Wednesday, March 31, 2010

2010 National Scholarship

Thirty outstanding 2009 Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) students who scored "A+" in all subjects were on Wednesday announced as the recipients of the inaugural 2010 National Scholarship. The recipients are of mixed races. It shows that the 2010 National Scholarship rewards students regardless of their surname, race, religion and skin color. Syabas. For students aiming for award in 2011, may the smartest one win.

They will pursue studies in the disciplines of their choice at leading universities of the world recognised by the government, said a statement from the Prime Minister's Office.

The selected students are:

Gladys Tan Yee Kim (SMK Green Road, Kuching), who is the best student of SPM 2009, Grace Kiew Sze-Ern (SMK Perempuan Sri Aman, Petaling Jaya), Khadijah Ahmad Jais (SM Agama Persekutuan, Labu), Akmal Hidayat Sabri (SMK Derma, Kangar), Syamilah Mahali (Tunku Kurshiah College, Seremban), Amelia Lee Wei Ling (SMK Taman Melawati, Gombak, Selangor), Nur Syuhadah Muhamad (SM Sains Tengku Muhammad Faris Petra, Kota Baharu), Lai Yin Kwin (SMK Tinggi, Melaka), Corinne Gunn Huey Min (SMK Taman Melawati, Gombak, Selangor), Hu May Khei (SMK Convent, Taiping).

Muhammad Amal Aiman Mohd Yusof (MRSM Kota Baharu), Kuah Jia Ying (SMK Bukit Jambul, Penang), Chean Chung Shen (SMK Methodist (ACS) Sitiawan, Perak), Ahmad Zhafir Zulkfli alias Zulkifli (Integrated Fully Residential School Temerloh, Pahang), Goh Diangde (SMK Derma, Kangar), Ameenah Azman (Tunku Kurshiah College, Seremban), Erin Chuah Wei Yen (SMK Seri Bintang Utara, Kuala Lumpur), Mohamad Syukri Azmi (Mara Junior Science College (MRSM) Kota Baharu), Muhammad Syafiq Kamarulzaman (Integrated Fully Residential School Selandar, Melaka), Neelam Devi Nath (SMK Buloh Kasap, Segamat, Johor).

Ooi Hui Lynn (SMK Convent Green Lane, Penang), Nurliyana Sanusi (MRSM Kota Baharu), Gan Li Fang (SMK Tun Mamat, Tangkak, Johor), Muhammad Sallehuddin Mansor (SMK Matang, Perak), Muhammad Izzat Solihuddin (MRSM Tun Ghafar Baba, Jasin, Melaka), Nurizzati Zainal Nazeri (Saad Foundation College, Melaka), Khairunnisa Che Bahrun (Maahad Ahmadi Arabic School, Tanah Merah, Kelantan), Nurulaida Mohd Darus (Integrated Fully Residential School Jempol, Negeri Sembilan), Loh Sook Yin (SMK Tinggi St David, Melaka) and Malathy a/p Balakrishnan (SMK Ibrahim, Sungai Petani, Kedah).

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Chua Soi Lek is the new MCA president

Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek is the new MCA president. The former MCA deputy president polled 901 votes. His nearest challenger was Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting, who received 833 votes while incumbent party president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat garnered 578 votes.

Dr Chua says he would be “inclusive” and practise collective leadership as the new party president.

Deputy: In the straight fight for the deputy presidency, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai won over Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha. Liow received 1,171 votes to Kong’s 1,106 votes.

Vice-presidents: Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen (1528 votes), Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai (1469), Datuk Chor Chee Heung (1202) and Gan Ping Sieu (1202).

