Tuesday, August 19, 2014

When Tun Dr M Tells Off Najib

and says he had no choice but to keep on "menegur" the leadership and policies of Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Everyone's reading it that  Dr Mahathir, so fed up with the Prime Minister's way of running the country that he has "withdrawn" his "support" of Najib.

Actually, Dr Mahathir had already shown in his remarks since before the 2013 general election that he did not support what Najib had been doing.

"Saya tidak ada pilihan selain dari menarik balik sokongan saya. Ini pun tidak berkesan. Oleh itu terpaksalah saya menegur," he wrote in his latest blog posting.
This is not a sudden decision.

Be that as it may, should we be worried when Dr M keeps on with his "teguran".

I should think so.

The last time he lambasted a sitting PM, that (former) PM had it quite bad.

Tun Dr M was Malaysia's prime minister for 22 years before stepping down and handing over the premiership to Datuk Seri (now Tun) Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

This open attack by Dr M against Najib certainly is not pleasant. Already, the knives are out -- Dr M's and Najib's supporters.

Ahirudin Attan in his blog, said the PM needs Dr M's backing.

"The PM needs everyone's support. These are trying times for his party, for his race and religion, and for the entire country. He needs the people to rally behind him and if those standing behind him include Dr Mahathir, the better for him. Therefore, Dr M's decision to publicly declare he was withdrawing support for the Umno president - his party president - is not a minor setback. It's something Najib can do without. "

Read his posting here.

Monday, August 04, 2014

A Deafening Silence From Our NGOs on Gaza

There is a gnawing question among groups of Malaysians lately on the lack, or absence even, of protests by non-governmental organisations  in the country against the  Zionist atrocities in Gaza that have killed some 2,000 civilians, the majority of whom are women and children.
These groups are referring to self-proclaimed pro-democracy Malaysian NGOs  who were in the past involved in staging demonstrations in Kuala Lumpur.
Comango – Coalition of Malaysian NGOs – has been named along with Sisters In Islam for “not a murmur” of protest against the genocidal assault on Gaza.

“Where are their suara yang lantang”? asked a lawyer who is a partner in a well-known KL-based law firm. 
“Surely this is a humanitarian issue and clearly a gross violation of human rights that merits some protest from them?”

In the wake of “Save the Children of Gaza” rally at Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, film-maker Dr Anwardi  Jamil updated his Facebook status with:

“Heard Ambiga & Co weren't at the gathering to Save Children of Gaza and Palestines. I guess any real demonstrations and rallies that doesn't help her in her political agenda is pointless to her."

His friend, writer Awang Goneng AKA Wan Hulaimi remarked in the comment box:
And then they go to France to take an award. France banned such demonstrations.”

Is their deafening silence telling on them and exposing them for what they really are?

On the subject of the “Save the Children of Gaza” peace rally, what was glaring was the lack of support from non-Malays.

Perhaps, they are silent supporters. Perhaps the weather on Saturday afternoon was punishing. There were only a handful – notably the Tai brothers (activists Tai Zee How and Tai Zee Kin) and their friends and maybe others hidden in the huge crowd.

That is the other gnawing question a lot of people, especially Muslims are asking in social media – that has gone to real tabletalk discussions – the non-Muslim detachment of this humanitarian crisis.

Why are non-Muslims detaching themselves from what’s happening in Gaza.

No explanation is quite needed because one has only to look at remarks by mostly non-Muslims on Facebook especially.

Some regurgitate the Israeli narrative and the evil of Hamas, reflecting their ignorance while others see it as a Muslim bias.

How so? They would post photos and reports of the brutal killing of Christians by ISIS and ask why there has been no protest in Malaysia on the scale of Gaza.

I would suggest that someone organises one and I along with many Malaysians would most certainly join and denounce the brutal act of ISIS that is not done in the name of  Islam, and neither in mine.

The issue of Palestine is not a religious issue although some lesser Muslim leaders tend to get a bit emotional about it.

You don’t have to listen to these people.

Whatever standard you apply, surely the mass killing of women and children defy any justification?

The siege and offensive on Gaza this year began about a month ago, in the first week of Ramadan in retaliation – it was reported then,  to the killing of three Israeli teenagers by Hamas “militants”. But this was later found to be untrue.

