Tuesday, December 30, 2008

TM Streamyx slow - Dec 2008

Connecting to Internet using Streamyx from home is slow. Connecting to the Internet from Office using Streamyx is slow. Cybercafe Streamyx slow, college Streamyx slow, kopitiam Streamyx also slow, warung mamak Streamyx lagi slow. Don't fret. Don't grumble. The submarine cable (or undersea) telco cable linking Malaysia and Europe is undergoing restoration until Jan 04, 2009.

As usual, press statement from Talikom Malaysia (TM) is also vague as the slowness of their Streamyx line. TM does not states whether the submarine cable is belong to them or cable sewa.

Don't bother to call their 100 number either because it will be too busy. You won't get the answer. So the most you can do until Jan 04, 2008 is to bear with the slow connection. But remember, don't put all your blames to TM. It's Malaysian surfer who hog the line.

Biasa lar orang Malaysia suka sangat download file percuma. Like ripped songs, pirated movies, pirated series and video streaming 24hr a day even if they are not in front of their computer. That's my friends, is the typical habit of Malaysian Internet users. Using Streamyx line to the fullest to download illegal files and caused the bandwidth to be insufficient (even during normal days).

Related posts:
* TM Streamyx slow syndrome (Jul 2008)

* TM Net complaints
* Slow Streamyx connection update for today
* Streamyx broadband troubleshooting

From TheStar

TM: Full recovery of Internet services on Jan 4

KUALA LUMPUR: Telekom Malaysia Bhd said on Tuesday there was a delay in the restoration of Internet services following technical problems in repairing the submarine cable network linking Malaysia to Europe.

“Due to the delay, full recovery of Internet services is now expected to be on Jan 4, 2009,” TM said in a statement.

On Dec 20, TM said the disruption of its Internet services was due to circuit fault on the Southeast Asia – Middle East – Western Europe 4 (SMW4) submarine cable network between Palermo (Southern Italy) and Alexandria (Northern Egypt) linking Malaysia to Europe.

TM said there was a delay in the restoration of Internet services due to technical problems at the repairing stages.

It added that customers using Internet services might continue to experience slow browsing while accessing websites hosted in Europe.

Customers using other IP services such as Virtual Private Network (VPN) and other critical business applications linked to Europe may also experience some service degradation.

“To alleviate the problem, some of the links have been rerouted to alternate routes to ease the congestion,” it said.

TM assured its customers that it was undertaking all necessary measures to restore communications services for its customers as soon as possible.

Customers can call TM at 100 and select “Internet Services” or e-mail us at help@tm.com.my for any Internet related problems.

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For the past few days, reports on the issue of anti-Islam, anti-Muslim, anti-Prophet Mohammad, blogger insulting the Muslim and even anti-Hindu has been sketchy due to absent of facts from the authority (read: the Police or the Home Ministry). Maybe they are still in cuti-cuti mood, huh.

What exactly is Bigotry Of Islamophobia

How it all started

Apparently, a particular blogger decided to do some research on a sensitive topic, i.e. negativity of a faith and posted an article with detailed compilation including link(s) to offensive images and videos. Many have the opinions that the blogger shouldn't posted that kind of material in the first place even though those texts, quotes, links are not his but a work of compilation (or copy pasting).

That particular blogger is now in an awkward position to say that the sensitive article does not come from the horse mouth or his mouth. His work of compilation is the word of his mouth.

Anyway, all the compiled contents are actually not new. It has been in the Internet since DAY 1. It just happened that the blogger compiled it, posted it, his blog got a sudden surge of traffics and BOOOOM, too many readers came across the post (include those offended) and the things became an issue. That blogger is suddenly in the limelight (or sudden fame) but maybe on the wrong circumstances until he proved otherwise.

Who started the fire

The mentioned blog is addressed at surind dot blogspot dot com. One of his article titled "The Hajj: The Most Shameful Journey in History?" despite being edited multiple times, has been kicking up a big storm. For the original post, check out their archived content extracted from Google Cache. Due to the nature of the post, he is receiving flakes from both sides and there is even a police report lodged against him. Obviously there are three parties looking at his articles, 1) his supporters 2) the offended Muslims and the 3) neutral Malaysians who think that his post is too extreme and provocative.

Who fueled the fire

When there is fire, there is smoke. Obviously, Malaysia do have their own band of Muslim Champions who are watchful over this issue. Of those champions is Zainol Abideen a.k.a MAHAGURU58. He has lodged a police report against Surind. Zainol also claimed that he is a peace loving Malaysian Muslim but still called non-Muslims as Al Kafirin dan Munafiqin.

Who try to calm down the storm

Some bloggers like the The Might Of The Pen (TMOTP) tried to calm the situation by advising Surind to take a step back but at the same time, TMOTP also lambasted MAHAGURU58 as being a Kafir.

Religious issues being politicized

Meanwhile, the Opposition Group (or Pakatan Rakyat) take the opportunity to blast the authority namely, the Home Minister, Information Minister and MCMC for being too slow (read: tardy, siput) in taking action and nipped the problem earlier.

