Thursday, January 29, 2015

It's Okay for Husbands to Cane Wives

According to the Selangor mufti, Muslims husbands can cane their wives.
In an Utusan Online report on January 26, 2015, Mohd Tamyes Abdul Wahid had said this form of punishment was sanctioned by the religion as a form of “rehabilitation” to “train” wives, on their duties.
If that is not stupid, I don’t know what is. Methinks, an epidemic of epic stupidity is descending upon the country like a plague.
The Women’s Aid Organisation was quick to scold Tamyes in a stinging Facebook post yesterday: “No. A man can’t do that. It is a crime to beat your wife, just read the Domestic Violence Act”.
“How can someone whose job is to advise and guide the Sultan, the state government and society condone domestic violence?"
On second thought, I shouldn't be quick to blame him! He didn’t even try to be clever. He couldn’t because he is nothing more than a simpleton. He behaved his normal self, i.e. stupid.
Anyway, if I ever need a brain transplant, I'd choose his because I would want a brain that has never been used.
On Tuesday, I was at No. 7, Lorong Utara B, off Jalan Utara in Petaling Jaya to attend the Taman Indrahana Toastmasters meeting. I was there as the Toastmaster-of-the-Evening. A decent meeting and I would give it a 7 over 10 score.


Cubitat - Plug and Play Living Space

Here’s something that is set to change the way we think about small-space living.
Canadian architectural studio Urban Capital, in collaboration with Italian designer Luca Nichetto, have created a standalone ‘plug and play living space’ and last week, it was unveiled at Toronto’s Interior Design Show.
Dubbed Cubitat, the multi-purpose cube measures 10 x 10 x 10 ft (3 x 3 x 3 m) and comes equipped with a kitchen, bedroom, entertaining area, bathroom, laundry and storage space. The space-saving design, which is still in its experimental concept phase – therefore, no estimated costings have been released – is conceptualized to easily and quickly furnish a small building into a compact home without the need for further renovations or additions.
Though no timeline has been set, the developers said buyers will soon be able to buy and customize the cubes online, before having them shipped to their destination.


According to Urban Capital the business concept for the Cubitat includes a five step process where customers can design their very own module online before it is fully prefabricated off-site and shipped to its final destination. Once on site, the Cubitat can be hoisted or slid into place, hooked up to the utilities and ready to be lived in. However, at 10 x 10 x 10 ft, it's unlikely to slide through the front door.
“It’s like that feeling when you open up a brown cardboard package that just arrived in the mail,” says Urban Capital. “When you lift that thing out of the box and set it down on the table and smile knowing how well it’s going to fit into your life. Just like that, except it’s your house”.
Urban Capital developer David Wex says: “Cubitat is about a more intelligent, holistic way to design and construct our living environments, taking cues from the prefab world and modern production methods”.
The Cubitat concept could transform any decent-sized space into a fully functioning apartment. Isn’t this cool?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Altantuya's Murder - Who Gave the Order?

The Altantuya killers: Sirul and Azilah. Image credit:
According to what is being reported in the online news media and in Harakah Daily, Piah Samat, the 74-year old mother of Sirul Azhar Umar – one of the two cops sentenced to death for the murder of Mongolian model, Altantuya Shaariibuu – is alleging  that her son was framed. She supposedly made the claim when PAS information chief Mahfuz Omar, PAS Youth chief Suhaizan Kayat and exco Salman Saleh as well as central committee member Idris Ahmad, visited her at her Perak house in Changkat Jering, Bukit Gantang on Sunday. And she is turning to God to seek mercy and justice.

In doing so, the septuagenarian mother has rightly captured a singular truth, which is, Sirul was only carrying out his duties. And for that, he is condemned to death.
This brings us back to that oft-repeated question – who gave the order for Altantuya to be killed?
Just in case we forget – Sirul is not just any ordinary police officer. He is highly trained and he ranks within the exclusive, highly disciplined trained-to-kill elite cops. Therefore, he is expected to obey and follow orders to the letter.
That is why Malaysians are still waiting to know the answer.

In case you didn't already know, Sirul has been detained by immigration authorities in Australia. The country's media have said he will not be sent back as Canberra's extradition legislation prohibits any person from being sent back to another country for an offence punishable by death unless that country pledges not to carry out the death sentence.