Since then, Israeli forces under the Zionist regime have shown no sign of scaling down .

On July 30, Israel pounded artillery shells into a school full of evacuees, killing at least 20 people and wounding dozens as the slept.

Most of the dead were children.

The building was the sixth United Nations school in the Gaza Strip to be shelled during the month-long  conflict.
In response, the United Nations accused Israel of  violating international law.

People across the globe reacted with horror, describing the situation in Gaza as a humanitarian crisis. Many were provoked into openly criticizing Israel for carrying out ethnic cleansing and .

Israel seems to be telling the world to shove it as its forces continued with air and ground strikes on the Gaza population.  Casualties have been mostly women and children.

Israel maintains that it is protecting its security and was only responding to Hamas’ firing of rockets .

Israel has also accused Hamas of using civilians as human shields and planting bombs in schools and public areas.

The UN and other independent bodies have found no evidence of this.

Meanwhile, the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA),  reported to the UN Security Council that the humanitarian crisis in Gaza has  “surpassed United Nations capabilities for emergency shelter and services”.

Its commissioner-general Pierre Krahenbuhl , describing the crisis as a “precedent”, expressed regret that UNRWA “no longer has the resources to provide for the additional influx of refugees”.

He noted that with the growing number of refugees, there is yet Palestinians fleeing their towns,  there is no organization on the ground that has the resources to provide food or water, let alone shelter for the night.

The United Nations estimates up to 440,000 people are now displaced with 240,000 residing in UNRWA facilities.
News website, Mondeiss reported that this meant that a quarter of the population of Gaza is living in tenuous, temporary shelter.
“In addition to the devastation to the civilian infrastructure in the northern communities of Shuja’iyeh, Beit Hanoun and Jabaliya, over 103 United Nations facilities and 24 medical facilities have been damaged. Seven UNRWA workers have been killed since the beginning of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge,” it said.,
Krahenbuhl was reported to have, warned the Security Council that Gaza “will become unlivable in a mater of years unless urgent steps are taken.”

He had also said that “immediate steps” must be taken to address “root issues, not limited to Israel’s security and lifting the blockade across the besieged Gaza Strip.

Mondeiss quoted him as having stressed accountability from Israel “as the occupying power to provide dire relief, as UNRWA has exhausted all of its means of caring for nearly a quarter million refugees.”

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Stand With Palestine

Viva Palestina Malaysia (VPM) together with Aqsa Syarif will hold a a peaceful "Save the Children in Gaza" rally on Saturday Aug 2 from 3pm to 5pm at Dataran Merdeka in KL.

Viva La Palestine!

New Toll Rates At Causeway Via SIB From Tomorrow

And they doth protest too much.

So why do they?
Perhaps, because nobody likes to pay toll. It's another dent in one's pocket. It's a burden to the people. So, it is a big deal.
Also because having good roads and highways is a right of citizens of the country.
Who cares how much it cost to build those great highways that, in the end help to ease the grind of travelling on congested roads.
In this case, it is largely because un-informed and dis-informed people are so easily influenced and misled by politicians' (not political) propaganda, no matter how erroneous their arguments are.
The very politicians who are now enjoying shorter travel time to their constituencies on the very tolled highways they had attacked when the projects were proposed.

So, tomorrow (Aug 1) motorists entering Singapore through the Causeway via  the Sulltan Iskandar Building (SIB) will have to pay new toll rates.

Last Friday, the Malaysian Highway Authority announced the new toll rates -  RM9.70 and RM6.80 for inbound and outbound cars. For motorists exiting Malaysia and aentering Malaysia through the SIB.
JB residents using the 8km or so through the EDL, but not going into Singapore, need not pay.
Presently, motorists entering Malaysia through the SIB pay RM2.90.
Buses pay RM13.30 to and from Singapore, while taxis  - RM8.20 for a return trip.

It is quite a hike. No wonder, people - especially Johoreans - got riled up. They think it affects everyone.

It does not.