Lim Kit Siang commented that "While all right-thinking Malaysians, regardless of race or religion, agree that stern action should be taken against those responsible for the blog which insults Prophet Mohammad, many are asking why the authorities have been so tardy and laid-back in acting when complaint was first made many weeks ago." Read more at his post ... Anti-Prophet Mohammad blog - Hamid, Shabery, MCMC should explain why so tardy in taking action

Blame it on Malaysia poor education system and close minded mentality

Another long standing problem with Malaysian is their poor patience in dealing with criticism and provocation, especially when it concerned insulting and ridiculing Islam. This is largely due to Malaysia poor education system.

In addition, if the extremists or our authority for that matter really want to show their power, they should consider closing down the following sites (run by non-Malaysian), if they can.
* Pedestrian Infidel -- Anti-Islam
* The Root of All Evil? - Human better off without God
* The Enemies of Reason - Science rules
* Islam Watch - Telling truth about Islam, or is it

What is faith

"We may define "faith" as the firm belief in something for which there is no evidence. Where there is evidence, no one speaks of "faith." We do not speak of faith that two and two are four or that the earth is round. We only speak of faith when we wish to substitute emotion for evidence." - Bertrand Russell

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A good advice from Perak Mufti, "Be sensitive to other religions". We just hope that there are more Muslim like him. In addition, it would be great if other fanatic Muslim in Malaysia have equally fair view on other religions. After all, there is only one Earth and like it or not, we all are stuck in one planet and we are neighbors.

From TheStar

Mufti: Respect other faiths

PUTRAJAYA: Islam does not teach its followers to look down on other religions and their believers, but respect those of other faiths, says Perak Mufti Datuk Seri Dr Harussani Zakaria.

Dr Harussani, a recipient of this year’s Tokoh Maal Hijrah award, said:

“We do not condemn Jesus because he, too, is a prophet in Islam. Neither do we destroy the many temples and places of worship because our religion refrains us from doing so.”

He said religious and racial tolerance has been Malaysia’s strength and unique quality for the past 50 years, adding that if the country wanted to prosper, such a trait must be maintained.

“The rest of the world has always looked at Malaysia as an example where this is concerned,” he said when asked to comment on the existence of a blog that insulted Prophet Muhammad.

He said the racial and religious harmony enjoyed by Malaysians would end if irresponsible parties stopped being sensitive towards other people’s beliefs.

Dr Harussani, 69, said such actions would spark religious tensions as no one would tolerate it if their religion was to be condemned.

“This kind of behaviour is rude and uncalled for. I liken it to someone greeting another kindly but getting slapped or shouted at in return. Sooner or later, the person who greets will stop greeting and will retaliate,” he said yesterday.

Dr Harussani has often been criticised for being too frank, but he continued to speak what he felt was right.

“Sometimes, the truth hurts and can be rather bitter to stomach. But I cannot say otherwise because what is hak (right) is hak and what is wrong is wrong.

“I will continue to point out the wrong because it is my duty to do so, not only as a mufti but also as a Muslim,” he said.

For winning the Tokoh Maal Hijrah award, which is presented annually in conjunction with the Maal Hijrah celebration, he received RM100,000 from the Federal Government, RM20,000 from the Ubaidi Foundation, and a plaque and a gold medal from the Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah of Kedah.

Dr Harussani said the honour would encourage him to work harder, especially in getting those of other beliefs to understand Islam better.

“I am grateful and the recognition has humbled me. It has also given me new strength to continue with what I do because there are times when one feels that one is unappreciated,” he added.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Malaysia

We would like to wish all our Christian readers,supporters,allies and friends a wonderful time this Christmas.

To non-Christian, happy holiday.

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The current debacle whether Mathematics and Science subjects for Primary School should be continue to be taught in English or reverted to Bahasa Malaysia is stemmed from teachers who refused to improve their own English language skill.

Utusan Malaysia is quick to point out that the lack of preparation, including having teachers who are not proficient in English, has foiled the Government’s plan to train students who are good in Mathematics and Science.

Ask teachers who are comfortably teaching Maths and Science in English and they will tell you that the students can take it. The main problem is the teachers who are assigned the task is not proficient in English. Most of those teachers are Malay who refused to take the initiative to improve their English.

If the teacher is not capable of understanding English, how do we expect the Government plan to succeed. The government has spend billion of Ringgit on behalf of the Ministry of Education to purchase IT equipments, preparing English courses and materials but those egoistic Malay teachers refused to attend those courses. They still want to teach in Bahasa Malaysia instead of progressing to teach in a second language. All the government spending going the drain yet no result was achieved.

From TheStar

No decision yet on Math and Science in English policy

PUTRAJAYA: The wrangle over the teaching of Mathematics and Science in English continued with seven proposals put before the final roundtable meeting yesterday.

The proposals are:

> Stick to Mathematics and Science in English;

> Revert to Bahasa Malaysia;

> Let primary schools teach both subjects in the mother tongue and secondary schools use English;

> Let primary schools decide for themselves;

> Mathematics and Science be taught in Bahasa Malaysia and mother tongue for Years One to Three and in English from Year Four onwards;

> A combination of mother tongue in the first three years and a choice of mother tongue or English after that; and

> The two subjects will not be taught in Years One to Three and instead be integrated into other subjects.

