Monday, 28 February 2011

Bukan Salah Ibu Yang Mengandung

A picture I saw in Rajahmas blog:

Komen saya:

1. Bukan kah lebih bijak jika anak kecil ini digalakkan untuk memegang buku ilmiah atau Ipad untuk dibacanya daripada di galakkan memikul bendera parti chauvinis Cina yang lebih besar dari saiz badan nya dan berarak dijalan raya tanpa tujuan yang anak kecil ini tentu tidak tahu.

2. Ini kah bagaimana orang Melayu mahu anak-anak mereka dididik dari kecil dengan mengenali politik terdahulu daripada mengenal pelajaran ilmiah untuk bekalan hidup dewasanya kemudian hari supaya dia tidak dengan senang diperalatkan oleh orang lain.

3. Sesungguhnya Bukan Salah Ibu Mengandung, tapi salahkan sikap bodoh dan taksub orang yang memelihara dan mendidik anak ini. 

4. Sepatutnya penjaga kepada anak ini disiasat dan didakwa oleh Pihak Polis kerana mendera anak kecil membawa bendera parti politik didalam keadaan panas sedangkan sepatutnya ia bergaul dengan kanak-kanak yang seumur dengannya masa itu.

Libya atrocity and the absence of the will and incapacity of the Western powers to act

An original article from one of my most favorite newsblog:

Libya: Dreams of Western Intervention
by Susil Gupta, February 26, 2011
Despite being the most powerful nation on earth, and having a military apparatus on a scale greater than the sum of every other country, the US has patently failed to impose its solutions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Far from America being able to force the Ayatollahs into submission, Iran gains strategic ground every day. The financial crisis has paralyzed the power of Western finance. Western central bankers have had to go begging to China and the oil rich countries for loans. The Arab revolt of 2011 has now destroyed the exclusive grip Anglo-American rule once had in the region. 
And now Libya promises to make explicit the powerlessness of the West. As Laurence Pope, ex-political advisor to the US "Central Command" and ex-ambassador to Tripoli told Le Monde in a sobering assessment, "Washington finds itself in a situation where there are only bad options and others that are worse." 
What has been the response in Europe? The European Left and the liberal bourgeoisie remain very interventionist and are firm believers in "humanitarian bombing." They are clamoring for a muscular Nato intervention along Balkan lines. An editorial in Left-leaning Guardian supports the call by liberal Lord Owen that "military preparations should be made and the necessary diplomatic approaches, above all to the Russians and the Chinese, set in train to secure UN authority for such action." Should the crisis continue, the Guardian argues, "intervention on the ground would have to be considered. The Egyptian army has the means, other Arab countries could contribute, and western forces could help." Yes, and it would all be over by Christmas. 
It is obvious that these war enthusiasts have not thought this through – but then they would not be doing any of the fighting. The plain fact is that there are no feasible military interventions even if the major powers could agree on an intervention plan, which is very far from being the case. Consider the options.
Imposing a no fly zone. This would require extensive air patrols by foreign air forces. They would have little effect since air power is not key to Gadhafi’s strategy. It would, however, create an atmosphere of major war and give Gadhafi a propaganda boost. 
Creating a military barrier or cordon sanitaire around eastern Libya to protect rebel positions.  Likewise this would crystallize the situation into a two-sided war, which could only play into Gadhafi’s hands. It is to the advantage of those that want to topple Gadhafi to avoid a war of entrenchment or fixed positions, preventing them from permeating every level of society and undermine further his crumbing power base. In any case such Western intervention would be impossible to implement. No Western commander is going to deploy troops at short notice into a theater unknown to his troops but well-known to an enemy who, in any case, cannot be easily distinguished from friendly forces. It is a recipe for disaster.
Sending in a "peace keeping" African Union force to separate the parties. One way to unite every Libyan behind Gadhafi, given the reputation of such forces in the past.
Sending in a "peace keeping" force made up of troops from Arab countries as The Guardian recommends. One way to unite every Libyan behind Gadhafi and infect and inflame the whole of the Middle East with the vicissitudes of a Libyan civil war. 
Bomb. But where? Tripoli? Gadhafi’s hideout?  In addition to the lack of any meaningful target, Western bombing might give others the idea of bombing targets that are indeed of great strategic value: oil wells and pipe lines. 
Sanctions. Libya’s massively long borders are totally porous and populated by peoples and countries keen to do business and who don’t give a damn about UN Security Council resolutions.  On the contrary, given the strategic importance of Libyan oil and gas to several European nations, Libya is the only country in a position to apply effective sanctions against anyone else. The price of oil has already shot up to $110.  Watch how the Italians start screaming in the next couple of weeks if the crisis goes on much longer. 
Unsurprisingly, Cameron and Sarkozy are making angry statements but otherwise are just looking at their shoes.
Read in full here.

What will the US reaction be on the demise of its Middle east Empire

A very interesting history leaden article from the UK's The Telegraph by Peter Osborne:

How will America handle the fall of its Middle East empire?
By Peter Oborne World Last updated: February 24th, 2011

Empires can collapse in the course of a generation. At the end of the 16th century, the Spanish looked dominant. Twenty-five years later, they were on their knees, over-extended, bankrupt, and incapable of coping with the emergent maritime powers of Britain and Holland. The British empire reached its fullest extent in 1930. Twenty years later, it was all over.

Today, it is reasonable to ask whether the United States, seemingly invincible a decade ago, will follow the same trajectory. America has suffered two convulsive blows in the last three years. The first was the financial crisis of 2008, whose consequences are yet to be properly felt. Although the immediate cause was the debacle in the mortgage market, the underlying problem was chronic imbalance in the economy.

