Thursday, February 28, 2013

Finished Products from Lynas Corp

The world's largest rare earths processing plant, located in Gebeng near Kuantan, has already started producing finished products, its Australian owner said yesterday. Lynas Corporation Ltd began operating its facility last November despite environmental protests over health concerns.

A day of infamy where money has triumphed over Malaysian lives.

Yesterday evening, I was at the Malaysia Airlines Academy in Kelana Jaya for the joint meeting of the Kelana Bilingual and MAS Mawar Toastmasters Clubs. I took up the role of speech evaluator – Jamila Khan was repeating her CC manual and yesterday, she delivered her Ice-breaker speech – and I also won a ribbon for the Best Table Topics Speaker. I must mention that the meeting started nine minutes late. Overall, I would score this meeting a 5 out of a 10.

Also yesterday, Motherwell beat Celtic 2-1 in this disappointing SPL match. The former’s Chris Humphrey slammed in a close-range shot on 31 minutes before the latter leveled with a Georgios Samaras header (63). But the runaway leaders slipped to their fifth defeat of the season when Motherwell's Michael Higdon arrived at the back post to volley home on 73 minutes.

On Sunday, Celtic was in form when they blasted five goals into the net to emerge comfortable winners to Dundee in another SPL game. Skipper Joe Ledley pounced on a mistake from Dundee goalkeeper Rab Douglas to knock in the opener in the thirteenth minute, while James Forrest added a penalty following Matt Lockwood's dismissal for a foul on Gary Hooper (50). Dylan McGeouch then steered in a header (57) as the depleted visitors began to wilt. Ledley hammered in his second goal from 10 yards (73) and Gary Hooper completed the scoring with a lovely volleyed finish (83).

Najib Razak Slides

Prime Minister Najib Razak's approval rating, according to independent pollster Merdeka Center, has slipped further ahead of a general election which is expected to be held within weeks.

Of the 1,021 voters polled between January 23 and February 06, 2013, sixty-one percent were satisfied with the premier's performance, down two percentage points from a similar survey held last December.

According to Merdeka Center, the decline is mainly attributed to a four-point drop in satisfaction among Malay voters, down from 77 percent a month earlier. Chinese satisfaction with Najib's performance was at status quo at 37 percent, while Indian support dipped one point to 75 percent.

Najib's dissatisfaction rating has increased by two points to 32 percent – making it the highest since he took power in 2009. I predict a continuous ascent because his bag of tricks is becoming empty.

Photos of “works” at Sunway University taken at 6:10 PM yesterday – the new academic building is slowly and steadily taking shape!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Ng Yen Yen Tries Najib's Penang Trick

Haughty Ng Yen Yen must think highly of herself. She was strutting about with great show and braggadocio on Sunday night in Malacca for the “Cap Goh Mei” (the last day of the Lunar New Year) and tried to repeat Najib’s Penang trick! She had asked the crowd who filled Jonker Street during the celebrations if BN wins GE13, it will organize a mammoth celebration, to which she further persisted them to say ‘yes’. The locals replied ‘No! No! No!’ but that didn’t stop her from pressing on.

According to newspaper Nanyang Siang Pau, the Tourism Minister said: “You have to wake up. The facts are there. You have to say ‘Yes! Yes! Yes!’” Ng said, but her call was met with louder shouts of “No! No! No!”

Then she tried another approach and asked the flood of people to talk to the hawkers on Jonker Street who had benefited from Malacca’s growth and flourishing economy – “Don’t sell out Malacca’s tourism and economy for politics. (You) should say ‘Yes! Yes! Yes!’”

The human deluge again shouted back ‘No! No! No!’ and with that, she gave up and ended her speech soon after. As a Malaccan, I am so proud of our correct response to this cheap show of cockiness from a conceited chaterestre.

She just loves to be humiliated, doesn’t she? Well, she and her MCA will get another golden chance – come GE13!