These proposals were summarised from four roundtables organised by the Education Ministry since July to gather feedback from a spectrum of stakeholders.

However, Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong, who chaired the fifth and final discussion yesterday, cautioned that the purpose of the dialogues was to gather feedback from all parties.

No decision on the issue would be made at this juncture.

“We will put together a report for Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, who will then study it and submit the ministry’s findings to the Cabinet for a decision,” he told a press conference.

What was disclosed for the first time and of great interest to the 180 participants present was the analysis of the recent Primary School Achievement Test (UPSR), based on the performance of the first cohort of Year Six pupils who have gone through six years of learning Maths and Science in English.

“Overall, the trend has been positive. Pupils have actually done marginally better in many instances. More pupils in both urban and rural schools scored A, B and Cs in the two subjects.

“Even their performance in the English language has shown a rather big improvement of 4.4%, while the performance in Bahasa remained stable,” said director-general of education Datuk Alimuddin Mohd Dom, who presented the analysis.

Another encouraging sign was that the number of pupils opting to answer the two subjects in English had increased significantly, reflecting greater confidence in using the language.

In Tamil vernacular schools (SJKT), 62.76% of pupils answered in English for Science and 89.11% for Maths.

It was a totally different scenario in Chinese national-type schools (SJKC), though. Only 2.86% answered in English for Science and 1.29% for Maths.

From TheStar

Split right down the middle over language

PUTRAJAYA: There are as many advocates as there are detractors to the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English.

Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong said participants were free to speak their mind.

“This is why we are here ... we are listening to the views of all stakeholders,” he said after chairing the ministry’s fifth roundtable discussion on the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English.

Senator Lee Chee Keong from MCA said the party wanted Science and Mathematics to be taught in the mother tongue in primary schools.

“The statistics show that very few students in Chinese primary schools are answering in English. In fact only 2.86% answered in English for Science and 1.29% for Maths,” he said.

He said this showed students were either not able to understand or unable to answer in English. At the same time, Lee said there should be more English periods in schools in order to ensure students were not left behind.

“Students should be able to study the two subjects in English at secondary-school level,” he said.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk S.K. Devamany said the MIC did not have an official stand on the issue yet.

“We want to get stakeholders to put forward their views before we make a stand,” he said during a break at the ministry’s fifth roundtable discussion.

He said the MIC education bureau had met Tamil school headmasters and those from the teaching fraternity, adding that the feedback received was mixed.

Devamany, who is an MIC central working committee member, said the party planned to meet with parents next.

“Parents have the right to decide what they want for their children,” he said.

Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE) chairman Noor Azimah Abd Rahim said it represented parents in both urban and rural areas who wanted the subjects to continue being taught in English.

“As parents, we feel that the students’ English will improve if the policy is able to continue. It will also give students a competitive edge,” she said.

Dong Zong (United Chinese School Committees’ Association of Malaysia) chief administrative officer Kuang Hee Pang said the ministry must be clear on whether it was English or Science and Mathematics which was important.

“Students should be able to use the mother tongue to study the two subjects,” he said.

From TheStar

Poor preparation marred teaching of subjects in English
Other News & Views

THE lack of preparation, including having teachers who are not proficient in English, has foiled the Government’s plan to train students who are good in Mathematics and Science, said Utusan Malaysia.

In its editorial, the daily said the problem had also resulted in students who were “lucky” enough to benefit from the teaching of the two subjects in English.

“The main objective of implementing this policy is to train students who are talented in the two subjects while improving their English.

“However, we do not want the policy to only include students from urban areas while those in the rural areas, especially Sabah and Sarawak, do not benefit from it,” it said.

The daily said the round-table discussion, which was held yesterday, must provide substantial evidence to show that the policy was able to improve the students’ competency in the two subjects.

It said that if relevant parties believed that it was still not the right time to implement the policy, they would have to clearly explain the reasons.

“The decision on whether to continue implementing the policy should not be taken lightly as it will affect the future of the education industry.

“A small mistake can affect the life of the rakyat, especially those who are marginalised and deprived of various facilities,” it said.

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Come January 2009, and more factories workers and executives will be out of jobs. Expect also more phrases of "closure", "layoff", "winding down", "retrenching", "retrenchment", "downsizing", "shutdown", "tutup kilang", "kilang likup" to monopoly the newspaper frontpage in the coming weeks.

Employee layoffs have been long planned by major factories in Malaysia, probably as early as January 2008. Of course the Government as well as the factories owners vehemently denied those rumors, until now.

But make no mistake, all employees who worked at factories will be fearful of sudden termination and layoffs as early as January 2009. And what has our Government did to counter this critical issue?

The latest causalities are such as:
* Western Digital (KOMAG) factory in Kuching

From TheStar

Factories warn of layoffs

PUTRAJAYA: Several companies have indicated to the Government they will be retrenching workers in January and February.

