Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Bush's five fatal Mideast mistakes

1. Ignoring the Palestinians
2. Invading Iraq
3. Misjudging Iran

4. Hurting Israel

5. Alienating Muslims

These five are, according to, US President Bush’s mistakes in his Middle East foreign policy which left the region worse off than it was before he took office six years ago.

One analyst says:

“The region is in as serious a mess as I have ever seen it. There is an unprecedented number of interconnected conflicts and threats."

Read the detailed analysis here.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

It’s just an itch, says randy chef

Was he just scratching an itch or to put bluntly, a plain pervert?

I am talking about this Japanese chef who was caught masturbating in public in front of a shampoo girl at the Berjaya Times Square parking lot.

He was charged and he admitted to the magistrate of undoing his pants. But his excuse was that he had a skin disorder that caused him to “scratch” his private parts!

The facts of the case say that this randy chef had actually followed the 24-year-old girl on that day and pleasured himself beside her.

Must be one hell of an itch! Anyway, for his open display of self-pleasure, he was fined RM1,500.

He paid the fine, is still in his job at the shopping complex and might even go for greener pasture in Singapore

And his victim? Or any other victim for that matter must be left red-faced with permanent mental scars and inherent fear of parking lots!

Read the full story here.

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Monday, November 27, 2006

'Come work with me'

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has always asked Malaysians to work with him in taking the country to greater heights.

But now it has become quite apparent that for work, we should read sleep!

Maybe this is what former premier Mahathir was talking about when he said Abdullah has the habit of falling asleep during meetings.

There are more photos showing our beloved premier stealing a wink at the recently concluded Umno AGM. See them here.

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Friday, November 24, 2006

Who are our best friends?

Friendship between Women:

A woman didn't come home one night. The next day she told her husband that she had slept over at a friend's house. The man called his wife's 10 best friends. None of them knew about it.

Friendship between Men:

A man didn't come home one night. The next day he told his wife that he had slept over at a friend's house. The woman called her husband's 10 best friends. Eight of them confirmed that he had slept over, and two claimed that he was still there.


Thursday, November 23, 2006

When Jack sued Jill

We all know the nursery rhyme Jack and Jill. But now it has been given a 21st century touch by a British author.

The new version goes like this:

Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water;
Jack fell down and broke his crown
And Jill came tumbling after.

Jill sued Jack and Jack sued back,
The judge is going to fine her;
Now the pail's been sent to jail
For abandoning a minor.

We'll sue Jack and he'll sue Jill,
The hill is suing for scandal;
The water says he'll sue the press –
And everyone's suing the handle

Author Felix Dennis has given new words to many other rhymes. His book is titled ‘When Jack Sued Jill: Nursery Rhymes for Modern Times’.

The UK Sun rightly says that this new versions are hardly suitable for children.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The revival of Mike Tyson

While the Umno’s emotional-charged assembly was underway last week, the party’s information chief Muhammad Muhammad Taib was sworn in as a senator.
(read opposition leader Lim Kit Siang’s take on it here)

The ex-Selangor MB’s political career looked dead and buried when he was forced to resign from the MB post in April 1997 after being caught and charged in Australia for breaching their financial regulations.

He somehow maintained his party vice presidency post, until he was voted out in 2003 in a purge led by a team backed by the new premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

However he had always held a strong grassroots support and realising this Abdullah appointed him as the party’s info chief in the next year.

Now with his appointment to the senate, words are that Muhammad, also affectionately known as Mike Tyson, is almost about to complete his comeback to the mainstream politics.

The speculation is that Abdullah will lead him into the cabinet.

Of course, Abdullah has denied this, or of any impending cabinet reshuffle. (read here)

But lets look at the possibilities here:

Cabinet reshuffle:

During the Umno AGM, delegates had asked for a special ministry to look into the affairs of the Malays and to rein in the government-linked companies (GLCs).

Some of the delegates also said that the energy, water and communication ministry be split so that the communication portfolio could be held by a Malay/Umno minister to disseminate better information to the grassroots.

We know that there are pressures from Umno members for Pak Lah to create a special ministry for the Malays.