Central Committee Members
1. Lee Chee Leong - 1,430
2. Hou Kok Chung - 1,312
3. Heng Seai Kie - 1,267
4. Wee Jeck Seng - 1,175
5. Toh Chin Yaw - 1,142
6. Tee Siew Kiong - 1,141
7. Gan Tian Loo - 1,117
8. Tan Chai Ho - 1,114
9. Ong Ka Chuan - 1,104
10. Lee Wei Kiat - 1,100
11. Loh Seng Kok - 1,086
12. Hoh Khai Mun - 1,077
13. Liew Yuen Keong - 1,059
14. Tan Cheng Liang - 1,054
15. Koh Nai Kwong - 1,040
16. Por Choo Chor - 1,037
17. Tan Ken Ten - 999
18. Kong Sing Chu - 981
19. Chong Itt Chew - 975
20. Yoo Wei How - 974
21. Tan Ah Eng - 969
22. Wong Koon Mun - 953
23. Ti Lian Ker - 929
24. Teh Kim Poo - 864
25. Chuah Poh Khiang - 851

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sulaiman Daud dies

Former Minister of Education and Agriculture Tan Sri Dr Sulaiman Daud died Tuesday at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital (KLH) after a long bout with intestinal cancer. He was 77. Dr Sulaiman Daud is a close friend to Ting Pek King (TPK) and as a matter of fact, he was once the chairman of Global Upline Sdn Bhd, a company under TPK group.

KLH director Datuk Dr Zaininah Mohd Zain said Sulaiman died at 8.10am and his remains had been taken to his home at 61, Lorong Lai Tet Lok Satu, off Jalan Gurney, here and would be flown to Kuching, Sarawak, this evening for burial Wednesday morning.

Sulaiman, who turned 77 on March 4, leaves behind four children, sons Mahathir and Azman and daughters Norshida and Zelda Raha.

His wife, Puan Sri Naemah Hasbi died on March 26, 2005 of lung cancer.

Sulaiman, who was a former vice-president of Sarawak's Parti Pesaka Bumiputera (PBB) and a former Member of Parliament for Petra Jaya, had held various federal ministerial posts.

He was first appointed Federal Territory Minister on March 19, 1981.

He also served as the Minister of Education (from 1981 to 1984 and from 1991 to 1995), Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports (1984 to 1986), Minister of Land and Regional Development (1986 to 1989), Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (1989 to 1990), Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (1990 to 1991) and, finally, as the Minister of Agriculture (1995 to 1999).

The Kuching-born Sulaiman held a PhD in dentistry from the University of Otago, New Zealand, and had served as a dentist with the Sarawak government and the Brunei Medical Department in the 1960's

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Monday, March 22, 2010

MCA 2010 elections result

Stayed tuned. Bookmark this page for upcoming updates.

07:00pm - Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek is the new MCA president.

The former MCA deputy president polled 901 votes. His nearest challenger was Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting, who received 833 votes while incumbent party president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat garnered 578 votes.

06:30pm - Although the results of the polls are yet to be announced, Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek is said to be leading in the count for the MCA presidency.

02:00pm - Counting of the votes began at about 2pm in the MCA headquarters here after 2,315 of the 2,318 central delegates who registered cast their ballots shortly after noon.

Incumbent Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat will be defending his presidency against his former deputy Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek and his predecessor Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting.

Ten candidates are vying for the four vice-president posts and 86 are contesting the 25 Central Committee member positions.

MCA secretary-general Datuk Wong Foon Meng announced the nominations closed at about 5pm, and party members were given 30mins to object. No objections were received.

1. Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat
2. Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek
3. Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting

1. Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai
2. Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha

1. Datuk Loke Yuen Yow
2. Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen
3. Edward Khoo Keok Hai
4. Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai
5. Datuk Dr Yeow Chai Thiam
6. Datuk Chor Chee Heung
7. Gan Ping Sieu
8. Datuk Yew Teong Look
9. Alex Wong Siong Hwee
10. Datuk Yap Pian Hon