Human Resources Ministry secretary-general Datuk Thomas George said all were in the manufacturing sector, which was extremely dependent on exports and overseas demand.

“Our labour officers have been told to focus their monitoring on areas in Penang, Selangor and Johor, where the manufacturing sector is the strongest.

“We have also been told to expect a significant increase in lay-offs in the six months ahead,” he told reporters at a briefing on Malaysia’s employment outlook on Wednesday.

However, Thomas stressed that the current situation was still healthy compared to 1998, at the height of the Asian financial crisis when there were 80,000 lay-offs.

“Normally it is around 30,000 or less. And we still have over 77,000 active vacancies registered with JobsMalaysia,” he said.

To an accusation by trade unions that reports of retrenchment and a possible slowdown had been exaggerated and exploited by unscrupulous employers, Thomas said: “This is real and we are not overdoing it. We are not shielded from it.”

He said the ministry would implement a “train and place” programme for those retrenched without compensation or benefits.

“While undergoing training, these workers will also be paid an allowance to help them tide over the crisis.”

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Western Digital Kuching closing down

Unofficial news has been circulating that Western Digital (formerly KOMAG Kuching) factory in Sama Jaya Free Industrial Zone in Kuching is winding down. Closing down. Close shop. Tutup kedai. Gulung tikar.

The winding down process will takes about 3 months from now and by late March 2009, expect their gates and facilities to be in total state of shutdown.

The winding down of Western Digital factory in Kuching will resulted in another 1,000 jobless people.

* Jan 25, 2009: Hitachi - Western Digital deal off

In March 2008, Western Digital (WD) said that it will cut about 800 employees from its global workforce of 42,500. The reduction is said to be primarily a result of a restructuring following the acquisition of disk maker Komag. 770 people in Malaysia and "approximately" 30 in the San Jose, California, will lose their jobs, WD stated. This news is now turning into a nightmare for the 1,000 employees in WD Kuching.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

PPP remains within Barisan Nasional

PPP is still with the Barisan Nasional coalition, for now. However, PPP reiterates its call for Internal Security Act (ISA) amendment before the next general election. Otherwise it would have “no reason to remain” in Barisan Nasional.

The above was the decision reached during their emergency supreme council meeting today which suppose to decide if PPP will pullout from BN coalition. Apparently, their decision is a "safer" approach with wait-and-see factor.

From The Star

PPP reiterates its call for ISA amendment


KUALA LUMPUR: The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has reiterated its call for the government to amend the Internal Security Act (ISA) before the next general election. Otherwise it would have “no reason to remain” in Barisan Nasional.

PPP supreme council which held an emergency meeting on Thursday voiced its full support for party president Datuk M. Kayveas.

The deputy president Datuk Lee Heng who chaired the meeting said Kayveas had urged the government to amend the ISA following calls from the party’s Wanita and Youth wings recently to abolish the act altogether.

“The president’s response to that was to meet half way that is to ask for an amendment. If there is not even an amendment, then PPP would have no reason to remain in Barisan,” he said at a press conference.

Kayveas was not present at the emergency meeting as he was overseas.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister and Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said he had no plans to amend the ISA and that PPP was free to leave Barisan if it wanted to.

Earlier, Kayveas had called on the government to amend the ISA or PPP would pull out of Barisan.

Lee Heng said PPP’s stance was very clear that the government should amend the ISA to prevent it from being used against civilians who posed no security threat.

“This is line with the desires and sentiments of the rakyat. We feel there is no point in us staying in Barisan if the ISA is not amended before the next general elections,” he said.

He said there was still a lot of time before the next general election and thus PPP would only cross the bridge when it comes to it.

“We will not give up. There is still time. We have already seen some changes (in the government),” he said citing the upcoming Barisan Nasional convention in February and the Anti-Corruption Commission Bill and the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill that was tabled in Parliament on Wednesday as examples of some of the changes the government was making.

Lee Heng said Abdullah never asked PPP to leave Barisan, adding that the Prime Minister’s comment that PPP was free to leave the coalition was merely in response to questions from the media.

PPP also announced Thursday that it had sacked former president S.I. Rajah from the party for calling on Kayveas to step down as president.

The disciplinary board chairman Datuk Maglin D’ Cruz said Rajah could not appeal against the decision.

He said he had initially thought that Rajah was no longer a PPP member but upon checking found that the former president had rejoined the party in March 2007.

“For him to approach the Prime Minister and say that PPP is not leaving Barisan and for him to ask the party president to step down is a serious matter,” he added.

Maglin said the decision to sack Rajah was unanimously endorsed by the supreme council.

On Wednesday, Rajah, claiming to be an adviser to the party said he had met the Barisan chairman and secretary-general at Parliament and gave them the assurance that PPP would not pull out of the coalition.

He called on Kayveas to step down instead of issuing an ultimatum to Barisan to amend the ISA.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

PPP to decide pullout from Barisan Nasional

PPP is to hold an emergency supreme council meeting today to be chaired by its deputy president Lee Heng to discuss the party’s status in the Barisan Nasional.

M. Kayveas, the president of PPP has given an ultimatum to Barisan Nasional to abolish the Internal Security Act (ISA) before the next general election or that he would pull the party out of the ruling coalition.