People support:

And this is where Muhammad comes in. It is no doubt that he still has a strong support in the grassroots, especially among the rural Malays. Who better then him to convey and implement the government's 9th Malaysian Plan with specific target to achieving the 30% bumiputera equity share in the economy pie?

It will be easier for him to also propagate party propaganda to the grassroots if he is given a ministry to cater for that community.

Political manoeuvring:

This is the most interesting aspect of all the current speculations.

Firstly the second finance minister Nur Mohamad Yakcob’s senatorship ends in January 2007. Of course Abdullah can then extend the term for another three year and let him continue as a minister.

As I see it, I don’t think Muhammad is going to be in the cabinet to replace Nur Mohamad - unless the second finance minister wants to quit - but there are no signs of that at all.

And then we have Aziz Shamsuddin, the rural and regional development minister and a Mahathir loyalist. Apparently he could not get along with Abdullah and has tendered his resignation. Aziz, however, has denied this.

But if Abdullah wants to have a complete control on the cabinet and cut loose any ties with Mahathir, he will accept any signs of resignation from Aziz.

And won’t Muhammad slot in just nicely into this portfolio?

Political powerbase:

Finally we have the Khairy factor.

It is a well known fact that Khairy and Selangor MB Khir Toyo do not get along well at all - that means by extension Abdullah too doesn’t share a good relationship with Khir.

Recent events - the latest being the Zakaria Deros/Istana Zakaria fiasco - have showed that there is a big power play between Putrajaya (Khairy and gang) and Shah Alam (Khir) to get a bigger power base in Selangor.

(Guess who was at Zakaria’s open house two days ago? Did Khairy’s presence give him the courage to send a message to Khir that he still has strong support from the ground?)

Muhammad can come in here as a saviour for Khairy (and Abdullah). Being the deputy Selangor Umno chief, he can be called in to hold the leash on Khir and at the same time help his political bosses to gain stronghold in Selangor - all so that Khairy will have a better standing in the event he wants to move up in party and government.

Whatever it is, the next few days will reveal the truth about Muhammad’s revival.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The deadly seven

Seven blunders of the world that lead to violence:

"Wealth without work,
Pleasure without conscience,
Knowledge without character,
Commerce without morality,
Science without humanity,
Worship without sacrifice,
Politics without principle."

- Mahatma Gandhi


Monday, November 20, 2006

(Losing) Race to space

Recently I had the chance to meet Vanajah Sivasubramaniam, the girl who almost made it to the space.

She is clever, down to earth and utterly disappointed that she lost the race to space.

Her off-the-record stuff were things which most of us knew - she could not put them on record for obvious reasons.

Anyway, my interview with her on the ‘lighter’ stuff was carried by rentakini (malaysiakini) on Friday.

Click here to read it.


Friday, November 17, 2006

It looks like me but it’s not me

Look at the image in the cover of this book which was distributed at the Umno AGM yesterday.

Who do you think it is? Maybe the title of the book will help - it’s called Hikayat Khairy – Khairy Jamaluddin: Putera Oxford ke Putrajaya.

But is it a book about him - Khairy Jamaluddin, PM’s son-in-law and Umno Youth deputy chief? Not so, he says:

“The central character in the book has the same name as me. The photograph on the cover strikingly resembles me...But the stories inside have nothing to do with me. It is full of lies.”

Read The Star’s report here.

Read an online version of the book, in English, here.

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Worrying...wait, wait, it’s not worrying

An example of our great leader's leadership.

This is from Abdullah's speech on Wednesday:

TWELFTH PILLAR: Strengthening national unity. Since independence and to this day, as we enjoy the fruits of success as a nation, the spirit of unity in our struggle and power sharing have formed the basis of our strength.
But of late, we see increased polemics on issues related to race and religion. And it has reached a level where it is now worrying.

AND this from his press conference last night:

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 16 (Bernama) -- Racial and religious tensions in Malaysia have not reached worrying level, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Thursday.

"Not worrying level as far as I am concerned but it is time to remind the people and to lay down the ground rule and that is exactly I have said (yesterday)," he said.

A change of heart in a space of 48 hours? Or another person all together?