For a number of years, America has been incapable of funding its domestic programmes and overseas commitments without resorting to massive help from China, its global rival. China has a pressing motive to assist: it needs to sustain US demand in order to provide a market for its exports and thus avert an economic crisis of its own. This situation is the contemporary equivalent of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), the doctrine which prevented nuclear war breaking out between America and Russia.

Unlike MAD, this pact is unsustainable. But Barack Obama has not sought to address the problem. Instead, he responded to the crisis with the same failed policies that caused the trouble in the first place: easy credit and yet more debt. It is certain that America will, in due course, be forced into a massive adjustment both to its living standards at home and its commitments abroad.

This matters because, following the second convulsive blow, America’s global interests are under threat on a scale never before seen. Since 1956, when Secretary of State John Foster Dulles pulled the plug on Britain and France over Suez, the Arab world has been a US domain. At first, there were promises that it would tolerate independence and self-determination. But this did not last long; America chose to govern through brutal and corrupt dictators, supplied with arms, military training and advice from Washington.

The momentous importance of the last few weeks is that this profitable, though morally bankrupt, arrangement appears to be coming to an end. One of the choicest ironies of the bloody and macabre death throes of the regime in Libya is that Colonel Gaddafi would have been wiser to have stayed out of the US sphere of influence. When he joined forces with George Bush and Tony Blair five years ago, the ageing dictator was leaping on to a bandwagon that was about to grind to a halt.

In Washington, President Obama has not been stressing this aspect of affairs. Instead, after hesitation, he has presented the recent uprisings as democratic and even pro-American, indeed a triumph for the latest methods of Western communication such as Twitter and Facebook. Many sympathetic commentators have therefore claimed that the Arab revolutions bear comparison with the 1989 uprising of the peoples of Eastern Europe against Soviet tyranny.

I would guess that the analogy is apt. Just as 1989 saw the collapse of the Russian empire in Eastern Europe, so it now looks as if 2011 will mark the removal of many of America’s client regimes in the Arab world. It is highly unlikely, however, that events will thereafter take the tidy path the White House would prefer. Far from being inspired by Twitter, a great many of Arab people who have driven the sensational events of recent weeks are illiterate. They have been impelled into action by mass poverty and unemployment, allied to a sense of disgust at vast divergences of wealth and grotesque corruption. It is too early to chart the future course of events with confidence, but it seems unlikely that these liberated peoples will look to Washington and New York as their political or economic model.

The great question is whether America will take its diminished status gracefully, or whether it will lash out, as empires in trouble are historically prone to do. Here the White House response gives cause for concern. American insensitivity is well demonstrated in the case of Raymond Davis, the CIA man who shot dead two Pakistanis in Lahore. Hillary Clinton is trying to bully Pakistan into awarding Davis diplomatic immunity. This is incredible behaviour, which shows that the US continues to regard itself as above the law. Were President Zardari, already seen by his fellow countrymen as a pro-American stooge, to comply, his government would almost certainly fall.

Or take President Obama’s decision last week to veto the UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements. Even America itself accepts that these settlements are illegal. At a time when the Middle East is already mutinous, this course of action looks mad.

The biggest problem is that America wants democracy, but only on its own terms. A very good example of this concerns the election of a Hamas government in Gaza in 2006. This should have been a hopeful moment for the Middle East peace process: the election of a government with the legitimacy and power to end violence. But America refused to engage with Hamas, just as it has refused to deal with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, or to acknowledge the well-founded regional aspirations of Iran.

The history of the Arab world since the collapse of the Ottoman caliphate in 1922 can be divided schematically into two periods: open colonial rule under the British and French, followed by America’s invisible empire after the Second World War. Now we are entering a third epoch, when Arab nations, and in due course others, will assert their independence. It is highly unlikely that all of them will choose a path that the Americans want. From the evidence available, President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton are muddled and incapable of grasping the nature of current events.

Read the article in full here.

Saturday, 26 February 2011


Moving to a new house has always been an exciting but very energy draining process. I have not been able to post anything this past few days as I was tied up, but now that I have completing the moving process, I would finally have my normal life back.

I saw something interesting from the CNN last night, should share this one:



Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Just a Video of the Proposed Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit Project

Certainly the proponent of the proposed MRT knows what they want to do going by the quite informative GIS based video: 

only thing is whether they can satisfy the increasingly sophisticated Malaysian public who can and will look beyond the colorful animations.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

So SPAD which is which a MRT(Mass Rapid Transit) or BRT(Bus Rapid Transit)

The MRT plan is up for view folks, but there is another alternative proposed by a transport expert who says that buses are the way to go, read and compare:

Buses can replace MRT cheaply, says Transit
By Clara Chooi February 21, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21 — The Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) should be shelved in favour of a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, which can achieve the same target of reducing traffic congestion but at a fraction of the cost, says a transport advocacy group.

Association for the Improvement of Mass Transit (Transit) chairman Muhammad Zulkarnain Hamzah told The Malaysian Insider that the government's claim that every developed city needed an MRT system was an exaggeration as even in Singapore, statistics showed that passenger travels via the city-state's underground rail system paled in comparison to the usage of buses.

According to Singapore's figures from 2010, Zulkarnain noted that only 1.9 million of passenger trips were recorded in the city's MRT stations while three million trips were made by bus.

“So meanwhile, we want an MRT system that SPAD (Land Public Transport Commission) said in its public display and roadshow could ferry some 60,000 passengers per hour but have they thought of how the trips can be further dispersed by means of using the buses?” he said in an interview.

The traffic consultant explained that the BRT would entail minor development of the present main road arteries where dedicated bus lines would facilitate the increase of passenger flow from one point to another and at the same time decrease traffic congestion.

Zulkarnain said at the macro level, rapid transit lines could be allocated on roads leading towards the city and looping the Klang Valley region.