PPP is following the footsteps of SAPP who recently disassociate itself with Barisan Nasional.

Watch out for this space for the latest news on PPP pullout from Barisan Nasional

* 07:00pm : The PPP supreme council expressed full support for its president M Kayveas today and repeated its threat to leave the ruling BN coalition if the ISA is not amended before the next general election. In addition, S. I. Rajah, their former party president has been sacked from the party.

From TheStar

Kayveas urged to step down

KUALA LUMPUR: There was more drama on the PPP front with a past president and “adviser’’ calling on current president Datuk M. Kayveas to step down.

Former president S. I. Rajah rapped Kayveas for issuing an ultimatum to Barisan Nasional to abolish the Internal Security Act (ISA) before the next general election or that he would pull the party out of the ruling coalition.

“In making such a statement, Kayveas should have obtained the consensus of the grassroots members by holding a referendum – which he did not,” he said in a statement yesterday.

On Tuesday, Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the government had no intention of abolishing the ISA and that PPP was free to leave Barisan if it wanted to.

Claiming to be the PPP adviser, Rajah said he had met the Barisan chairman and secretary-general at Parliament yesterday morning and gave them an undertaking that PPP would not leave Barisan.

He said there were two options open for Kayveas – either to pull the party out of the coalition or resign as the party president.

However PPP office bearers rallied behind Kayveas.

Vice-president Datuk Maglin D.Cruz said Rajah had no right to make the statement as he was not even a PPP member any more.

“Who is he to tell the party president to step down? He (Rajah) is a nobody. I haven’t seen him in the party for over 12 years now. And, he is certainly not the party adviser,” he said.

Maglin had attended Tuesday’s Barisan supreme council meeting because Kayveas was overseas.

He said PPP would be holding a press conference today over the pull out. In Malacca, Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam has joined others who have told the PPP that it was free to leave the Barisan Nasional.

He said the threat to leave if the ISA was not amended was a cheap publicity stunt.

Saying the ISA was still crucial to maintain peace and security, Mohd Ali added that PPP’s departure would have no impact on the coalition.

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Unemployment rate in Sabah is on the rise.

If it is in West Malaysia, the rise in unemployment rate is probably due to weak economy.

But if it is in Sabah, the rise in unemployment rate is due to weak economy and compounded by the fact that illegal immigrants are also take the jobs in Sabah (thus depriving local Sabahans of work).

From TheStar

Sabah braces for unemployment

KOTA KINABALU: The unemployment rate in Sabah is likely to jump next year as the state begins to feel the impact of the economic crisis, Resource Development and Information Technology Minister Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai said.

The state’s employment bureau, the Sabah Job Centre, should gear up for an increase in the number of people seeking jobs, he said.

“The centre has an important role. It registers and assists the unemployed by matching them with work opportunities,” he said after launching the Career Expo 2008 at the Likas Sports Complex here.

Since it began operating last month, the centre had registered 5,474 job seekers and 300 employers, Dr Yee added.

In light of the present economic conditions, he said those seeking jobs should not be choosy.

Sabah’s unemployment rate had dropped from 6.3% in 2006 to 5.7% last year and most of the recorded jobless were youths aged between 16 and 24 years living in rural areas.

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The cabbies have grumbled that the petrol subsidy card does not give them price advantage. Now, the fishermen are complaining on the same issue but with a threat to strike.

If the subsidy card is suppose to give the fishermen a lower diesel price compared to the market price, then the government is slow in adjusting the subsidized price.

But of all noble intention, subsidy card is not the answer because no matter what the price is, the receivers will always complained.

From TheStar

Strike threat if diesel prices not lowered

PANTAI REMIS: Some 45,000 fishermen from Perak, Selangor and Sarawak are set to go on a three-day strike this Friday over the high price of diesel.

Pantai Remis assemblyman Nga Kor Ming said the fishermen were frustrated that the price of subsidised diesel was still RM1.43 per litre when the crude oil price had plunged from US$145 per barrel to US$42.

Nga, who is also executive councillor, urged the Federal Government not to ignore the pleas of the fishing community who had “many times” asked that the price be lowered from RM1.43 to RM1 per litre.

“I hope the Federal Government will take swift action to prevent the strike, either by meeting their representatives or lowering the diesel price.

“If not handled properly, the strike would involve fishermen nationwide. The supply of seafood could drop by as much as half,” he said yesterday.

Already, hundreds of fishermen in Kedah had gone on strike yesterday, said Nga.

Boat owner Kuik Teng Lee, who spoke for some 1,000 fishermen here, claimed that the community was struggling to make ends meet with the cost of diesel making up 70% of their expenses.

“It takes RM7,000 to RM8,000 a month to maintain one vessel but if the price of diesel were to fall to RM1 per litre, our expenses would drop to RM4,000,” he said.

Pantai Remis Fishmongers Association chairman Lim Cheong Eng also urged the Federal Government to lower the price of subsidised diesel by tomorrow.