(This is under the Eastern Dispersal Link (EDL) and has actually solved Johor Baru's notorious traffic congestion.
 EDL is an 8.1km expressway that connects the end of the North-South Expressway (NSE) at Pandan Interchange to the CIQ in the city and is part of  Iskandar Development Region program.)

Here are the facts that the critics and naysayers won't tell you:

*  The EDL continues to be free for close to 180,000 users daily who do not go pass CIQ.
JB residents are benefiting from less congestion and better traffic flows.  Roads along the EDL have also been  upgraded .
* Out of 220,000 daily vehicles currently on the EDL highway, only 60,000 are the CIQ users and out of this 60,000 vehicles 80 per cent are Singapore-registered cars.
 * The EDL has also proven to be a major traffic solution for JB. For the past two years JB residents
have been enjoying less city congestion.

You know, there are many Malaysians working in Singapore using Singapore-registered vehicles so they don't pay Singapore's vehicles entry permit .
Singapore just increased VEP to RM90 per day, and I don't hear them complaining.

Besides paying  a lot for vehicle permits, they also pay ERP -  area road pricing - in Singapore.

As Johorean The Patriot says:
" While Singaporeans cannot drive Malaysian cars in Singapore and will be slapped with a hefty fine, we allow Malaysians to drive Singapore registered vehicles on Malaysian roads if it eases their purpose.
They pay road taxes to the Singapore government yet drive on Malaysian roads. They pay income taxes in Singapore, yet enjoy the cheap cost of living in Johor.
They cannot have it both ways.
Either they pay us a small sum while driving Singapore vehicles as a small compensation for using Malaysian roads or pay Singapore a high fee while driving Malaysian vehicles compensating Singapore for the same

So, yeah, perhaps it hurts. Just a little. But, as a blogger said: "you can't have your cake and eat it".

So go to  EDLConnects for more information.

Also do read these blog-postings :

Another Brick On The Wall

Jebat Must Die

Rocky's Bru

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Eid Mubarak

Or as we say it here -- Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

A time of celebration after a month of fasting. 
Joy and happiness.
But we know this Raya will not be that joyous, Nor will we be celebrating it as we have been in the past.

This year has been a grim 2014 for us all as we are still reeling from the shock of MH370 and MH17  .

Celebrate Eid, we must. But it will be sedate and low-key. We feel for those who lost their loved ones in the two tragedies.

Never the same.
No graves to visit.

Gone but never forgotten.

May time help heal your pain.

#prayforMH370 #prayforMH17 #saveMalaysiaAirlines 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Israel - An Apartheid State

Israel's atrocities against the Palestinian people are reminiscent of the Nazi genocide of the Jewish people. One is reminded of the Holocaust. And one cannot help but wonder how a people of the Holocaust could unleash the same kind of evil and horror on another.

I have always wondered about that. Did the Jews not suffer so cruelly under Hitler's Nazi?  So how could thee the heart to treat the Palestinians so cruelly? Why has Israel  been so relentless in trying to wipe out the Palestinian population? Targeting women and children seems to be an apt strategy.

Lenny Lapon was given an automatic Israeli citizenship in 2010 by virtue of the fact that he is a Jew. Yesterday, he renounced his citizenship.

He wrote:

"As a serious student of the Nazi Holocaust, I can only be horrified at the disgrace that the State of Israel and its Jewish supporters continue to bring upon the memory of Jewish Holocaust victims. It’s a moral abomination to emulate Nazi tactics in the name of the Jewish people and their alleged security: cowardly massive bombings and slaughter of civilian populations who have no air force to protect them, collective punishment and torture, mass incarcerations, destruction of thousands of homes, and the vicious blockade and ghettoization of Gaza.

Israel is not becoming an apartheid state—it already is one with separate and unequal laws and policing for its Jewish citizens on one hand and for its non-Jewish, mostly Arab citizens and victims of the occupation on the other hand."

His is just one of the many stories of Jews who are against Zionist Israel's  genocide of Palestinians.

Read his article in  Mondoweiss  HERE

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Al Fatehah : First Malay Woman Doctor Dies

 Today I received a text message from my physician Tan Sri Dr Ridzwan Abu Bakar to say that his mother had passed away. She was 95.
Al Fatehah

Here's the NST report.