At the same time, he added, the system would be fully integrated to serve the local transit lines to facilitate passenger travels from their homes to suburban centres and to the present rail links like the LRT and from thereon to the city centre.

“Because if you look at the Government Transformation Plan (GTP), they plan for high-capacity transit lines for the city centre and within these nodes, they will hit the suburban city centres... but the feeder buses will only serve those travelling towards the city centre. So why don't we just fix that?

“The feeder buses, instead of merely functioning as feeder buses towards the MRT stations, they can also function as local rapid transit systems whereby people from the housing areas, who want to travel to the suburban centres and not just to Kuala Lumpur, can use these buses,” he said.

Zulkarnain added that the construction of a new rail system would also be significantly more costly than developing a BRT.

He estimated that the cost of construction for 1km of an underground MRT rail could reach up to RM1 billion while 1km of the BRT would only cost up to RM20 million.

He cited the example of the BRT in Bogota, Columbia, which records passenger travels of more than 20,000 people per direction per hour.

In comparison, if the lanes were purely dedicated for cars, especially single occupancy vehicles, a maximum of only 2,000 people per direction per hour can be reached, he said.

“So if you dedicate lanes for buses or even trams, you can achieve 10 times more of what you can achieve with the car. And meanwhile, you can build 1km of an underground MRT but with the BRT, you can build at least 50km.

“The BRT can achieve the standards that the MRT hopes to achieve but at a fraction of the cost,” he claimed.

Zulkarnain said that the BRT could be developed on high-speed traffic highways like the Federal Highway, Silk, or even the New Pantai Expressway.

Read more here.

Less than a day after the BRT comment, the EIA Consultant for the proposed MRT came up with this:

Buses cannot replace MRT, says EIA report
By Clara Chooi February 22, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 — An alternate bus system cannot replace the proposed Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) as it is likely to fail the desired passenger ferrying rate, according to the MRT’s key report.

The advocated Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is seen to struggle to reach 30,000 passengers per hour in any direction as analysed by the controversial project’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report.

ERE Consultancy Group said in its EIA report that the bus solution would require 90-passenger vehicles to run uninterrupted nearly every 10 seconds — to match the MRT’s 30,000 passengers per hour per direction (PPHPD).

“The BRT proposals are not however long term solutions which can realistically offer sufficient capacity and level of service to deliver the expected demand levels and meet modal shift target,” the firm reported in Section 4 of its detailed EIA.

The EIA was prepared for the government’s multibillion ringgit proposed MRT project, which is touted as the most expensive construction project ever undertaken in Malaysia with initial estimates totalling over RM36 billion.

In the new rail system, the government aims to achieve a transport mode ratio between public and private transport of 40:60 from 18:82 due to an estimated increase from the present eight million trips made each day in the Kuala Lumpur metropolitan area to 10 million trips by 2020.

With the 40:60 transport mode ratio, it is targeted that at least four million trips are made via public transport by 2020 while the remaining six million trips are through private vehicles.

The EIA also explained that the mode share for rail use in the Klang Valley was expected to increase five-fold by 2020 from 400,000 trips per day in 2009 to 2 million trips in 2020.

It added that the MRT’s first line, the Sungai Buloh – Kajang route, is estimated to have a daily ridership of 442,000 passengers in its opening year, expected to be in 2016.

The EIA report was released on February 14 and is presently up for public viewing at Department of Environment (DOE) offices nationwide and several public libraries until March 15.

The Malaysian Insider reported yesterday a suggestion by transport advocates Association for the Improvement of Mass Transit or “Transit” that the ambitious MRT project could be replaced by the BRT.

The group’s chairman Muhammad Zulkarnain Hamzah said that a well-developed BRT could achieve the same aim as the MRT but at a fraction of the cost.

As an example, he said that the cost to construct 1km of an underground MRT rail could amount to RM1 billion while 1km of a BRT line would only cost up to RM20 million.

But the EIA found that the BRT, as one of the project options considered as an alternative to the MRT, was only viable to serve as an “intermediate mode” to facilitate the MRT.

This, the report said, was to help provide the needed momentum change towards public transport in a relatively quick and low cost manner for the later implementation of higher capacity models.

The report noted that in the government’s National Key Results Areas (NKRA), there were plans proposed for the establishment of new prioritised radial bus corridors, including the implementation of the BRT.

“The BRT is appropriate for development of public transport usage in corridors which currently have low public transport share.

“In the Kuala Lumpur context, the BRT should be considered as ‘intermediate mode’,” the report said.

It explained that using the BRT in Malaysia was not realistic as in order to serve the 30,000 PPHPD target, “30m bi-articulated” BRT buses running at 30-second intervals would be needed, as well as two dedicated bus lanes in each direction and a central station lane.

This, it said, meant that highways would have to be as wide as five lanes, much like the BRT system used in Bogota, Columbia.

When suggesting the BRT, Zulkarnain had cited figures from Bogota’s BRT as an example.

He told The Malaysian Insider that Bogota’s BRT buses record passenger travels of more than 20,000 PPHPD but if the BRT lanes were dedicated merely to cars, especially single occupancy vehicles, a maximum of only 2,000 PPHPD can be reached.

“It is not feasible to allocate this level of at-grade capacity in the city areas which the radial service must directly connect to,” the EIA report said.

It also said that the average speed of the BRT was considerably lower than the MRT, meaning that over longer corridors, travel time would be significantly longer.

In its report, ERE estimated that BRT buses, with an average passenger load of 90 passengers per car, travelled at a speed between 20 and 30 kilometres per hour (kph) while a four-carriage MRT, with an average passenger load of 250 per car, averaged between 35 and 70kph.

The EIA added that the quality of service with the BRT was not as high as the use of trains and commuters were likelier to opt for the MRT instead of hopping on the bus.