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Is the petrol card given to taxi drivers necessary? When the oil price shoot up, the petrol card given to cabbies are loaded with subsidized price. Thus, they are enjoying cheaper fuel price.

Now that the oil price has dipped, the cabbies are complaining that the subsidized price remain the same and they are paying above the market price. If so, they can just buy petrol without using the petrol subsidy card.

Furthermore, even with the petrol subsidy card, taxi fare remain high and does not benefit commuters.

From TheStar

Cabbies stuck with ‘useless’ petrol card


IPOH: While motorists are paying less for fuel these days, taxi drivers are forking out more with the petrol subsidy card.

Ipoh City Taxi Operator Association chairman Yap Siew Chuan said the subsidy card, which they received from the Government, charged RM1.92 for a litre of petrol.

Yap said the Government had issued taxi drivers with the card after the petrol price shot up to RM2.70 a litre in June.

“But now the retail price of petrol is RM1.90 a litre,” he told reporters here yesterday after raising the matter with Gopeng MP Dr Lee Boon Chye.

Yap said this meant that taxi drivers were paying two sen more for a litre of petrol if they were to use the card, which they received in October.

“We hope the Government will revise the petrol subsidy card to less than RM1.50 a litre,” he said, adding that the card was now useless to them.

Prices had been cut for the fifth time this year and RON97 petrol is now RM1.90 per litre, while RON92 petrol and diesel are priced at RM1.80 a litre.

Yap said the taxi drivers were unable to lower their fares although the petrol price had dropped to RM1.90 per litre because the prices of other items were still high.

“We are being burdened with the high cost of tyres, spare parts and maintenance fees,” he added.

Yap also urged the Government to look into the problem of high insurance premiums imposed on taxi drivers.

In June, he said, taxi drivers experienced an increase in annual premium from about RM300 to RM800 for those with No Claim Bonus (NCB). “Without the NCB, the premium could even go up to RM1,000,” he added.

Dr Lee said he would write to Bank Negara and the Finance Ministry so that the respective authorities could help resolve the problems faced by taxi drivers.

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When Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud Wednesday dismissed the possibility of calling for an early state election, he conveniently forgot to let the people know that he wish to be the CM for Sarawak until his last breath.

Taib Mahmud has been the CM for over 27 years and is the longest serving CM in Malaysia.

* Apr 7, 2009 - By-election result N29 Batang Ai

Related posts:
* Abdul Taib Mahmud must go - Chong Chieng Jen
* Abdul Taib Mahmud accomplishments and scandals

From Bernama

Sarawak CM Dismisses Possibility Of Early State Election

KUCHING, Dec 3 (Bernama) -- Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud Wednesday dismissed the possibility of calling for an early state election.

The state Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman said that calling for an earlier state election was ridiculous, particularly during economic downturn and uncertainties.

"All governments of the world will say economic uncertainties are not the right atmosphere to call for an election.

"If someone else has a different formula, probably he does not know about economics," he told reporters after receiving Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Abang Muhammad Abang Salahuddin on his return from Kuala Lumpur at the Kuching International Airport here.

Taib, who is also Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) president, was asked to comment on whether the state government would call for early state election.

Sarawak had its state elections in May 2006 and the next election is due in 2011.

Last month, Sarawak PKR deputy chairman Wan Zainal Abidin Wan Sanusi predicted that the 10th state election would be held by middle of next year, following the latest political development in the state which saw Ngemah state assemblyman Gabriel Adit Demong and former Sri Aman Member of Parliament Jimmy Donald, together with almost 12,000 supporters, joining PKR.

Last week, PKR vice-president Azmin Ali said PKR was focused on wresting Sarawak from BN in the next state election which expected to be held in the second quarter of next year, and that all PKR MPs and assemblymen would be in Sarawak from the second week of this month to "do battle" to win the state.


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Zaid Ibrahim who was recently sacked by UMNO has joined PKR. Just after his sacking from UMNO membership, Zaid Ibrahim lamented that UMNO practiced double standards and he stressed that the will not join any opposition party soon but does not rule out doing so later. Apparently he misled everyone and he is now in Anwar group.

From Bernama

Anwar Welcomes Zaid Into Pakatan Rakyat

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 3 (Bernama) -- Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on Wednesday welcomed into the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition former Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Zaid Ibrahim who was, on Tuesday sacked from Umno.

Anwar, who is Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor, said PR was comfortable with the principles of Zaid whom he described as being stern in opposing laws said to be contrary to human rights, including the Internal Security Act (ISA).

"We welcome him. It's his choice to discuss with PKR, DAP and PAS leaders. We are comfortable because we have seen him steadfast in defending the principles of human rights and being very committed in his position and stand against the ISA," he told reporters at the Parliament lobby.

Zaid was sacked from Umno yesterday for having attended events organised by several opposition parties.

He had resigned as a minister and senator on Sept 17 after he disagreed with the government's use of the ISA in detaining a journalist, a blogger and a PR Member of Parliament.


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RELA need not be disbanded but stopped them from carrying out raids if they are not trained for such jobs.

In regards to raid for illegal immigrants, such raids should have been conducted by the Immigration and the Police in the first place.

