Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The rise of the Penguin Revolution

Is this the spark that would start changes from taking place, especially in the much maligned judiciary?

Just like the Saffron Revolution in Burma (involving monks), a smaller-scale-but-equally-peaceful protest march took place in Putrajaya, involving our lawyers (can we then call it the Penguin Revolution as they were all dressed in black and white?)

Anyways these lawyers defied the police, first by overcoming a road block and then by marching against police order to the PM’s department from the Palace of Justice, to hand in their memo. (Read reports here and here)

Never mind the fact that the PM was away at New York.

The fact remains that lawyers - some 2,000 of them - braved a heavy downpour and a strong police presence to stand united in expressing their desire to clean up the judiciary in light of the latest scandal involving the Lingam tape.

Will their action spark some life into a revolution?

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Saffron Revolution in Burma

More than 100,000 people joined monks-led marches in Rangoon since Monday in the largest anti-government demonstrations since a 1988 pro-democracy uprising was violently suppressed.

After two days of silently watching the events unfolding by the sides, the military junta flew into action today.

This is from the Times of London:

"Firing shots into the air, beating their shields with batons and shouting orders to disperse, the police chased some of the monks and about 200 of their supporters...

Some fell to the ground amid the chaos and at least one monk was seen struck with a baton. There were unconfirmed reports of others being beaten."

Read more of the report here

Something someone told me once comes to mind: That one must do something to spark a revolution. One cannot just sit and wait for it to happen.

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Monday, September 24, 2007

The battle over Tamil schools

The battle to win the hearts and minds of the Indian community has erupted big time between PPP president M Kayveas and MIC, the party that claims sole ownership to work hard for the community.

It started last week when Kayveas was quoted in Malaysia Nanban as saying that the Tamil language would survive better if it was taught in all national schools as a compulsory subject.

In Tamil Nesan, this was quoted as a suggestion by him to close all Tamil schools.

The battle cry was then continued by Tamil Nesan (owned by the family of the MIC president, the Great Leader) which lambasted Kayveas as a community traitor for making such a suggestion.

On Saturday a coterie of MIC leaders and the Great Leader’s backers ganged up in Tamil Nesan not just to criticise Kayveas but also to question his contributions to Tamil schools and estate workers in general.

Much of their remarks were “hitting below the belt” kinds.

And today Kayveas responded – in Malaysia Nanban. He said he was willing to debate with anyone on the status of Tamil schools. He also said that he had NOT asked for the closure of Tamil schools, blaming Tamil Nesan for misquoting him!

And then he made his attacks. He said that MIC should answer why some 800 Tamil schools have been closed in the past 20 years. Ouch!

There are slightly more than 500 Tamil schools today, most of them in deplorable conditions and dwindling student population.

(A quick comparison with the Chinese schools will never be fair. A recent survey showed that 95 percent of the Chinese community sends their children to Chinese schools.)

My fear is that the battling parties would eventually side track from the cause of their fight – the plight of the Tamil schools – and start defending their inflated egos.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Battle for a mythological bridge

What you see is a 30-mile chain of limestone shoals connecting India with Sri Lanka.

Hindu devouts and religious fundamentalists believe it is a bridge built - and named Ram Sethu -by Lord Hanuman to enable Lord Rama to cross over to Sri Lanka to rescue his wife Sita, who had been kidnapped by Ravana.

Scientists, on the other hand believe, this shoals, called Adam’s Bridge, is a natural structure that joined Sri Lanka to the Asian continent during the last Ice Age.

The outcome on this debate - mythological bridge or not - would determine the future of the US$560 million Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project, which aims to create a navigable sea route around the Indian peninsula so ships can avoid going around Sri Lanka, thus saving time and money.

As I see it, this high political-cum-religious drama in India on this matter looks set to overrule present commercial needs in favour of preserving the golden period of the mythological period of Lord Rama's rule.

Sadly, the one to lose out looks set to be the Tamil Nadu state government, ruled by the atheist DMK party, who is against “paying heed to religious fundamentalist forces”.

And in a strange twist, the support of the Tamil Nadu government has been essential for any party wanting to form the central government in India. (Read more here and here)

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Loyalty paid for Justice Ahmad Fairuz, CJ

If you wanted proof that the Malaysian judiciary is in the pits, look no further than this video expose in which a senior lawyer is talking to CJ Ahmad Fairuz on who should be appointed to the courts for the "sake of the country".