“The scenario of using bus services tightly packed with passengers (standing room only) as would be required at this level of demand is not likely to attract affluent car users onto public transport, which is an essential element to impact modal shift,” said the report.

In the same section of the EIA, ERE also listed street trams, the monorail system and the Light Rapid Transit (LRT) systems as other project options to the MRT.

The report noted that street trams was likely an inappropriate option as passenger demand would far surpass the mode’s capacity and land in the city centre was too constrained to facilitate the construction of tram lines.

Similarly, the report found that the city’s present monorail system would not adequately operate on the corridors that the MRT aims to serve.

For the LRT, the report said that the present rail system would not be able to facilitate an eventual capacity of 40,000 PPHPD, which is targeted with the MRT.

There was no reason given.

Read the rest here.

What does TS Syed Hamid of SPAD has to say, shouldn't the public be given a chance to hear a discussion in a forum on the two systems? Shouldn't the views of a transport expert take precedence over a EIA expert?

 It look likely the the Government will proceed with the costlier MRT but as the population grows and construction cost escalates, I think it is likely that there will be a hybrid of the MRT and BST option in the near future.

Do you know why Robert Kuok is the richest man in Malaysia? no,no not because he is of a particular ethnicity lah

An interesting article by NST's Nadzri on Malaysia's longtime richest man who  unfortunately resides in Hong Kong,  read the NST Article:

What you can do with Kuok's billions

MALAYSIA'S richest man Robert Kuok is so rich that you get vertigo by just looking at the number of zeroes on his price tag.

Yes, the exemplar sugar king (some call him the "original sugar daddy" in an inoffensive sense) is top of the country's wealthiest list for yet another year, according to the latest survey by Malaysian Business released late last week, which put his net worth at more than RM50 billion.That's a humdinger of a sum. If we were to write that in numerals, RM50 billion will have the number five followed by 10 zeroes -- 12 if you include the sen denomination. Certainly not enough room to occupy the numerical space in a cheque.

That's how rich Kuok is.
Still, for ordinary folk, it is hard to imagine how much RM50 billion is or what one could do with it. Well, here's a little perspective to give a rough idea:

His wealth is 200 times more than the Perlis budget for this year as tabled at the legislative assembly a few months ago, which is RM262 million and more than 100 times Kelantan's RM464 million. Heck, it's even 30 times bigger than the annual budget of Malaysia's richest state of Selangor (RM1.43 billion).

That's how rich Kuok is.

RM50 billion is also large enough to build four Putrajayas or five Kuala Lumpur International Airports. If Kuok gives a RM5 ang pow to each and everyone on the planet today, he would still be left with RM15 billion and would only go down one spot in the richest Malaysian list to be runner-up to T. Ananda Krishnan, who has an estimated fortune of RM45.8 billion, according to Malaysian Business.

If Kuok were to string his cash end to end in RM10 notes, the link would probably be long enough to stretch from Johor Baru, his hometown, to Hong Kong, his place of residence now.

That's how rich he is.

Kuok is listed by Forbes as the richest man in Southeast Asia, in the top eight in Asia and in 34th place in the world rankings, which has Mexican businessman Carlos Slim Helu in the No. 1 spot with assets worth US$53.5 billion (RM165.8 billion), followed by American Bill Gates, the Microsoft president, at US$53 billion (RM164 billion).

Even then, being in that position means that Kuok is richer than George Soros, the American currency trader who became famous here for the wrong reasons 14 years ago, and Russian magnate Roman Abramovich. Soros is one rung below Kuok while Abramovich, the free-spending owner of glamour English premier league club Chelsea, is several notches below at No. 50 with assets worth a little more than US$11 billion (RM34.1 billion).

That's how rich he is.

Kuok, whose empire has expanded from sugar to hotels and oil and gas, has been top of the Malaysian charts for ages, ahead of the usual suspects dominating the rankings, such as Public Bank's Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow, Genting Group's Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay and Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary of the Albukhary Foundation.

Some people are, however, quietly cynical about the list, reckoning that some names are "conspicuously missing", ranging from royalty to politicians and some other businessmen.

But whatever it is, nobody can begrudge or take away the credit from Kuok. We have to hand it to him for his self-made achievements. In fact, the Kuok success story should be an inspiration to Malaysians in business and politics though it is most unfortunate that he has chosen to reside in Hong Kong now.

Euromoney magazine once described his business empire as having been built on "political astuteness, an Asia-wide network of contacts and a willingness to take risks".

Now that's a power statement from the international news magazine on financial markets because, despite being low profile, Kuok's connections with some politicians are quite well known. But, of course, that's his prerogative and there's nothing wrong with it.

Only that the publicity-shy persona seems to be the trademark of most, if not all, Malaysian tycoons. Ananda Krishnan is known to have only given one press interview before and it's the same with Syed Mokhtar.

Frankly, I don't know what they are scared of.

Euromoney reported that in one of the rare TV interviews given by Kuok in 1994, when asked about his "sense of mission" as a great entrepreneur, he bluntly replied that the most important thing was "to make money".

That's how focused Kuok was.

Read more in the NST here.

The last paragraph says how focused Kuok was, I agree and we can all learn to practice the word, yes "focus". If you do not and cannot focus on what you plan to do, you cannot achieve anything in life, lets not even start to talk about making the first RM1 million OK and I am not talking about race here.