The RELA members still can be make used for crime prevention such as patrolling streets and neighborhoods and also for crowding control during functions.

From TheStar

Bar Council wants Rela disbanded

KUALA LUMPUR: The Bar Coun­cil has called for Rela to be disbanded following numerous re­­ports alleging “members abuse of their powers during enforcement raids.”

Bar Council Law Reform and Special Areas chairman Datuk M. Ramachelvam said Rela members were not trained for such jobs and would perpetuate human rights abuses if allowed to carry out raids.

He said that the Government should instead employ more Im­­migration officers to carry out the job.

“How can they become law enforcers when they undergo only two weeks of training? That is okay if their role is confined to directing traffic but not conducting raids as they are doing now.

“Rela is not equipped to determine the authenticity of the documents carried by migrants,” he said at a press conference after chairing a round table discussion on the “Arrest and Detention of Migrants”, here on Friday.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the relevant government agencies and non-governmental organisations.

The Bar Council also called on the Government to set up special sessions courts and to engage more legal aides to expedite immigration cases involving migrants. — Bernama

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Ting Pek Khiing is at loggerhead with Dr. George Chan, the president of SUPP for late payment of his school project. Ting Pek Khiing (or TPK) is not happy with SUPP for not keeping their promise to pay him upon completion of a school project. The new school is estimated to cost RM6.3 million and SUPP has only paid partial amount.

The Chung Hua Primary School No 2 building at Jalan BDC-Samajaya, Off Jalan Stutong project commenced construction during the election campaign in March 2008 which is a promise by SUPP to the Kuching voters in order to gain votes for their parliamentary candidate Alan Sim. Alan Sim lost in that election.

From the Eastern Times

Ting wants payment for completed school project

By Mark Mos

KUCHING: “Please keep your promise, for I have kept mine,” said Tan Sri Ting Pek King when representing Global Upline at a press conference at the new Chung Hua Primary School No 2 building at Jalan BDC-Samajaya, Off Jalan Stutong here yesterday.
“I was told to finish the construction before school starts next year and have kept my promise, but please arrange for the appropriate payment as your side have promised,” he said.

Expressing his unhappiness, Ting said he had gone to the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) office to request for payment for the new school but did not get any.
The new school is estimated to cost RM6.3 million.

To date, SUPP has only paid RM2 million to the builders and has yet to pay another RM3.2 million after the completion of the project.

“What irritates me is that they (SUPP) are not making any effort at all in collecting donations to pay for the school. If they have tried I won’t mind. As a party representing the Chinese community they must be responsible,” he said.
Ting himself had donated RM1 million to the project which was undertaken by Global Upline which took only eight months to complete.

“If SUPP or any government body refuses to pay for the school then the school will be locked up and not be handed over until the matter is settled,” he warned.
When contacted, Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan, told Eastern Times that SUPP would pay up the balance as soon as possible.
“The party is currently raising money from donations and have paid another RM500,000 to the builders,” he said.

Chan said he had met Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, last Wednesday to inform him of the matter and asked for tax exemption for the project.
“The DPM has on the whole, agreed to the issue of tax exemption and now we are currently waiting for the letter to the effect,” said Chan.
Global Upline Sdn Bhd had signed a contract with SUPP to construct the building of the new Chung Hua Primary School No 2 to replace the old one at Jalan Green Hill in March this year.

Meanwhile, SUPP Education Bureau in a press statement assured Ting that it would raise the necessary fund to complete the said project and thereafter, hand over the project to the management of the Kuching Chung Hua Primary Schools No 1-6 Board of Management.
“The total cost of the project is RM6.3 million was much more than our original estimate. To date, we have paid RM2 million.

“We would like to express our appreciation to Tan Sri Ting for his generous donation of RM1 million towards the construction costs,” it said.
The statement added that despite the current difficult times, SUPP has been able to raise another RM2 million but donors had requested for tax exemption permit from the Ministry of Finance.

“We had applied and verbal approval had been given. Meanwhile, we would like to assure parents and members of the public that we will ensure that the outstanding sum will be settled amicably and that the said school will operate as scheduled in 2009,” it said.
It also expressed gratitude to Ting for competing the building of the school as scheduled.
“The relocation and construction of Kuching Chung Hua Primary School No 2 is a SUPP education project,” it added.

From the Eastern Times

Chan takes a swipe at Bandar Kuching MP
By Harun Jau

KUCHING: Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam yesterday hit out at Bandar Kuching Member of Parliament Chong Chieng Jien for not raising funds for Chinese schools in the Bandar Kuching Parliamentary Constitutency.

The Deputy Chief Minister who is also President of Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) also asked Chong why he did not come up with donations for the Kuching High School which lost its administrative office and a junior science block to fire on Tuesday.
Chan took a shot at Chong after presenting a RM100,000 donation from SUPP to the Board of Management of Kuching High School at his office at Wisma Bapa Malaysia, Petra Jaya here yesterday.

“They (the opposition elected representatives) can only talk. They are the elected representatives of the people and by right should be the ones to raise funds for those in need,” he said.