1 Ong Soon Boon
2. Yip Chee Kiong
3. Kee He Choon
4. Wong Jee Yai
5. Tan Ken Ten
6. Yoo Wei How
7. Gan Hong Su
8. Gan Tian Loo
9. Loh Seng Kok
10. Lau Chiek Tuan
11. Chong Itt Chew
12. Sim Eng Peng
13. Lim Eng Kok
14. Leong Siew Kam
15. Koo Chin Nam
16. Chuah Poh Khang
17. Lee Hong Tee
18. Tay Puay Chuan
19. Ong Chong Swen
20. Ho Yoon Peng
21. Kian Sit Har
22. Theng Book
23. Heng Chai Hwg
24. Koh Nai Kwong
25. tan Kok Hor
26. Yong Chew Leong
27. Chee Siew Chen
28. Tan Ah Eng
29. Chew Lee Geok
30. Wee Jeck Seng
31. Tee Siew Kiong
32. Son Thiam Hock
33. Tan Chai Ho
34. Wong Kook Mun
35. Thong Fah Chong
36. Dr Jeffrey Goh
37. Ei Kim Hock
38. Dr Por Choo Chor
39. Lee Ban Seng
40. Datuk Chan Kam
41. Datuk Lee Kon Yin
42. Loh Koi Pin
43. Teh Kim Po
44. Low Kim Mang
45. Lim Yong
46. Yeong Chee Wei
47. Teah Heok Kuin
48. Ong Ka Chuan
49. Ho Cheng Wang
50. Ong Chen Huing
51. Ho You Meng

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

New signboard at Singapore checkpoint

Dilarang membakar GEREJA di Singapura.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Is 1Malaysia Really Better Off

Our ruling politicians, when compare Malaysia with other countries, they tend to do it only on absolute terms to make Malaysia appears better off. Below is an article written by a Malaysian Malay doctor now residing in UK who compares the relative terms between Malaysia and UK.

Life as a Malaysian in UK

The cost of living in each country (especially UK and Europe) based on what you earn in the respective country and whether the standards are higher than in Malaysia.

I tried to point out that many Malaysians always convert and that is why they say the UK is expensive. In fact, the cost of living is much cheaper than in Malaysia.

In actual fact, Malaysians are being conned because for such a rich and resource rich country, the pay in Malaysia is way too low compared to the cost of living and inflation.

One good example is Singapore.
Singaporean's (average) earns around S$3000 to S$4000 and nearly everything is half the price of Malaysia. E.g. Clothes, computer parts, electronics etc. But the average Malaysian still earns RM2000 plus and goods are double the price of Singapore.

This is the same as the UK. If you earn around 2000 pounds, you can liken this to the person earning RM$2000 in Malaysia. I give you some examples below. Maybe you can understand.

1) Good terrace house
It is more or less the same. If you want a house in KL, it would most probably be in Puchong and not Damansara Heights. So your house would be RM200,000. In UK, you can get a decent new house in Zone 6 (still within the tube) for 200,000 pounds.

If non London, you can get a nice house also for less than 200,000 pounds outside London. The same also applies to buying a house in Seremban, Kajang etc. You can buy a nice house for RM200,000 below.

So buying a house is the same for the local and the Malaysian.

Renting a place is the same too or maybe cheaper than in Malaysia (I am Not sure of this). A 2-bedroom flat in London is about 750 pounds (Zone 2). 500 pounds outside Zone 6 but still able to commute to London. A 2-bedroom house in Nottingham is 450 to 500 pounds. A 3-bedroom house in Belfast is about 300 pounds.

2) A car

A good Wira is RM55,000. Most Malaysians have to take 7-year loans and be in debt all the time. If you are earning RM2000 a month, you take nearly 3 years saving the RM2000 with not eating at all just to buy a Wira.

In UK , the average local earns about 2000 pounds. He saves 3 months, he can buy outright a good Ford Fiesta or a Vauxhall Corsa without being in debt.

If buying a second hand car, even better. A 1990 Mercedes 190E cost 500 pounds. My 1996 Mercedes E220 cost 2000 pounds. My friend just gave me his 1989 Honda Accord (Auto) for free because he said he could only get 30 pounds for it.

I used it for a few months and decided to give it of for free too. That alone speaks for itself.

Even if you are kuli or an office boy, you still can drive a Mercedes or a BM. Yes, kuli's and office boy's get paid quite well.

Average temp/office boy in London can earn about 7 to 10 pounds and hour. Overtime is 1.5 times or double. A brick-layer can earn 20 pounds an hour. The same Indon who lays bricks in Malaysia earns RM$50 for the whole day.

Before I became a doctor, I used to be an office boy and I earned near 300 pounds a week working about 70 hours a week. My makan was 30 pounds a week. My rent was 70 pounds a week for a room but I still drove a BMW back then. I bought the 10-year old BMW 3 Series car for 200 pounds. Amazing how an office boy can drive a safe and luxurious car.