Swift justice..snatch thieves beware

A very gory end for snatch thief (The Star 22 Feb 2011)

KUALA LUMPUR: It was a gory end for a snatch thief who died with his private parts severed in a collision at Ampang Jaya here between his getaway motorcycle and the victim’s car.
The police and passers-by found the body of the 35-year-old suspect in a drain, with his penis almost crushed and detached from his body. His pants had been ripped from his body in the accident.
His accomplice, who was riding pillion, suffered body injuries.
Crime scene: Police investigating at the scene of the collision between the snatch thieves’ getaway motorcyle and the victim’s car in Ampang yesterday. One of the thieves was killed in the crash.
The incident happened soon after the 28-year-old victim was locking the gate to leave her home in Taman Mega Jaya in Ampang at around 8.30am yesterday. She had left the bag in her Toyota Vios, while the car engine was on.
A man suddenly appeared, opened the car door and snatched the bag. The woman tried to fight back but was kicked in the abdomen.
Ampang Jaya OCPD Asst Comm Amirruddin Jamaluddin said the woman then got into her car and gave chase before blocking them.
The two men were caught off-guard and rammed right into the victim’s car resulting in both of them being flung from the machine. The accident occurred about 200m from the woman’s house.
Read the full article from TheStar here.
I am sure many families of victims of snatch thieves  would have no sympathy for the snatch thief suspect who died with his private part dismembered from his body. 

NST: The Rise of the Loyar Buruk

More on the heartless self serving proposal to hike the lawyer fees by the Bar Council, a witty article from the NST:

The rise of the 'Loyar Burok' Azmi Anshar NST 22 Feb 2011

THE 400 per cent probable spike in lawyers' fees, as quantified and deadpanned by the Bar Council, might unwittingly give a new meaning to the expression "self-defence". And the inevitable rise of the "Loyar Burok".

Let us for a moment give this prospective fee spike, cut-throat even in this age of excess, the benefit of the doubt. Let us be magnanimous in allowing the Bar Council to grumble about court KPIs that force the paring down of their members' massive but lucrative court appearances but yet justify the outrageous hike to their already stiff fees.

There is only one logical recourse: to the offender, accused and the defence who simply cannot afford the killer fees even when rates are slightly less than stratospheric now, stand up and strike out on your own.

If the fees break new exorbitant records for what would-be offenders and the accused in criminal cases or the defence in civil cases can afford to pay, then people from the downside of the legal system would have no choice but to put up their own spirited, none Bar Council-approved defence, scary, uncertain and doomed as it seems.

Because of lawyers' craving to maintain the high margins in money-spinning court appearances, has the time arrived to jettison trial lawyers? Perhaps. Pursue the pragmatic alternative of being a "Loyar Burok". Be your own trial lawyer.

But first, get out of the armchair default mode (all of us are strident armchair critics, lawyers, doctors ... and football managers) and start assuming that you can address the Yang Ariffs and My Lords as easily as you scream daylight robbery when you are compelled to pay through your teeth for essential consumer amenities.

With lawyers bent on outpricing themselves, you have to start thinking that you are qualified enough to defend yourselves, just like you're capable enough to treat yourself with on-the-shelf medication from years of experience and some guide from Web MD, rather than pay 20 times more for a clinical prescription that dispenses the same old diagnosis, prognosis and pills for your common ailment.

You've watched many episodes of Judge John Deed, Crown Court, Ally McBeal, The Practice, L. A. Law, Perry Mason and Matlock to understand fundamental court manoeuvres and trial lawyer court craft.

You've also watched plenty of Crime Scene Investigation (Las Vegas, Miami and New York) to understand core forensics that the prosecution or the plaintiff will spring on you to corner your guilt or liability, but with adequate knowledge, you could squeeze yourself out of the jam by arguing the "reasonable doubt" angle.

But, of course, before you debutants make your first court appearance defending against that theft, rape, corruption or murder rap, or the sedition, libel or slander and civil suits, be sure to read up on the book "Be Your Own Trial Lawyer for Dummies".

If this indispensable book is unavailable now, it will be by the time the Bar Council officially endorses its members to charge the new fees, authored by the same people who made a killing selling workbooks for schoolchildren.

Very soon, a whole new paralegal industry will emerge, unless some unknown lawyer unaccustomed to seeing his or her name in the press is willing to undercut the high-charging fee.

Pay special attention on the noun "objection" which you will likely utter unfailingly with the confidence of Lionel Messi dribbling past four defenders any time the prosecution or the plaintiff's lawyer lobs a ruse to make you look worse than the terrible novice that you really are.

Of course, personally defending yourself in court, while provided for under the Constitution and society's common sense, means the burdensome chore of reading up on the relevant statutes, case studies and precedents, and court practices that can lighten your legal fix.

Thank goodness for websites like Free Legal Advice to help you prepare witness prep, court briefs, submissions, argument points and examination and cross-examination tactics and strategies.

Look out for do-gooders like some human rights non-governmental organisation, like Suaram, who may or may not provide you solid legal advice and may even throw in a proper lawyer to help you prepare but make sure you understand elementary legal jargon the prosecution or plaintiff's lawyer spins at you to unsettle or throw you out of your game.

Finally, as part of your prep to act and speak like a trial lawyer, you need to learn how to rattle, rant and speak with indignant fervour the verbal arguments.

Perhaps you could study and learn from some iconic trial lawyers of our time performing in court, especially those apt to seek adjournments after adjournments to make sure they can personally argue in each case, even if it is an impossible 93 cases long in a single day.

Also, look out for the advantages in being your own trial lawyer: a judge is likely to allow extra leverage and leeway to make up for your derisory amateurism that they normally don't to seasoned trial lawyers. Just be sure to smoothen the vowels and pronunciations when you exclaim "if it pleases the court/Yang Ariff".

If there's one thing most judges get annoyed more than usual, it is having to cut down smart alec trial lawyers who condescendingly think that they have a better legal mind than the presider they stand before. Use this as an edge.

Make sure you act humbly before the judge, never interrupt or correct him or her in the hope they admire your David vs Goliath position and rule for you, at least during procedural technicalities.