Tan Sri Dr Salma Ismail, the country’s first Malay woman doctor, passed away this evening at Pantai Hospital in Bangsar at 6.15pm due to old age. She was 95.
Her eldest son, Tan Sri Dr Ridzwan Bakar said his mother died at 6.15pm, and that she was warded at the hospital recently.
He urged those who wanted to pay their last respects to her to do so before noon tomorrow (Monday) at No 6, Jalan Mesra, Off Jalan Aman, Kuala Lumpur.
“My mother’s determination to become a doctor superceded the norms of the time especially for a single Malay girl to journey from her hometown of Alor Star by boat to study in Singapore. But she did.”
The Second World War did not stop her from finishing her course, and it took her 11 years, which is longer than usual to finish her medical studies after it was interrupted by the war.
“She was the only girl candidate and the first in Kedah who passed the Senior Cambridge with distinction,” Dr Ridzwan said when contacted.
Dr Salma is the first Malay accredited doctor, after she completed her medical studies in 1947.
While studying midwifery in Dublin, Ireland, she met the late Datuk Dr Abu Bakar Ibrahim, also an Alor Star native and they later married.
Dr Ridzwan said his late father later became Director for the Institute of Medical Research.
Dr Salma returned to Alor Star to serve as the Royal Midwife to the late Sultanah of Kedah, following her studies in Dublin.
When Dr Abu Bakar was transferred to serve as Medical Superintendant of Kuala Lumpur General Hospital, Dr Salma became one of the first Malay private medical practitioners in the country to open a private clinic in 1967 – Klinik Salma - which still stands today. She retired from private practice at age 82.
Dr Ridzwan said his mother lived by the principle: “Have confidence in yourself, be honest, do not talk bad about others and give help to those who need it”.
She received the Bintang Cemerlang Kedah award in 1957 and Dato Paduka Mahkota Kedah (DPMK) in 1996 by the sultan of Kedah.
In 1997, she received her Tan Sri title after being conferred with the Panglima Setia Mahkota by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Dr Salma was also involved in the Higher Education Advisory Council, Governing Board of Tunku Kurshiah College, and was president of Private Practitioners Association of KL and president of the Pan-Pacific Southeast Asia Women Association.
She is survived by three children, who include Dr Ridzwan and six grandchildren.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Get Them Criminals And Make Us Feel Safe (Again)...

What happened to Dickson Wong could happen to you, your child, or a loved one.

It does sound like a cliche but I daresay that we are now living "in dangerous times". No exaggeration. I will tell you why later.

First - I'll continue with Dickson's tragic story.

The 22 year-old student died of head injuries sustained during a robbery in an alley in Taman Mayang, Petaling Jaya early Saturday (Oct 26) morning. He died without regaining consciousnes.

He was attacked by four men on two motorbikes. Passersby found him and took him to hospital.

Dickson was from Sibu, Sarawak. The criminals took all his belongings that he was left with no identification card. He was only identified the following day. His family was only made aware of
the attack on him through the newspapers.

But they managed to be with him at the hospital.

We all should be able to relate to this story, because we either have a brother, a nephew or a son -- just like Dickson.

So why do I say that we are living in "dangerous times"?

For one -- there have been so many cases of violent snatch theft and robbery that we have begun to look at everything around us just to know why and to find answers so that we can avert, avoid and prevent....
We all have been made to feel so unsafe and helpless.

And Dickson's case shows that the situation is not getting any better.

I don't have to cite cases. We have read them in the newspapers - print and online, or on  crime awareness and crime prevention websites. You have known some victims personally. Or like me -- you have been a victim yourself.

As for the police -- well, I know that they have said many things. I won't go into that because it will be like a broken record.

I do know that they have, under the NKRA to curb crime, install several features in housing estates to make it safer.

For instance in Taman Tun Dr Ismail where I live, we have more street lights and safety fences along main roads.

I'm not sure if these have helped to reduce the crime rate in our neighbourhood. But judging by the occurrences of break-in, snatch theft and robbery...

But the very good thing about TTDI is that we have a very proactive residents' association and police team who work closely together.

Also the residents themselves as a whole are a concerned lot and are active on their neighbourhood  watch website.
Most of them look out for each other.

