Saturday, February 13, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Lim Guan Eng hit back today at his chief critic by releasing details of how his administration over-ruled Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohd Hashim’s recommendation for the state-owned Bukit Jambul Country Club’s (BJCC) operations contract to be awarded to a RM2 company.
The Penang chief minister said the state government decided instead to have an open tender for the contract, which was subsequently awarded to another, more experienced company.
Lim’s statement comes amid increasing dissent against his administration, sparked of by former PKR state chief Zahrain, who described the chief minister as a “dictator, a chauvinist and communist-minded”.
The Penang CM disclosed today that BJCC was currently operated by Island Golf Properties Bhd (IGP), a Penang Development Corporation (PDC) subsidiary. Zahrain is IGP Chairman, and has held the post since July 9, 2008.
On Tuesday, the PDC board decided to award, via an open tender, the operations contract to a company which Lim said was worth more than RM40 million.
Yesterday, the PDC board, rejected Zahrain’s recommendation that it should have been awarded to the RM2 company he had recommended.
Lim said the full details of the tender award would be published after the Chinese New Year holidays.
“Certain actions and claims by Zahrain on the IGP has compelled PDC to monitor IGP closely to ensure that IGP is run in the public interest,” said Lim, who is also DAP secretary-general.
According to the statement, Lim had based his recommendations for a fresh open tender to the management of BJCC for two reasons:
“To allow a RM2 private company to win the tender for running BJCC, that involves [the] expenditure of tens of millions of ringgit, would make a mockery of the meaning of [an] open tender system.
“The RM2 company had no track record of running a golf club and was established on 29 Sept, 2008. The RM2 company was established a mere two months before the tender, clearly with the sole intended purpose of bidding for the tender in December 2008.”
Lim said that his refusal to agree to the requests made by Zahrain to select the RM2 company was based on the fact that an open tender must be fully transparent.
“The fresh open tender exercise was carried out last year with seven interested applicants. The PDC Board decided in its Fe 9, 2010 meeting to select a company that offered a combined value of more than RM40 million to BJCC over 10 years.
“The company selected has a track record, and most importantly, its paid up capital is not RM2.”
The DAP leader also asserted that open tenders and government contracts needed to be looked at objectively, based solely on “performance and public interest”.
Lim’s statement comes as his DAP-led state government in Penang continues to attract criticisms from his PKR allies.
Besides Zahrain, another Penang PKR leader, Tan Tee Beng, also lashed out at Lim by stating that he was “a leader without class who practised vengeful politics”.
Both Zahrain and Tan have been referred to PKR’s disciplinary board.
[Source : The MalaysianInsider]
The trouble with Islamo-tribalism
Nasty things are happening in Malaysia. Nine Christian churches have been vandalized or burnt just over the last weekend. Thank God, nobody has been hurt, yet, but the terror unleashed is terrifying enough for the Christian minority of this overwhelmingly Muslim nation.
Also thank God that the attacks were the work of a fanatic minority among Malaysian Muslims, or Malays. Many others, including government spokesmen, denounced the barbarism. Some volunteers from Muslim nongovernmental organizations have even begun patrolling churches to protect them from possible future attacks. This is, of course, commendable.
Yet still, I think that Malays should deal not just with the radical symptoms of the problem. They should also deal with the problem itself.
A copyright of God?
The problem itself is a “copyright issue,” as Marina Mahathir, a Malay commentator, rightly put it. Christians in the country have been using the word “Allah” to refer to God in their services and publications, whereas the Malays believe that they have a monopoly on it. Hence the Muslim-dominated government recently put a ban on non-Muslims using the term. Yet last month the High Court overturned the ban. And hell broke lose.
As a Turkish Muslim, I strongly disagree with my Malaysian coreligionists who disagree with the Christians. The word “Allah” simply means “The God” in Arabic, and Arab Christians have been using it for centuries without any trouble. In Turkey, too, Bibles published by Turkish Christians used to have the term “Allah” until the recent “modernization” in their discourse. The change is their choice, and none of our business.
Most Muslims, in other words, don’t have a problem with hearing the word “Allah” from non-Muslim theists. And this is how it should be, because the Koran repeatedly says that Muslims worship the same God with Jews and Christians. "We believe in the revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you,” a verse orders Muslims to tell these fellow monotheists. “Our God and your God is one."
Whence, then, comes the Malay possessiveness of Allah?