3) Petrol.
For a UK person earning 2000 pounds, 89.7 pence a litre/gallon is cheaper than RM1.92 paid in Malaysia. If you don't convert, it is like paying 90 sen a litre in Malaysia

4) Shopping
20 pounds (which is 1% of 2000 pounds) can buy you 1 week's worth of groceries in Tesco.
RM$100 (which is 10% of RM$2000) can also buy you 1 week's worth of groceries in Tesco, Giant or Carrefour.

5) Utility Bills
(This is what I pay in UK)
1. Virtually non-stop heating the whole day only 20 pounds a month. (Only 1% of the 2000 pounds earned)
2. Electricity, I use my electricity maximum only 20 pounds a month. (Only 1% of the 2000 pounds earned)
3. My water bill also comes to about 20 pounds a month (Only 1% of the 2000 pounds earned)
4. My Internet ? I get 2Mbps for about 25 pounds (Bulldog DSL) (Also slightly above 1% of the 2000 pounds earned)
5. Astro Equivalent (NTL cable or Sky) ? 30 pounds per month (Also slightly above 1% of the 2000 pounds earned)

In Malaysia, this is what I used to pay
1. Tenaga Bill comes to RM$200 to RM300 a month with 3 air-cons. This is more than 10% of the RM$2000 earned)
2. Water (Puas) comes to RM$40 (This is about 2% of the RM$2000 earned)
3. Astro RM$100 (if you take Chinese package) (This is about 5% of the RM$2000 you earn)
4. Internet Streamyx 512K RM 88 per month (This is about 5% of RM2000 you earn)

6) Books
A good book is about 10 to 15 pounds in the UK. This is less than 1% of The 2000 pounds you earn. In Malaysia, you have to spend RM$75 to RM$100 for a decent book in MPH or Kinokuniya in KLCC. This is about 5% of the RM2000 ringgit you earn.

7) Education
I think it is about RM$20,000 per year to do a degree in Sunway Monash and about RM$12,000 per year to send your kid to UM, UKM, USM etc. I am not sure about this.

But in UK, it is only 3000 pounds a year to send your kid to a great university. That also, the white man still makes a lot of noise because the grants were taken away. Previously, it was virtually free for the English man to send his kid to university but now, since the grant was taken away, he has to spend 3000 pounds per year to send his kid to university and less money to get drunk in the pub.

Well, if you are earning RM$2000 ringgit, sending your kid to UM to study is quite difficult. If you are earning 2000 pounds per month, you can easily send you kid to university in the UK.

Even worse for the poor non bumi's not given a place in local university. Even if they can afford, they won't get a place because of the quota system. Unfortunately, the Chinaman and the Indian who gets 5A's in STPM have to be sacrificed and not given a place to let the Malay fellow with 2E's and 3 Fail's to enter the Medical Faculty or Law Faculty.

So the non-bumi's have to save RM100,000 per year to send their kid to the UK. In the UK, at least the white man still can go into university based on results and merit and only pay 3000 pounds per year.

8) Luxuries
Panasonic Plasma TV in Malaysia about RM20,000. If you are earning RM$2000 a month, memang mahal! You have to save 2 years your monthly salary to buy it. In UK, the same Panasonic ironically, (Panasonic plasma is made in Japan and Japan is close to Malaysia, so the plasma should be cheaper in Malaysia) is only 2000 pounds. And this is only 100% of the 2000 pounds earned.

9) Health
NHS is free. Though the service is slow, quality is still there. You still can get a top quality by-pass for free although you may have to wait many months. In Malaysia, IJN charges RM$30,000. SJMC charges RM$50,000. GH is free but as many people know, GH and UH have clown doctors. For example doctors who wear tudung and use a pen to touch the patient because scared dosa.

10) Assessments to local councils
I may pay high council tax but at least my council assures my streets are clean and safe, got no holes (pot holes) on my roads, and they jump and attend to me whenever I call them. When I stayed in Malaysia, I paid my assessment and quite rent but MPSJ (I lived in Subang) told me to "podah" whenever I asked them to come and fill up the pot holes, cut the long lalang, put street lighting etc. The councils, especially MPPJ and MPSJ, were more interested in eating Nasi lemak and going for 10 teh tariks in a day during office hours and hardly did anything for their residents.