Apparently this is not enough because TTDI continues to be a favourite target of snatch thieves and burglars -- as are some other neighbourhoods.

So, my question is -- Why is there no stopping these criminals? Why do we feel that no where is safe in the Klang Valley (and elsewhere in the country,I might add).

Some people blame drugs/drug abuse. Others feel we are victims of our own success -- affluent communities invite bad hats.

And then, of course, some blame all the ills on an inefficient police force.

We can blame everyone and everything under the sky and till the cows come home, can't we?
I don't have the answers.

But the reality is, these cases seem to be happening almost every other day. Just look at the statistics,

We despair over these cases, especially the fatal ones.

The other day, I attended a gathering of TTDI women residents and an officer of the Brickfields
police (because TTDI comes under Brickfields) on "Amanita" - an initiative under the NKRA to have home-makers (housewives) be the eyes and ears for the police in curbing crime.

The rationale is that these ladies are often at home while most others are at work and therefore can see the goings-on in their neighbourhoods.

I don't quite agree entirely but that will be in a later posting.

The lady officer -- Puan Azlin -- spoke on how we all have to do our part to prevent crime. How we must always be alert, be careful and cautious at all times, install safety and security features at our home including having a hailer or have with/on us safety gadgets such as angel alarm for our kids, pepper spray, as examples.

Frankly, it was nothing (except that Angel alarm for our kids and the hailer at home) that I have not heard or been advised before.

To be honest - at this point in our lives -- we are doing all that and more. Come on.

How much more? We have made our homes into fortresses,. Yet we are violated.

We take care not to walk along lonely and dark streets. Yet we are attacked.

We lock our car doors and hide our handbags. Yet we are attacked at traffic lights.

We are neither safe on the streets, in the park, in the neighbourhood, in our car and worse of all, in our own homes.

So, don't keep telling us to be careful and to do this or that.

Tell us that YOU are going all out to catch the criminals. To hunt them down. No rest until you nab them.

Tell us too that the task force you have set up is already in action to do this. To come down hard on these criminals that have been getting away with murder.

Let me relate to you my sister's case. It was in section 16, PJ where my sister, Nina and her family live. It happened late last year. She and her 16 year-old daughter were attacked right in front of the gate of their home by four guys on 2 motorbikes.

These guys came to both sides of the front windows of Nina's car. They smashed the windows.

Mother and daughter (who have basic martial arts skills) put up a fight but were no match to their armed assailants. Both sustained some injuries but were more shaken than anything

My sister found out later that the neighbours living on the other streets had all been victims.

Yet, no real action had been taken by the police to prevent recurrences.

The attack on my sister and daughter was just waiting to happen.
What was more disappointing was the fact that my niece managed to locate her snatched IPod using ICloud.

You'd think that with this information, the police would have taken follow-up action.

Sorry. But none whatsoever.

Sometimes I wonder what is the police stand on this besides their official one.

I'm sure they care and are concerned.

My point of view: that the bad guys have no fear of the police. Emboldened further by their drug-induced state, I imagine.

To the police -- declare war on these crimes that have made Malaysians feel absolutely unsafe to a point that many have joined in the chorus saying that Malaysia is no longer safe.
We know, of course, that Malaysia is still a very safe country.

Yet, why do we feel that nowhere is safe -- not even neighbourhoods that are considered "safe" and "nice"?

Call to arms, if you must. I will support the police on this.
Desperate times call for desperate measure.

We have the right to security and safety in our homes, streets, neighbourhoods and playgrounds.

We have done all we could to protect ourselves and our families. But, clearly there is just so much we can do.

In the process, we have become a frightened and helpless lot, resigned to have our homes and personal security violated.

Consider a "wise" advice -- to leave some valuables including your car keys in your living room  within sight of any intruder so that they'd be satisfied and not angrily invade your bedroom for what they could not get. How scary is that?

To the police, I ask - will you regard Dickson's case as just another snatch theft? Will his case be consigned to your dusty brimming files?

Will you hunt down his perpetrators?

Dickson had so much to live for.

His death should serve a purpose so that he would not have died in vain.

But I suppose that maybe too much to ask.