Maybe this will help. He said this in the same press conference last night:

"The speech of the president is the speech of the president. It's the president of Umno who spoke, not Abdullah Badawi."

(Read malayskini’s report on the press conference here)

No wonder we live in such chaotic political conditions this country.

Anyway, a delegate had castigated the International Herald Tribune at the Umno assembly yesterday for reporting the “worrying level” - not that the newspaper was wrong.

Read the IHT report here.

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Guess who are they talking about?

Khairy Jamaluddin, Umno Youth deputy chief:

On the fact that Umno faces severe criticisms from BN partners and the opposition on the bumiputera equity issue.

"But we have forgotten the Malays who are questioning the rights of Malays. One such person was once a deputy president of the party."

Khairy said the former deputy president these days was saying that only "the cronies and Umnoputera benefited from the New Economic Policy (NEP)".

Khairy said the very person who questioned the policy was also a beneficiary of the policy."

(from NST, Nov 16, 2006)

p/s: the response from the unnamed person.

Razidah Aziz, Umno Wanita chief:

In her opening speech on how certain individuals like to criticise for the sake of criticising.

"Umno can not let one man's dissatisfaction cause the downfall of its leader and tarnish the party and government.

While every individual had the right to speak and criticise another individual or the government, he or she had no right to make baseless allegations or to slander anyone

If any individual or group insists that only their voice should be heard, this is clearly against the process and concept of democracy which has been practised by the party and country for a very long time."

(from NST, Nov 16, 2006)

Answers: Need I?

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Lessons in life...

The sad part is that some of us humans too live in this manner!


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What constitutes a sandwich?

According to an American judge it is anything that is filled between two slices of bread.

“A sandwich is not commonly understood to include burritos, tacos and quesadillas, which are typically made with a single tortilla and stuffed with a choice filling of meat, rice, and beans," ruled the judge.

The necessity for this definition arose following a legal suit if burrito (a Mexican dish involving bread and filling) is a sandwich.

According to one American bakery chain, arguing for a broad definition of a sandwich, a flour tortilla is bread and that a food product with bread and a filling is a sandwich.

The judge however stuck to his two slices of bread definition.

To read more about the legal suit - which actually involves business monopoly - read here.

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Monday, November 13, 2006

Joke: Play fair dad!

A priest, Jesus, and an old man tee off.

The priest drives the green within 5 yards of the hole.

Jesus slices the ball and it goes into the water hazard. He quickly runs across the water and hits his second onto the green 2 inches from the hole.

The old man tees off with a short worm burner that trickles into the hazard. Soon after a fish eats the ball and swims across the pond with it in its mouth. Just then an eagle swoops down and snatches the fish with the golf ball and flies off. The eagle loses its grip and drops the fish on the green. The fish then spits out the ball and it rolls into the hole for a hole in one.

Jesus turns to the old man and replies, "Play fair dad!"


Sunday, November 12, 2006

The mysterious death of a Mongolian beauty

At least one mystery is solved in the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu.

These images above which are circulating in the Net are not hers.

However this passport sized photo below is definitely the slained model.

Her father Shaariibuu clarified that much yesterday. He also confirmed one other thing – that Altantuya was not pregnant when she was murdered.

Meanwhile the murder and the remand of three suspects, including a prominent political analyst, continues to set tongues wagging on the impact of the case on the political scene of Malaysia.

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Cartoon: Rumsfeld signing off

Finally he is gone. If only he had left much earlier!

Anyway, click here to see a clearer image of this excellent editorial cartoon.

p/s: or click on the image for a bigger version

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Saturday, November 11, 2006

As the Future Catches You

As the Future Catches You
(How Genomics and Other Forces Are Changing Your Life, Work, Health & Wealth)

Don’t be put off by this long title. This is the book which recuperating ex-premier Dr Mahathir is reading in his bed at the National Heart Institute – now that his family has banned him from reading local newspapers.

So what is this book about? Firstly, it is written by Juan Enriquez. He is the director of the Life Sciences Project at Harvard Business School.

According to reviewers quoted by, in the book:

“…with amazing insight and with a graphical, almost poetical syle of writing, Enriquez describes how computers, genomics, and other new technologies are shaping our present and future.”