“SUPP has raised at least two and half million ringgit for Chung Hua Primary No.2 and today we are helping the Kuching High School.

“Have they (the opposition) come with anything? Why can’t they raise some money? Why must it be SUPP all the time?

“Even though we lost the Bandar Kuching seat to DAP, we still help those in need in the constituency,” Chan said, adding that the RM100,000 from SUPP would help Kuching High School’s Board of Management to kick start the rebuilding project.

Meanwhile, deputy chairman of Kuching High School Board of Management Tang Chong Sung said the school needed about RM500,000 to build a temporary administrative block to house the teachers and staff.

He said the school also needed to build three permanent blocks including a junior science block. “We actually need about RM5 million for the whole total reconstruction of the school and administrative blocks.”

The temporary administrative block which would house the staff rooms and the principal’s office ought to be built within this month to be in time for the new school term in January next year, he said.

The state education department had also promised to assist in covering parts of the reconstruction costs, Tang added.

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Zaid Ibrahim, the former de factor Law Minister lamented that UMNO practiced double standards and he stressed that the will not join any opposition party soon but does not rule out doing so later.

Zaid was sacked on Tuesday by UMNO supreme council for attending events organised by several opposition parties, including PKR’s national congress at Stadium Malawati last week. Zaid said that he did not attend the DAP dinner nor PKR congress to provoke anyone but was there on the invitation of friends only to listen.

Another sore point to Zaid was that he has not been given the opportunity to be heard, in addition to the absence of any specific violation that he had committed.

From TheStar

I’m a victim of double standards in Umno, says Zaid

PETALING JAYA: Former de facto Law Minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim will not join any opposition party soon but does not rule out doing so later.

Zaid, who was sacked by Umno two days ago, said that for the time being he would concentrate on youth work through his recently set up myFuture Foundation.

Asked if he would consider rejoining Umno should there be a change of heart among the party’s leadership, his reply was a terse “No”.

He also said that he would not appeal against the decision or go to court to be heard as that would be a hollow victory if he won.

“It is obvious that I was sacked not because I had attended functions organised by the opposition parties, but more so because many leaders in Umno are not comfortable with my views and stand on many issues,” he told a press conference yesterday.

Zaid said he had expected to be disciplined by the party following harsh statements about him by several Umno leaders, but was surprised to be sacked instead.

“I am a victim of double standard in Umno. I have not been given the opportunity to be heard and neither am I aware of any specific violation that I had committed,” he said.

“I did not attend the DAP dinner nor PKR congress to provoke anyone. I was there on the invitation of friends only to listen.”

Abdullah, in announcing Zaid’s sacking, had stated that drastic action had to be taken against him because his transgressions were too serious and that the party must not be seen as practising double standards.

Zaid said he realised that he was just a “small guy in the party” – a term Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Aziz used – but asserted that even a small man had rights.

He said his only regret after spending 23 years in Umno was that all his good intentions had been misunderstood by his colleagues, especially on the issue of reform so that Umno would once again be a more inclusive and progressive party and in its approach in helping the Malays.

Asked if he felt betrayed by Abdullah who had handpicked him to be a Cabinet member after the March election, Zaid said he did not.

“Pak Lah is a nice man,” he said. “On his own I don’t think he would have sacked me. I think there are leaders in Umno who thought that I was about to join Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (PKR de facto leader) or the DAP or PAS.”

From TheStar

Zaid cannot appeal, says PM

KUALA LUMPUR: Former de facto Law Minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim cannot appeal against Umno’s decision to sack him, said party president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

“It is a decision that had been made. It is a normal decision – a decision which should be taken,” he said.

Zaid was sacked on Tuesday for attending events organised by several opposition parties, including PKR’s national congress at Stadium Malawati last week.

Asked if Zaid’s presence at Pakatan Rakyat functions showed that he had lost interest in Umno, Abdullah said “it looks like it”.

Asked if Zaid would be allowed to attend Umno functions, he said he could do so if he was invited.

“If Umno invites him, then yes. How can he come if he is not invited?” he said.

Umno information chief Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib said Zaid had “courted” the sacking for attending the events and not because of his strong criticisms against some government policies.

He said Zaid should know the consequences of his actions and attending Opposition gatherings was surely against party principles.

“It was a unanimous decision by the supreme council. Everyone who attended the meeting agreed that Zaid should be sacked,” he said after witnessing the signing of MoU between Kemas and Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Khaled Nordin said Zaid was implying that he is “with them”.

“If he is with the Opposition, then he should not be with us. Umno’s decision to sack Zaid serves as a reminder to other members of the importance of adhering to party ethics,” he said.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said Zaid should prove that Umno was practising double standards.

However, his right to be heard should be considered and the party could give the explanation for the action taken, Dr Rais said at Parliament lobby.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad said Zaid’s statement that Umno was “inward-looking” was based on his own experience as the former Kota Baru Umno division chief.

He said Zaid’s attendance at Pakatan Rakyat functions was “regrettable, but I supported the move to sack him”.

“But now it’s very clear that if he receives any applause, it would be because he’s Zaid Ibrahim, the man, and not because he’s an Umno member,” he said.

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