This has set up a potential tug-of-war with the Malaysian government. And you can expect Putrajaya to be more enthusiastic about wanting to bring Sirul back to Malaysia because what if the latter spills the beans whilst he is there? Sirul had previously hinted he was taking the fall for higher-ups. 
On Monday, I was at the Phoenix Toastmasters meeting in the office of See Hoy Chan to deliver CC speech #7 titled “About Men” and I was evaluated by Benny Chia. There was much mirth and laughter from the audience. I was also given the additional task to evaluate a CC speech by another Toastmaster. Sadly, we started ten minutes late and we finished even later. Anyway, I am giving this meeting a 3.5 score over 10. Oh, I should mention that I was voted Best Speaker.

In a pulsating semi-final leg second leg against Liverpool on Tuesdday, Branislav Ivanovic's extra-time winner sent Chelsea into the League Cup final at Wembley. Again it was another story of missed opportunities for the Reds.
Liverpool have not reached a domestic cup final since winning the League Cup for the eighth time in 2012.

Auschwitz 70th Anniversary

The main gate at the camp

Child survivors at Auschwitz – still taken from footage recorded by Soviet forces

Survivors are unlikely to gather in one place again in such numbers as many are already in their 80s and 90s

Former inmates lay flowers and tributes at the so-called Death Wall. Picture: Jacek Bednarczyk/AFP
On Tuesday, ageing survivors and dignitaries gathered at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp in Oswiecim, Poland – a site synonymous with the Holocaust to honour more than 1.1 million people who died there. This marked the 70th anniversary of the liberation by the Soviet Red Army of the Nazi concentration and extermination camp. It is said that about one million Jews were killed at the camp between 1940 and 1945. Other victims included Roma (Gypsies), disabled people, homosexuals, dissidents, non-Jewish Poles and Soviet prisoners.
The camp first housed political prisoners from Poland, and captured soldiers from Russia. Then, Jewish families from across Europe were transported here in cattle trucks as the Nazis tried to carry out the Final Solution – the annihilation of Europe's Jews.
The museum was established in 1947 with the help and advice of some of its former prisoners, who fought to secure its future as a permanent memorial to those who did not survive, and a warning to future generations.
The most powerful displays – of human hair shaved from prisoners' heads, or the crumpled leather of children's shoes – are also the most fragile and perishable.

Prisoners' discarded shoes are on display
A chart at the museum shows how all the Nazis' enemies imprisoned in the camp were given special badges to mark them out: yellow stars for the Jews, a pink triangle for gay prisoners, a purple triangle for Jehovah's witnesses, and many more marking out each minority in a hierarchy of human hell.
Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski said that the Nazi Germans had made Poland a "cemetery for Jews".
Even 70 years on, Auschwitz itself stands as mute but concrete testimony to man's inhumanity to man: a place where the very ground still feels contaminated by death on an industrial scale.
Do not believe that we shall not witness human barbarity again. The evil that men do resides amongst us. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Catholic Newsweekly Herald Loses Again

I ought to give credit to the Malaysian Christians because they tried and tried. Again and again. In the end, a five-man panel headed by Abdull Hamid Embong delivered an unanimous decision on Wednesday – that there had been no procedural unfairness in the Federal Court's decision last year not to grant the Catholic Church leave to appeal the decision of the Court of Appeal.
On October 14, 2013, the Court of Appeal had ruled that Herald could not use the word "Allah" as it could threaten national security, public order and cause confusion among the religions.
And with a cavalier attitude, a Chinese Muslim lawyer, Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla came out to remark: "This decision should end the row over the word Allah, as, legally, the previous decision by the Federal Court should have been the end". What he means is that Christians should just accept the ruling and shut up!
The Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, Most Reverend Julian Leow told Christians that the “Allah” ban was only limited to Herald and the word can be used in Malay Bibles and during praise and worship sessions. The ban applies only to the Herald? Is he for real?
MR Julian Leow is so naive! Na├»ve as the dry leaves on the ground. Please go and tell that to the zealots who seized the Malay language Bibles. Anyway, what’s the problem? Are the Christians that stupid? Did they actually think they will win?
Go into problem-solving mode. Just call it New Herald and continue using "Allah". After all, New Straits Times and UMNO Baru used the same trick.
I went to the Bankers Club in KL’s Amoda Building in Jalan Imbi and I participated in the ‘Go With the Flow’ debate (a type of Table Topics that is unique to Premier Advanced Toastmasters Club) as well as evaluated Lee Meng Tze’s CC speech # 4 – her fourth round by the way – and I didn’t expect it but I was voted Best Table Topics Speaker and Best Evaluator.
This was one of the better meetings at Premier Advanced Toastmasters meetings I have attended – and yes, I did enjoy the speeches and evaluations. An 8 over 10 score for this meeting.