If there are Malaysians out there who still think the world of UMNO-BN, please put aside your biasness and check out this video clip – also from Malacca – that is illustrative of the UMNO-BN thugs who intimidate, harass and provoke!

Please lah, ini kali lah! Reject UMNO, rebuff BN, and repudiate the ruling government for a better Malaysia!

Surely we deserve a better Malaysia!

The Winning Cat

In the world of board games, it is a momentous event when Hasbro announced on February 06, 2013 that a cat is displacing an iron! I am talking about the classic game of Monopoly where fans in a Facebook poll, have voted in the cat (31 percent of the vote) as the newest token, replacing the not-so-hot iron (just 8 percent of the vote). Hasbro had organized a month-long online vote in 185 countries. The other seven tokens – the race car, top hat, wheelbarrow, battleship, shoe, thimble and Scottie dog – remain.

The cat beat a toy robot, guitar, helicopter and diamond ring. And to celebrate, let’s play this Al Stewart song:

If you don’t know the game, you are a deprived person. Anyway, it is a popular property game launched in the 1930s where players try to get rich by buying, renting and trading properties. The game, which according to Hasbro has been played by more than a billion people, is sold in 111 countries and available in 43 languages and a digital version.

I am thinking that if we can Malaysianize the tokens, my choice will be: A submarine, a cow, a diamond ring, a Birkin handbag, a Proton car, a moneybag, a Najib figurine and a snake.

In case, you are wondering why a snake – that is because I am expecting the ruling BN to be ousted in the Year of the Snake! And that will be my wish come true!

Dr Wan Azizah speaks at Lembah Pantai Fundraising Dinner on January 29, 2013, somewhere in Kuala Lumpur

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Paper on Xpression of Fresh Graduates

I spent two whole days (25-26 February, 2013) in Hotel Istana which is located in KL’s Jalan Raja Chulan. I was there for the Third Asia-Pacific Business Research Conference where I was the Session Chair on the first day (the 11:00 AM-01:00 PM ‘Management’ session) and I presented a paper on the second day, i.e. today (the 08:30-10:30 AM ‘Management’ session).

Officially, there are one hundred and two participating authors at this Conference, of which 29 of us are Malaysians and the rest come from twenty-four other countries. I have also posted a selection of photos of some of the participants:


Apple is Losing its Cool

In a Bloomberg interview, Steve Wozniak (above), legendary co-founder of Apple, admitted that he is worried that the company is losing its cool factor. Apple was still good at "setting a standard with a new device" but because it seems to have stopped taking risks and attempting to build completely new devices, has settled into a cycle of making incremental improvements to its existing product range and as a result is losing its cool. In other words, Apple must keep setting standards or lose its cool.

The BN stronghold of Kota Tinggi in Johore appears a little shaken when Kota Kecil MCA branch chief Tai Foo Him led 180 members to pull out from the party, citing disillusionment over the party’s direction. They defected to the DAP and in the process, established the first two DAP pro tem divisions, i.e. the Kota Tinggi and Taman Tenggara divisions in the BN-controlled area.

Tai came into media limelight when he attended and spoke at the Dong Zong’s rally against the preliminary report of the National Education Blueprint 2013-2025 last November. His action drew an immediate rebuke from the Kota Tinggi MCA division, which threatened him with disciplinary action because the party had vowed to boycott the assembly.

Didn’t I hint at Johore’s crumbling invincibility?

Monday, February 25, 2013

PI Bala Returns

Former private investigator P Balasubramaniam who returned to Malaysia yesterday, had immediately declared that the first statutory declaration (SD) he made in 2008 on the murder of Altantuya Shariibuu was the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Holding up a Hindu holy book Bhagavad Gita, he swore that the allegation linking Prime Minister Najib Razak to the murder contained in the first SD was a fact. Also the Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan was asked to “take care” of the case for Najib.