In any case, judges are apt to be more lenient and sympathetic to your clumsy court craft though they will never stand for idiocy. Use this to your advantage but always remind yourself that your personal initiative and commitment is always your best legal weapon.

However, accept the consequences that despite all the trouble you took to educate yourself and self-motivate your way to putting up a decent trial defence, you could still be found guilty and imprisoned for five to 20 years, or handed a life sentence, thrown to the gallows, or forced to settle humongous damages that will bankrupt you for life.

The only sentiment that you can gloat from this act of genuine self-preserving independence is that you didn't have to give a single ringgit to the insatiable lawyer who would have forced your family to sell prized heirlooms and properties, or make second mortgages to afford their fees ... and still lose the case.

Read more in the NST here.

The loaded sarcasm is intended I think. 

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Kit Siang says Pakatan must look beyond race...yes, talk is certainly cheap

A news report from the MI interview with DAP Supremo, YB Lim Kit Siang:

Pakatan must look beyond race, says Kit Siang

As it is, of the DAP National Leadership of 31 Malaysians there are: 

2 Malays(7%), 

24 Chinese(77%) and 

5 Indians(16%). 

Lets not even talk about the DAP State Leadership composition shall we. If the DAP leaders and members cannot themselves look beyond race and find the will to encourage more Malays to join it, what is there further to say? Its all UMNO's fault? Blaming UMNO alone would not help.

After 41 years at the helm of the DAP its time that the  DAP Supremo  lead the way to show that he is serious, first the DAP needs to reform to show a more balanced multiracial outlook reflecting the demographic realities in Malaysia, it is supposedly a multiracial party is it not. 

Then and only then will the Malays without the help of UMNO view it less suspiciously as a chauvinist party which cannot accept that this blessed nation has a Malay root. 

Forget the temporary Pakatan Rakyat platform which is anything but a united coalition anyway, perhaps at 70, and after 41 years as DAP Supreme leader Lim Kit Siang might want to reflect further on the DAP  he has shaped since inception, where is it heading to as the demographic of the country changes rapidly going into the future, a future without Lim Kit Siang at the helm.

Undi PAS sama macam beri undi kepada DAP

PAS reeling from the by-election defeats to UMNO/BN and detecting a significant swing of Malay votes towards UMNO/BN no thanks to their "unholy" alliance with the chauvinist DAP had come up with a 12 point slogan namely 12 Jaminan PAS untuk Malaysia Baru meant to entice the Malays who voted for them in 2008 back to their fold. 

Its Malaysia Baru now folks, wonder what happened to their pact with dominant DAP and weakling PKR known as Pakatan Rakyat? I think the "12 Jaminan" is just a ploy, have they even got approval from DAP Supremo Lim Kit Siang to announce the guarantees  since PAS as poor subordinate of the Pakatan needs DAP's permission to tie their shoes so to speak nowadays. Hilang sudah Negara Islam dan hilang sudah Hudud its all about "membangun bersama" DAP now, let not PAS leaders forget that, Nik Aziz will not be happy.

Here's a good post by Azli Shukri:

Menyanggah Haji Hadi Awang : Bulan Bukan Satu!

Saya sangat bersetuju dengan Presiden PAS berhubung kenyataan beliau yang berbunyi, “Kalau orang Melayu nak selamat, mesti tegakkan Islam baru selamat. Kalau tegakkan Melayu memang tak selamat,” (baca di sini) beliau berkata demikian pada Konvensyen Nasional Pengupayaan Bangsa: Jaminan PAS hari ini. Izinkan saya secara jujur menjawab kenyataan Haji Hadi di atas dengan penuh amanah - Haji Hadi seharusnya terlebih dahulu bertanya kepada dirinya sendiri - apakah PAS dan Islam selamat dalam perjuangan Pakatan Rakyat? 

Apakah nama Allah selamat dalam jagaan PAS? Sekiranya PAS sendirinya tidak mampu mengetuai Pakatan Rakyat, maka mana mungkin Haji Hadi mendakwa kononnya perjuangan ala-PAS mampu menyelamatkan orang Melayu dan Islam di negara ini? Kalau hukum Hudud dan negara Islam yang sudah berabad lamanya diperjuangkan oleh PAS sanggup digugurkan oleh parti tersebut, semata-mata takutkan DAP - maka, mana mungkin Islam dan orang Melayu di negara ini mampu dipelihara dengan baik oleh PAS dan para pemimpinnya?

Saya secara jujur tidak dapat melihat satu pun gagasan perjuangan PAS yang mampu membela orang Melayu dan Islam di negara ini! PAS perlu membuktikan terlebih dahulu - tanpa dibantu dan kononnya sering ditindas oleh kerajaan pusat - Kelantan tetap maju ke hadapan baik dari aspek ekonomi, mahu pun moraliti rakyatnya! Tetapi, ternyata PAS gagal membuktikan Islam itu indah di Kelantan - tandas awam yang kotor (diakui sendiri Nik Aziz), kes perceraian dan keruntuhan moral remaja yang tinggi, ekonomi negeri yang lemah, penyelewengan dan rasuah balak yang tidak pernah selesai dan penghisap dadah tertinggi di Malaysia - menjadikan Kelantan bukanlah sebuah negeri Islam contoh yang sering dicanang baik oleh para pemimpin parti tersebut! Islam memang sudah sempurnah dan baik - tetapi Parti Islam Se-Malaysia atau PAS memang tidak sempurna dan baik.