The video, taken unknowingly in 2002 in the lawyer’s private space, gives an indication how the powerful has been controlling the judiciary.

As for Ahmad Fairuz, this clip merely stamps the fact that he is a lame duck chief justice.

Here is an excerpt of what the lawyer - VK Lingam - told Ahmad Fairuz:

"No don’t worry, Datuk, I know how much you suffer for Tun Eusoff Chin. And Tun said Datuk Ahmad Fairuz 110% loyalty. We want to make sure our friends are there for the sake of the PM and the sake of the country."

Watch the eight minute video here:

And read the transcript from the video here.

Read Anwar’s, who released this video, statement here.

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The alternate dictionary

Perhaps this is more useful for Indians (no harm or disrespect intended)

  1. antibody - against everyone
  2. artery - the study of fine paintings
  3. bacteria - back door to a cafeteria
  4. bowel - letters like a,e,i,o,u
  5. caesarian section - a district in Rome
  6. cardiology - advanced study of poker playing
  7. cat scan - searching for lost kitty
  8. coma - punctuation mark
  9. cyst - a short for sister
  10. diagnosis - person with slanted nose
  11. dilate - the late British Princess Diana
  12. enema - not a friend
  13. false labour - pretending to work
  14. genes - blue denim
  15. hernia - she is close by
  16. hymen - greeting to several males
  17. impotent - distinguished / well-known
  18. labour pain - hurt at work
  19. menopause - men no wait
  20. microbes - small dressing go


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Art exhibition in PJ

Broken Tusk Gallery held its third exhibition in Petaling Jaya on Sept 14 and 15. The turnout was good and the exhibition was well received by the visitors.

More details of the exhibition is here.

Also view this video clip which was taken while setting up the exhibition.


Monday, September 17, 2007

Ganesha's birthday in PJ

I took this video during the special prayers' ceremony for Vinayakar Chaturthi at the PJ Sri Sithi Vinayakar temple on Saturday.

The crowd was impressive - better than last year it seems. The temple also gave out free lunch to more than 1,400 people.

I was there, with my partners, holding an art exhibition. More on that soon.

Right now, enjoy this little clip:


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Places NOT to visit

India has two. China too two. Russia as well has two. There are two ex-Russians. One is Peru and one in Zambia.

In all, these are the world's most polluted places, according to Time magazine.

The complete list is as follows:
  1. Linfen, China
  2. Tianjin, China
  3. Sukinda, India
  4. Vapi, India
  5. La Oroya, Peru
  6. Dzerzhinsk, Russia
  7. Norilsk, Russia
  8. Chernobyl, Ukraine
  9. Sumgayit, Azerbaijan
  10. Kabwe, Zambia

Read about these places here.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Blocked by batons, shields and machine-guns

About 40 people from the Hindu Rights Action Force went to the parliament today to submit a memo to the PM, asking for more financial allocations for the Tamil schools and hardcore poor Indians.

That itself is nothing new. Memorandums like this are regularly passed on to the PM.

What startled me was the strong police presence at the parliament.

Not your ordinary cops but those from the light strike force unit - armed with shields, batons and machine guns!

Why the strong police presence?

Obviously they were expecting the protesters but to intimidate the peaceful and noiseless protesters and not allowing them into the parliament is totally unbecoming of a democratic government.

I am just worried that the police are becoming less tolerant with the protesters.

Could that be the reason for the riot - in which the police fired live bullets on the protesters - which happened in Kuala Terengganu last Saturday night?

Just thinking out loud here - if the protesters today were noisy and boisterous and refused to disperse, would we have seen another violent break up of the protesters by the police?


More images of Hindraf at parliament protest here

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A noisy, majestic landing

Watch this video clip to see how close the landing plane is to the people enjoying the beach.

Superb. I can imagine the engine noise roaring and the almighty plane gliding down.

I have seen pictures of such close landings before but this is the first video clip I could lay my hands on.

The airport is Princess Juliana, located in the Netherland Antilles. Also known as the Dutch island of St Maarten.

According to what I gathered, the runway starts right at the fence, so the landing is a good one for heavy planes.

Apparently a lot of 747s and A340s land there and have to land immediately after the fence because of the distance it takes them to stop.

Enjoy this cool clip.

Insane 747-400 Landing - Watch the top videos of the week here

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Would NST be suspended?

These two images on the right are creating some controversy in Australia.