In his first SD announced on July 03, 2008, Balasubramaniam had claimed that he was engaged by Abdul Razak Baginda in 2006 to deal with Altantuya’s harassment. The juicy part was the information he received that Najib had a sexual relationship with the Mongolian national.

And finally, Balasubramaniam confirmed that carpet trader Deepak Jaikishan was the one who persuaded him to retract his first SD.

I have my Coke and popcorn ready. Let the show begin!

I heard this 80s song today and it aptly describes how I feel sometimes. It starts with this simple lyric "Words don't come easy to me" and still I feel kinda strange because I am a Toastmaster, so articulating my thoughts and expressing them shouldn't be a problem and yet...

Political Prostitutes

BR1M (or 1Malaysia People’s Aid) is meant for people who require financial assistance, particularly the lower-income groups – at least that is what the Government wants us to believe. But BR1M is a government agenda that is a lot more sinister than simply being a cash handout! This is what BR1M is really all about:

And did you read that both the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister made the pronouncement that Tok Guru Nik Aziz insulted BR1M recipients by calling them animals? The mainstream newspapers dutifully went to town to deride Nik Aziz who had supposedly said on Wednesday that the granting of BR1M had received good response from the people but likened the recipients as "equal to chicken and cattle that would come if the people give these animals the food they liked"!

Methinks, Nik Aziz is right in a way. The RM500 cash handout is chicken feed when Najib Razak and the UMNO elites and their cronies have stolen millions!

But back to the tirade by Najib and Muhyiddin against Nik Aziz – they have twisted what Nik Aziz had said. This is what Tok Guru actually said:

Nik Aziz merely stated that UMNO is using money to entice the people by giving money under BR1M 1.0 and 2.0 and that is tantamount to treating them like animals with their favorite food.

“If we want to attract the attention of a chicken or duck to attend my ceramah, I am sure they will never come unless I scatter coconut flesh scraping and padi husks to lure them.

“Similarly, if we want to lure cattle or horses, we need to scatter grass, coconut flesh, husks or rice. So, when we want to lure human beings by offering things and not knowledge, it is the same as putting the humans on par with animals.

Therefore, what he meant was that UMNO was responsible for the culture of giving cash to the rakyat as political bait and thus treating them no better than animals.

It is a sorry sign of sheer desperation when Najib and Muhyiddin can lie and fabricate and distort what someone else said just for political mileage. These two are simply shameless sluts, malicious miscreants and political prostitutes!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Cheap Beer in Langkawi

There were no detours for sightseeing in Langkawi because we couldn’t find the time. Well, except for a brief stopover at the Pantai Pasir Hitam (literally means black sand beach in the Malay language) – only because it was along the route to the Lafarge plant, i.e. Teluk Ewa in Mukim Air Hangat.

Tourist brochures have described this short stretch of beach as “spectacular” but I was there and I can tell you I was really disappointed.

Folklore abounds in this place. One fable narrates that a fisherman earned the wrath of a mermaid when he stole her ring. The mermaid's curse charred the land and the black sands became the sign of the man's offense. There is another story that the black sand beach is the result of burnt soil from the rice fields which were burnt during the Siamese War. The burnt soil, probably, flowed to the sea and then got washed up at this beach. Yet another narration is depicted in this display panel on the beach itself:

Whatever it is, I couldn’t imagine why anybody would want to come to see a partially blackened beach.

Perhaps the one and only thing to look forward to in Langkawi is the cheap beer! Emil and I had bottles and bottles of Hoegaarden and Stella Artois. The imported Belgian beer is really inexpensive – the 330ml bottles cost RM4.90 and RM4.20 each respectively.

BTW, we stayed the two nights at the Perdana Beach Resort, which is located less than 7 minutes drive from the Langkawi International Airport – a cozy place actually:

We left early Saturday morning but I was in a way glad to leave. In fact, come to think of it – I didn’t think much of Langkawi anyway!