothing new and it certainly won't end here. But to tell you the truth, I don't know what else can be done. The evidence is overwhelming that the current administration is corrupt to the core of their testicles, and yet... Malaysians are no closer to doing the right thing and vote those bastards out.
How is that? How can decent citizens 'tahan' this fucking crap?
Or should I be asking if you voters ARE decent citizens? Indeed... should I be asking if some of you voters are even genuine citizens at all?
31st August or Merdeka Day will now and forever have an even larger significance for me.
If you were wondering why this blog had no updates for over a week, it was because my dad passed away on Merdeka Day (after an exhausting 2 year fight with cancer), and I was home to be with my family. As you'd expect, blogging was not a priority at the time.
So, let my first blogpost in Year 0001 A.D. (After Dad) be a reminder to each of us to put first things first.
Life and loss are immutable things, but regret will haunt you for the rest of your days. If you don't get your priorities straight, regrets will be all that you're left with.
So, what am I going to do today? I'm going to call my mum, book tickets for my next trip home, ask that cute girl in the next cubicle out and maybe... maybe, buy myself a fast car ;)
Remember... "No man ever said on his deathbed, 'I wish I had spent more time at the office.'"
PS. The pic captures the mist shrouded limestone hills that encircle Ipoh on a rainy Sunday afternoon, taken from the carpark on the 2nd floor of Kinta City Shopping Center. Home is where the heart is.