Another entry said:

“By far the best book I know to help us understand and cope with the powerful technologies that are about to change every aspect of our lives.”

Amazon said:

“You will never look at the world in the same way after reading As the Future Catches You. Juan Enriquez puts you face to face with a series of unprecedented political, ethical, economic, and financial issues, dramatically demonstrating the cascading impact of the genetic, digital, and knowledge revolutions on your life.”

So it is no wonder that the 81-year-old veteran politician/pensioner is reading such a book.

As for the latest on Mahathir, read more here and here.

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Friday, November 10, 2006

While you were asleep...

Funny that none of the government or ruling party reps have managed to see ex-premier Dr Mahathir who is recuperating from a mild heart attack.

Yesterday - Day 1 - prime minister Abdullah was quicky shoved into an adjacent room and briefed by a doctor as Mahathir was fast asleep.

According to his son, Mahathir was up all along and went to sleep just about when Abdullah visited.

More insulting was the revelation that Mahathir wanted to get discharged quickly as he did not want to miss a concert by Bollywood heartthrob Shah Rukh Khan. Is it a question of eager to see Shah Rukh Khan but not Abdullah?

So after Round 1 - Abdullah 0, Shah Rukh Khan 1

And then today - Day 2 - opposition leader Lim Kit Siang and his band of three MPs went to visit Mahathir.

They caught the old man in right time as they got to enter his room and have a chat with him. Kit Siang told reporters that the ex-premier was doing just fine and was reading a book.

After that, a steady stream of government and Umno visitors went to see Mahathir - Tengku Razaleigh, Rosmah Mansor (deputy PM Najib’s wife), Ena Ling (Dr Lion Liong Sik’s wife) and two other wives representing the minister’s wives’ association.

Guess what? Mahathir was asleep and this entourage only manage to see Mahathir’s wife Siti Hasmah.

So how do I read this?

After Round 2 - Kit Siang 1 - govt/party visitors 0

Is there something brewing here? Is Mahathir trying to send a message by talking about and receiving selected guests? Or is it just a mere coincidence that he was resting and those who failed to see him had visited at a wrong time?

I truly ponder. In the meantime, I give here a photo of Rosmah looking rather 'disappointed' that she failed to see the ailing Tun.

p/s: True to his lineage as an Indian, Mahathir apparently asked for thosai early this morning.

p/s: pix from malaysiakini (thanks bede).


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Backing her father’s vigorous stand

“We need someone to restore our moral bearings, someone who just says outright that these things are wrong, no fudging, no excuses. Someone who understands that these events bring shame to our country, not pride.”

Guess who said this? It’s none other than Marina Mahathir in her latest column in the Star. Who could she be talking about? Don't we know?

In the meantime, her father Dr Mahathir will have to take things slowly now that he has suffered a mild heart attack.

Read more about his stable condition here and here.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Living on the edge

The picture explains it all...

source: i have no idea as it was forwarded into my mailbox!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Ruling while sleeping, the Pak Lah style

Dr Mahathir is in the front page of International Herald Tribune today.

Some explosive excerpts from his interview:

On his hand-picked successor - His attention span is very short and everybody tells me... that he goes to sleep, even while cases are being presented to him... He tends to let his advisors tell him what to do.

On Abdullah’s economic management - Basically he does not understand how to move the economy.

On Abdullah’s pet programme Islam Hadhari - In the first place there is no call to introduce any other kind of Islam, whether it is modern Islam or Islam Hadhari.

On Khairy Jamaluddin (Abdullah’s son-in-law) - There is clear evidence that the son in law has very big say even in the appointment of ministers, even in the choice of candidates for the election. I have been told by the very people who have experienced this that he rings up chief ministers to give certain projects to certain people, including to his mother.

Examples of Khairy’s interferences - Prawn culture in the state of Perlis and a contract I believe in the state of Negri Sembilan.

Read the full interview here and the IHT story here.

Monday, November 06, 2006

I think it's Jesus!

A funny joke:

After getting all of Pope's luggage loaded into the limo the driver notices that the Pope is still standing on the curb.

"Excuse me, Your Eminence," says the limo driver, "Would you please take your seat so we can leave?"