11) Income Tax
My national insurance and income tax also is not wasted. When I was unemployed in 1997, the government via social security paid for my 2-bedroom flat for one whole year and I was given about 100 pounds per week for me and my wife to live on. I am happy to know that one day if I lose my job, I can still claim social security and get my apartment paid and food to eat again for free. It is a good security to know.

All, the list goes on. Here alone you can see, the sterling they earn goes a long way in the UK. So their quality of life is far better in the UK than a Malaysian in Malaysia. It is just that Malaysians are just too content with what they have. But you compare apple for apple.

The British just love to complain. They have it made but still they love to complain. Nothing is good enough for the British. The government gives the citizens so much but they still seem to want more and more.

Written by,
Dr Zain Azrai

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An email from a pro-PR Penang friend. What interest me is that the email revealed that Penang recorded a budget surplus of RM77million for 2009. Could that be true?

New measures implemented includes competitive and public open tender, payments directly to recipients without going through middle-men, priority given to Penang contractors, e-tender through the internet and a 2 week objection period to ensure that successful contractor no longer need “political cables” but “computer cables”.

There is no doubt that competitive open tenders saves costs and improve quality.

Many contractors have been liberated with the implementation of open tenders at all levels. For Class F contractors which is only open to bumis, open tender system has allowed non-UMNO linked contractors in Penang to get contracts for the first time.

In the past contracts are usually reserved for UMNO cronies and those outside the state. Clearly the competitive open tender system of PR is more transparent, accountable and beneficial to the people compared to the negotiated tender system for BN cronies.

What is more surprising is the outcome of the open tender system open to all races. Instead of perception that Malays cannot compete and that the non-Malay contractor would win all open tender contracts, this is not true.

Since the new PR government took over, Penang Development Corporation(PDC) had issued 23 tender awards, of which 7(30%) were won by non-Malay contractors and 16(70%) won by Malay contractors.

Perbadanan Bekalan Air Pulau Pinang(PBAPP) had issued 66 tender awards of which 22(33%) were won by non-Malay contractors as compared to 44(67%) by Malay contractors.

The performance by Malay contractors in an open tender system with non-Malays proves that Malay contractors can compete with others and win tender awards on their own merit. Clearly it is not the race that is an issue but failed policies that encourage dependency especially when it helps BN maintain the status quo and its grip on power.

A good example is China which suffered famine and severe economic distress with wrong policies of eating from ‘a single iron pot” no matter how hard or little one worked.

However when China opened up its economy and allow one’s hard work and ability to determine one’s success and rewards, China transformed itself from being the “Sick Man of Asia” in the 1960s into the second largest world economy by 2011.

BN had instituted policies that stifles initiative, creativity, hard work, drive and productivity which benefited only the few BN cronies at the expense of entire country.

For instance, a 30% quota of publicly listed shares were reserved for Malays but only a few benefited as many ordinary Malays never received shares from the Federal government.

The state government regrets that there are now certain elements within Pakatan Rakyat Penang that is aligned with BN in opposing efforts to implement an open tender system and CAT governance.

We must remain steadfast as we are backed by results. The Penang state government has been able to turn a projected deficit of RM 35 million in 2008 budget to a record surplus of RM 88 million.

A projected deficit of RM 40 million in 2009 Budget has been turned around to record a surplus of RM 77 million. In fact the 2009 budget surplus would have been a record RM 92 million were it not for the payment of RM 14.7 million as a result of the Tang Hak Ju land scam of the previous administration.

Penang is proud to be the first state to hold public open tenders of government projects and procurement contracts and also conducting it through the internet(e-tender). By sticking to CAT principles, Penang is the first state or federal government in Malaysia to gain praise from Transparency International.

In politics, we want more friends than foes. But we are willing to lose friends and gain foes if we can change the mindset of the people by providing equal opportunity, be confident, self-reliant and attain international benchmarks.

Pakatan Rakyat Penang’s greatest legacy to Malaysia and greatest threat to BN’s stranglehold on power is to prove that the right policies can make Malays and Malaysians compete and succeed against the best.

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