One shows Virgin Mary shrouded in a burqa while the other depicts a holographic image of Osama bin Laden that morphed into an image of Jesus Christ. (read more here and here)

I think it’s just a matter of time before other parts of the world too take notice and make noise (both the Christian and Muslim nations).

Of the two images, one could land a Malaysian newspaper - the country’s oldest broadsheet NST - in trouble with the government.

Why? Because on Aug 31 the daily reproduced the Osama-into-Jesus picture protest in Australia and reproduced the ‘offending’ image.

So far no one has protested loudly over the NST re-publication of the image. Today a letter-writer had pointed out in my publication about it. Others could follow suit too, I don't know.

Going by our government’s standard ‘breach of peace’ argument and past history of actions for the reproduction of the Muhammad cartoons and the recent Makkal Osai Jesus publication, NST should be worried if the protest grows louder.

However being an Umno-linked paper, and headed by people close to the premier, perhaps ‘close-one-eye’ syndrome could be extended to the daily too.

We should be monitoring this situation.

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

A cool RM100 mil for Merdeka bash

Apparently the government has allocated RM100 million to celebrate the nation’s 50 Merdeka bash.

The extravaganza celebration in the name of celebrating the 50th anniversary makes previous years’ spending pale in comparison. In 2005, RM35 million of the tax payers money was spent while in 2006, it was RM38 million.

The breakdown of the major events for this year is as follows:

Launch of Merdeka celebrations /raising Jalur Gemilang in Malacca on Aug 17 - RM3 million
Ambang Merdeka in Dataran Merdeka, KL on the eve night - RM8.2 million
Merdeka Parade at Dataran Merdeka, KL - RM26 million
Merdeka Tea Party at Istana Negara - RM100,000
Massive Merdeka Celebrations at Merdeka Stadium, KL - RM17 million
Close of Merdeka anniversary celebrations in Kuching to be held on Sept 10 - RM4 million
Flying Jalur Gemilang - RM8.5 million

And then there is the RM7.2 million for all parliamentary constituencies under the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage and RM8 million under the Ministry of Youth and Sports for Youth Day programme in connection with the 50th Merdeka anniversary.

Inevitably there would be more money being spent to celebrate this momentous occasion - in ministries, states, districts etc. So the final tally will surely breach the RM100 million mark.

Strangely despite so much of money being spent on the celebrations, I still do not feel the celebratory mood on the ground. Am I alone in this? Or is this a general feeling?

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Monday, September 03, 2007

Beggars shouldn’t be choosy

It has become quite an open matter now that three Man U players - Ronaldo, Nani and Anderson - had paid escort girls to have fun.

And it has also become a common trait now for these girls to earn extra cash in the side by revealing to the media their moments with their conquests.

Anyway, these two girls (photo) were part of the five escort girls who romped with three footballers and apparently also with Ronaldo’s aide.

And they are complaining that all five of them were only paid £2,900—plus an extra £40 on top for paying by credit card - for their sessions.

These two are also claiming that they were treated like dirt and with no respected by the footballers.

One of these girls said:

"I thought having sex with three Manchester United stars would be like a dream come true. But I realise now that being a WAG is not all it looks cracked up to be especially if this is the way they all behave. My past customers have always been polite. But these men had no manners."

How interesting, especially when in the same interview she and her friend openly revealed how, when and where they enjoyed their playful sessions with the footballers.

I don’t see why they are complaining.

They wanted money, they got it. They wanted to shag footballers, that too they got. They wanted publicity to let the world know what they have done, and that is also in the bag.

So why make noise now about being badly treated? Would they stop entertaining footballers in the future as a result of this experience. Based on the interview, I thought they sounded like they had fun!

Read the News of the World exclusive here.

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

A place called Janda Baik

Took the girls for a day out to Janda Baik today.

Have been planning a trip to this spot for a long time but only today had enough resolve to just take a drive. And boy, we didn’t regret it.

Janda Baik is a beautiful village with a clean river running through it. It is quiet, clean and amazing.

Now there are plans afoot for us to spend some nights there in the near future. We also halted for makan at Hutan Lipur Konifer (first photo).

Anyways, on the way back, we had a small 'adventure'.

Just as we were close to the end of the winding road from Janda Baik to the exit into the highway near the Genting R&R, we found that our road was blocked by a fallen tree.

As a result, we had to drive up all the way along the Bentong road and exit through the Bukit Tinggi new village.

It was a bit circuitous but we were not complaining.

In all it was a fun day.