“To tell you the truth," says the Pope, "they never let me drive at the Vatican, and I'd really like to drive today."

"I'm sorry but I cannot let you do that. I'd lose my job! What if something should happen?" protests the driver, wishing he'd never gone to work that morning.

"There might be something extra in it for you," says the Pope.

Reluctantly, the driver gets in the back as the Pope climbs in behind the wheel. The driver quickly regrets his decision when, after exiting the airport, the Supreme Pontiff floors it, accelerating the limo to 105 mph.

“Please slow down, Your Holiness!!" pleads the worried driver, but the Pope keeps the pedal to the metal until they hear sirens.

"Oh, my God, I'm gonna lose my license," moans the driver. The Pope pulls over and rolls down the window as the cop approaches, but the cop takes one look at him, goes back to his motorcycle, and gets on the radio.

"I need to talk to the Chief," he says to the dispatcher. The Chief gets on the radio and the cop tells him that he's stopped a limo going a hundred and five.

"So bust him," said the Chief.

"I don't think we want to do that, he's really important," said the cop.

The Chief then asked, "Who ya got there, the Mayor?"

Cop: "Bigger"

Chief: "Governor?"

Cop: "Bigger"

Chief: "Senator?"

Cop: "Bigger"

"Well," said the Chief, "Who is it?"

Cop: "I think it's Jesus!"

Chief: "What makes you think it's Jesus?"

Cop: "He's got the Pope for a limo driver !"

p/s: thanks Raam for this forwarded joke!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Men should dress modestly, too

“No, Muslim men seem to want to have it both ways. They want complete leadership of their community, with women’s voices seldom heard, but then they are happy to reduce themselves to the status of animals when it comes to sex, unable to resist the charms of a woman with an uncovered head.”

Powerful? Seditious (especially in Malaysia)? Provocative? Want to read more?

Then click here to read the full article titled Can't Muslim men control their urges? by Mary Ann Sieghart in the Times of London.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Mahathir vs Abdullah in Time magazine

The latest issue of Time magazine (Asian edition) has Dr Mahathir in its cover. It carries interviews with both the former premier and his hand-picked successor Abdullah - both in the midst of a major fall out following Mahathir’s constant attack on Abdullah’s leadership.

An excerpt of the interviews:

On Malaysia being a police state


Is the PM more afraid of dissent than you were?

"He has made Umno his personal party. They cannot say anything that he doesn't approve of. I'm being told, look, you mustn't criticize the Prime Minister because he is an institution, he is an Umno president and therefore an institution.

Yes, the Umno president is an institution, but the incumbent is not. When I was there, he challenged me. Now he's not allowing anybody to say a word against him ... What I don't like is creating what would be called a police state. Nobody is allowed to organize any meeting and invite me to speak. If you do, the police call you up."


Do you think Mahathir's comments are bad for Malaysia? If so, why?

"He is free to say what he wants. We are a democracy and it is his right to speak. When I became Prime Minister, I encouraged more openness and did not want to muzzle different views, so I suppose this is part of that process. But it is unfortunate that he is making wild allegations and that he does not acknowledge that answers have been given. At the end of the day, Malaysia is still well regarded internationally as an advanced Muslim country and as a good investment destination, despite what he says."

The starting point


When you retired in 2003, you said you would not interfere in politics. What made you change your mind?

"The decision not to build the bridge to [Singapore]. You see, when we are building the bridge on our side, within our area, no other country has any right to interfere. He is saying we cannot build even on our own side because Singapore might object. Then you are actually saying that you are doing something in our own country will require the consent or approval of Singapore. That means you are surrendering your independence, your sovereignty. That was what annoyed me very much.

And about this bridge, it is absolutely essential simply because there is overcrowding down in Johore Bahru and people cannot get around because where the causeway meets the land, there is a huge crowd there, people coming and going to Singapore."


Why do you think Mahathir is speaking out publicly now?

"You really have to ask him this question. His public criticism began with the cancellation of the bridge to Singapore. That is an issue he has raised again and again, and also during our private meeting recently. Although the government has explained extensively why we cancelled the project, he still is not able to accept the decision while the public have moved on."

Click to read the full interviews here and here