Saturday, January 31, 2015

Bersih Win Government Lawsuit













Image credit: http://media.themalaysianinsider.com/images/uploads/2012/april2012/29/m_ambiga.jpg

Yesterday, the High Court has dismissed the federal government's claims against electoral reforms group Bersih for damage to properties during their 2012 rally in Kuala Lumpur, saying Putrajaya was unable to prove on the balance of probability.
 
In May 2012, Putrajaya took the unprecedented step of suing then Bersih co-chair Ambiga Sreenevasan and the group's steering committee members, as rally organizers, for damages of RM122,000.
 
The government filed its suit against Ambiga under Section 6(2)(G) of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 which states that organizers must “ensure that the assembly will not endanger health or cause damage to property or the environment”.
 
But in June 2012, Ambiga filed a counter suit against Putrajaya, alleging that the government had breached her constitutional rights. Among other things, the former Bar Council chair charged that the PAA was against the Federal Constitution, particularly Section 6 which she said restricted her right to freedom of assembly.
 
Judge John Louis O' Hara also allowed a claim for unlawful arrest, detention and assault by police against Wong Chin Huat, a member of the steering committee and awarded him RM 21,000 in damages. The judge awarded Wong another RM30,000 in costs. [Wong later said the RM21,000 would go to a freedom fund set up by Bersih vice-chairman Thomas Fann in support of any Malaysian affected in exercising his constitutional right].
 
O’ Hara also dismissed Putrajaya's claim for a declaration that as organizers of the rally, Bersih must be held responsible for damages caused to public property, including police vehicles.
 
"It is clear to this court that the damages that occurred only happened after Ambiga had called off the rally”, he said.
 
The court’s decision is most welcomed. Malaysians saw stupidity first hand when the government initiated the lawsuit against Bersih. It was an act of frivolous flippancy, a futile folly that is a waste of public funds, time and effort. The BN government is indeed filled with so much frippery. 
 
I am certain Malaysians want Bersih to continue to hold rallies in pursuit of clean and fair elections. We await the next rally!

Friday, January 30, 2015

MH370 was an Accident













Yesterday, Malaysia declared that flight MH370 was lost in an accident, and that all of the 239 passengers and crew members on board were presumed dead. Even if there was not a single shred of evidence to support this story.
 
Family members and relatives say it is a "cover-up and an attempt by the government to close the case quickly”.
 
"They have no guts to announce it right to our face," said one passenger’s family member, Mohd Sahril Shaari of the televised announcement made by DCA’s Azharuddin Abdul Rahman last evening.
 
A scheduled press briefing in the afternoon was cancelled without warning. And even the live DCA broadcast was behind closed doors without the media and next-of-kin present.
 
This only goes to show that the government are insensitive. Where was the prime minister? Where was the transport minister? And where was Hishammuddin Hussein who at the time when MH370 went missing was the acting transport minister?
 
Forgive Malaysians if we think that Najib Razak doesn’t give a shit. Neither does Liow Tiong Lai. Also Hishammuddin.
 
A troika of uncaring curs. Unfeeling caitiffs. Cold-hearted cads.
 
Last evening, I was back at the Satu Hati Toastmasters Club to deliver my final CC#10 speech titled “The Thirsty Crow” – and in so doing, completed my eighteenth round of the CC manual. An interesting speech about a crow dropping pebbles (in my speech, I  mentioned eighteen pebbles) into a pitcher to get at the water. But my story had a twist and hopefully, it did inspire the audience! 

I also evaluated Lenny Pang who attempted an Advanced speech from the Specialty Speeches manual.

And I was voted Best Speaker and Best Evaluator.

Overall, it was a good meeting although we started nine minutes late – and it earned a score of 4 over 10.

















 

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: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/images/sized/ez/Altantuya-Shaariibuu1-230813_840_534_100.jpg
 
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.