PAS tidak boleh mewakili keindahan Islam - kerana masih terdapat para pemimpinnya yang terlibat dengan rasuah, skandal seks, memaki-hamun sesama saudara seIslam dan bersekongkol dengan musuh Islam bagi menjatuhkan orang Islam sendiri! Sekiranya Haji Hadi bermaksud Islam boleh menyelamatkan manusia - itu betul, tetapi sekiranya Islam yang dimaksudkan oleh Haji Hadi di atas ialah perjuangan PAS - itu bohong dan sejelek-jelek perkataan. Sebabnya mudah - Islam bukan lagi agenda perjuangan PAS - tiada lagi perjuangan hukum Hudud, tiada lagi negara Islam dan tiada lagi pencegahan amar makruf nahi mungkar - setelah PAS bersahabat baik dengan DAP, ini jelas lagi muktamad! Jangan lagi kiranya kita diperbodohkan dengan slogan Membangun Bersama Islam - sebaliknya yang betul bagi PAS ialah Membangun Bersama DAP.

Bahkan, slogan "PAS for All" juga dikira salah, kerana ternyata yang ingin dinobatkan oleh PAS ialah parti dan bukan Islam itu sendiri - sepatutnya slogan yang tepat ialah "Islam for All". Justeru itu, saya menyanggah kenyataan Haji Hadi di atas dengan satu kesimpulan, "Perkataan yang hak (benar), tetapi makna yang diselewengkan"! Wallahualam.

Saya tidak tahulah pasal PAS for All atau PAS for apa lagi. Yang saya tahu  Islam bukan PAS. Lihat apa jadi pada PAS di Pulau Pinang,dan Selangor dan sekejap masa diPerak, bila mana  mereka hanya ada berapa kerat Adun didalam Kerajaan Negeri Pakatan, sesungguhnya mereka tidak dihiraukan oleh DAP yang membuat polisi sesuka hati mereka. PAS hanya mengganguk dan kata semua OK diatas dasar muafakat kononnya. 


Saturday, 19 February 2011

Freedom of Religion is enshrined in our Perlembagaan, is there a need for a State Exco Post for Non-Muslims really

In Malaysia, freedom of religion is enshrined in our Perlembagaan, extract from the Constitution of Malaysia:

Perkara 3. Agama bagi Persekutuan.
(1)   Islam ialah agama bagi Persekutuan; tetapi agama-agama lain boleh diamalkan dengan aman dan damai di mana-mana Bahagian Persekutuan.

Perkara 11. Kebebasan beragama.
(1)    Tiap-tiap orang berhak menganuti dan mengamalkan agamanya dan, tertakluk kepada Fasal(4),mengembangkannya.

(2)    Tiada seorang pun boleh dipaksa membayar apa-apa cukai yang hasilnya diuntukkan khas kesemuanya atau sebahagiannya bagi maksud sesuatu agama selain agamanya sendiri.

(3)     Tiap-tiap kumpulan agama berhak—
(a) menguruskan hal ehwal agamanya sendiri;

(b) menubuhkan dan menyenggarakan institusi-institusi bagi maksud agama atau khairat; dan

(c) memperoleh dan mempunyai harta dan memegang dan mentadbirkannya mengikut  undang-undang.

(4) Undang-undang Negeri dan berkenaan dengan Wilayah-Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Labuan dan Putrajaya, undang-undang persekutuan boleh mengawal atau menyekat pengembangan apa-apa doktrin atau kepercayaan agama di kalangan orang yang menganuti agama Islam.

Is it necessary to have  state exco portfolio for Non-Muslims when freedom of religion is enshrined in our Perlembagaan. The climate for religious freedom in Malaysia is good, the non-muslims have the Hindu Sangam, Buddhist Missionary Society, Council of Churches, MALAYSIAN CONSULTATIVE COUNCIL ON BUDDHISM, CHRISTIANITY, HINDUISM AND SIKHISM and many more. 

Is there a need for an Exco post like what have been created by DAP Pulau Pinang CM Lim Guan Eng apparently as inspired by BN Perak MB Zambry, at this juncture I think it is not necessary. There are enough Laws and enforcement to ensure the Welfare and Freedom of Religion in Malaysia as long as it is within the ambit of our Perlembagaan. Our formula is successful, we have had no religious riots the likes of the one that was encountered in Ambon, Indonesia(1999), Jos,Nigeria (2010) and in Gujerat,India(2009) and the BN Government will make sure it stays that way. 

We have a saying let us "sangka baik" i.e not doubt the good intention of the two state Ministers. If the creation of the exco post for Non Muslim affairs is to look after the welfare of the various religions then it is very well and good, however if the reason is political towards another hidden political agenda then it is not fine, we should not politicise ANY religion to score political points. So we will be watching what goes on in Pulau Pinang and Perak from time to time. 

Perhaps many more will be watching Lim Guan Eng as his media statement on the formation of new exco for non-Muslim affairs touched a wee bit more on race rather than religious welfare, in the ending paragraphs. strange. Read Guan Eng press statement here

The following is what Professor Buang Salleh wrote through Utusan Malaysia, expressing his concern of the DAP action in Pulau Pinang:

Portfolio timbulkan tanda tanya

Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang pimpinan Lim Guan Eng mengumumkan penubuhan satu portfolio exco baru bagi hal ehwal agama bukan Islam baru-baru ini. Matlamat usaha terbaru kerajaan negeri itu, mengikut penjelasan Guan Eng kepada media adalah untuk mengendalikan hal ehwal berkaitan dengan agama Buddha, Kristian, Sikh, Tao dan Hindu.

Ini pertama kali portfolio seumpama itu diwujudkan di mana-mana negeri di negara ini. Portfolio ini akan dipengerusikan oleh beliau sendiri, sementara Dr. P. Ramasamy dilantik menjadi timbalannya.

Mengikut Guan Eng, portfolio itu tidak sama dengan sebuah jawatankuasa kerajaan pusat yang ditubuhkan oleh Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak sedikit masa lalu bagi meningkatkan keharmonian dan kefahaman antara agama.

Guan Eng mendakwa apa yang diusahakan oleh kerajaannya itu 'mencerminkan keprihatinan tulen kerajaan negeri terhadap semua perkara berkaitan agama'.

Bagi mencari kepastian sama ada usaha terbaru Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang itu bercanggah atau tidak dengan undang-undang semasa, terutama sekali Perlembagaan Persekutuan, saya menelefon seorang peguam kanan di Petaling Jaya yang pakar dalam hal ini. Menurut beliau tidak ada halangan bagi mana-mana ketua kerajaan negeri (termasuk Pulau Pinang) menubuhkan portfolio exco hal ehwal bukan agama Islam, asalkan ia tidak cuba menyentuh secara langsung atau tidak langsung hal ehwal dan kebajikan orang Islam di negeri itu.

Peguam itu seterusnya menegaskan lagi bahawa Perkara 11 Fasal (3) memang menjamin hak setiap kumpulan agama menguruskan hal ehwal berkaitan agamanya sendiri. Sebagai seorang ketua kerajaan beragama bukan Islam, Guan Eng mempunyai hak untuk menguruskan hal ehwal dan kebajikan orang lain yang seagama dengannya.

Dari aspek ini, apa yang dilakukan oleh Guan Eng tidak boleh dipersoalkan, jelas peguam itu lagi.

Dalam pada itu, keinginan untuk mengetahui rasa hati orang Melayu Pulau Pinang sendiri terhadap penubuhan portfolio exco baru itu telah mendorong penulis untuk menghubungi seorang usahawan terkenal bergelar Datuk yang berasal dari negeri itu.

Meluahkan rasa hairannya, usahawan warga emas ini menyatakan selama lebih lima dekad Pulau Pinang diterajui oleh beberapa Ketua Menteri bukan beragama Islam silih berganti sejak merdeka, tidak pernah timbul kebajikan orang beragama bukan Islam di negeri itu diabaikan atau hak kebebasan beragama mereka disekat atau digugat oleh mana-mana pihak, termasuk oleh kerajaan negeri sendiri.

Usahawan itu merasakan bahawa apa yang hendak dicapai oleh Guan Eng serta barisan ahli exconya daripada usaha terbarunya itu hanyalah satu publisiti murahan dan keuntungan politik (political mileage) semata-mata. Ia tidak lebih daripada itu.

Setelah membaca semua laporan media mengenai hal ini yang terdapat di ruang siber, terutama sekali setiap baris dan ayat yang diucapkan oleh Guan Eng mengenainya, penulis dapat merasakan semacam ada sindiran dalam kata-kata Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang itu bahawa apa yang diusahakan oleh Kerajaan Pusat sebelum ini tidak sehebat mana jika mahu dibandingkan dengan apa yang baru diwujudkan di Pulau Pinang ini.

Sementara Perdana Menteri Malaysia sebelum ini hanya sekadar menubuhkan 'satu mekanisme' untuk berdialog dan interaksi antara pemimpin semua agama di bawah satu payung di peringkat pusat, impak usaha Kerajaan Pulau Pinang itu lebih besar lagi.

Dengan lain perkataan, sekiranya usaha terbaru Kerajaan Pusat itu diumpamakan sebagai mengambil satu langkah sederhana ke depan, tindakan Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang di bawah pimpinan Guan Eng boleh diumpamakan sebagai mengambil dua tiga langkah besar ke hadapan.

Justeru, tidak hairanlah kita kenapa Guan Eng berani bermadah dengan bangganya bahawa apa yang diusahakan olehnya adalah sebenarnya satu 'kerjasama bukan konfrontasi, saling menghormati bukan toleransi, dan kefahaman bukan kejahilan'.

Untuk seluruh pembaca akhbar ini, saya tinggalkan senario berikut untuk renungan bersama.
Katalah ditakdirkan pada satu hari nanti, Guan Eng dan kaum kerabatnya (termasuklah rakan seperjuangannya dari kelompok parti yang menggunakan label Islam sebagai identitinya) berjaya mengambil alih kuasa pusat dan merampas Putrajaya.

* Apakah uji kaji yang sekarang ini dilakukan di Pulau Pinang akan diulang di peringkat pusat?

* Apakah satu jabatan seumpama Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (Jakim), tetapi khusus untuk menjaga kepentingan hal ehwal orang bukan Islam akan diwujudkan?

* Apakah akan ada satu Pusat Bukan Islam yang sama tarafnya dengan Pusat Islam?

* Apakah akan ada satu entiti lain yang selari (parallel) dengan Institut Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (IKIM), khas untuk menimbulkan kefahaman rakyat terhadap agama bukan Islam?

* Andainya senario sebegitu boleh wujud, apakah akan jadi akhirnya kepada kedudukan Islam di negara ini? Apa akan jadi kepada Perkara 3 Perlembagaan Persekutuan?

SALLEH BUANG ialah Profesor Tamu di Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Skudai, Johor

Let me end this post with an extract from Prof. Dr. Chandra Muzaffar's, "Kua Kia Soong Ugly attempt at misrepresentation", as food for thought:

"The truth is that Kua and his ilk have always sought to repudiate this fundamental historical fact. They just cannot accept the fact that this nation has a Malay root. It is a root that is explicitly acknowledged in the Constitution through the position of the Malay Rulers, the role of the Malay language and the status of Islam. For people like Kua this is “Malay dominance” while Malaysians who have a better grasp of Malaysian realities will see this as an essential dimension of the equilibrium that sustains this nation. It is an equilibrium which at its best expresses itself through a profound appreciation of the Malay position, on the one hand, and a genuine accommodation of non-Malay interests, on the other, embodied in the incorporation of their languages and religions into the nation’s social fabric. Because Kua views the ethnic situation in our country from a skewed perspective, he has very little empathy for the Malay position."

Read Prof. Dr. Chandra full article here.