The Malaysian government argues that making Allah synonymous with God may “confuse Muslims and ultimately mislead them into converting to Christianity.” Wow, what a great sign of self-confidence. Why don’t they rather think, one wonders, that the same thing might ultimately “mislead” Christians into converting to Islam.
Besides the obvious immaturity, what is really disturbing to me here is how Allah, the “Lord of mankind” according to the Koran, is reduced to something like a tribal deity.
This was all too obvious in the slogan of the protesters at the mosques of Kuala Lumpur: "Allah,” they said, “is only for us."
But who do you think you are, one should ask. Who gives you the authority to claim that the name of God of all men is your private property?
The answer, as you can guess, lies not in theology but politics. As a piece published in these pages yesterday (Gwynne Dyer, "In the Name of Allah") explained well, the Muslim Malays, despite making up 60 percent of Malaysia, “feel perpetually insecure.” They worry that if their numbers in population decrease so will their dominant role in the country.
Hence comes Malaysia’s tyrannical bans on apostasy from Islam, limitations on mixed marriages, and the current obsession with the Christians’ language. The main intention behind these is the preservation of the dominance, and the “purity,” of a certain political community – say, a big tribe. (The medieval Islamic ban an apostasy, which has no basis in the Koran, was similarly a product of political motives.)
But pursuing the perceived interests of a political community that happens to be Muslim, is not the same thing with upholding the religious values that God has bestowed on Muslims.
The difference between the two is subtle but crucial. It is the difference between serving God, and making God serve us.
Jihad, victory and empire
The latter motivation, I suspect, is imperative in the makeup of the self-righteous, authoritarian and violent movements in the contemporary Muslim world. These movements always strive for some victory, some political dominance, which will elevate their very selves above all other men.
The words of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the 23-year-old Nigerian who tried to blow up a passenger airliner near Detroit two weeks ago, are quite telling. “I imagine how the great jihad will take place,” he reportedly said, “how the Muslims will win ... and rule the whole world, and establish the greatest empire once again!!!”
The yearning for glory here is not too different from what a revolutionary communist expects from the dictatorship of the proletariat, or what a chauvinist expects from an imperialist agenda that will make his nation the master of the world.
The Muslim thing to do, however, is to be more humble, modest and openhearted. The Koran tells Muslims that they are supposed to be “the best community that has been raised up for mankind.” Yet they really can’t serve that purpose if they begin by despising the rest of mankind, and claiming an ownership of God.
And Malaysia can’t really uphold the values of Islam through Islamo-tribalism.
Under fire for their lack of success, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) today reached out to the Hua Zong — the umbrella body for Chinese groups — in an attempt to garner more public support for its cause.
MACC Chief Commissioner Datuk Abu Kassim Mohamed said the meeting with the Federation of Chinese Associations of Malaysia (FECAM) or Hua Zong.revolved on making the anti-graft body more effective and improve its public image.
“The meeting is so we can get closer to the public, especially the business community, and to get their support.” Abu Kassim told reporters after the two-hour closed-door meeting at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall here.
Besides beings seen as faltering in high-profile cases, MACC is battling public mistrust following the death of Selangor political aide Teoh Beng Hock last July.
The mysterious July 16 death of the DAP member after overnight questioning in the Selangor MACC head office is now subject of an on-going inquest.
Abu Kassim reiterated the need for public cooperation to eliminate corruption and said agreed the need for more interaction and education at all levels on the role of the MACC and the fight against corruption.
He said MACC understood the concerns of Hua Zong and had explained the role of the various oversight committees, such as the operations review panel, which ensured MACC's independence.
Abu Kassim added he would support a recommendation from Hua Zong for its members to be included in the various MACC committees once the term of existing committees ends this year.
“I agree they should be included because they have a role to play and will make the recommendation to the Government.”
Hua Zong president Tan Sri Pheng Yin Huah added the federation was ready to work with MACC and would launch an anti-corruption campaign.
[Source: The Malaysian Insider]
Quite frankly, there is virtually no need to have a dialogue with any of the Chinese NGOs since corruption transcends race. You guys in MACC should show you are really doing your job and for starters, go after that Toyo guy with gusto. What about Rosmah's illegal transfer of fund via a money lender? There is no point going after the small fries, creating a 'sandiwara', that will irritate the people even more. Lastly, why are you guys mum about the witness protection programme proposed by the Chinese group? If you are n ot enthusiastic about protecting whistle blowers, then how much more do you want the Chinese community to help you?
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
- Yes. (To quote: “The answer to the first question will be in the affirmative;)
- Yes. (“As for the second question, our answer is that under Article XVI(6) the question of confidence in the MB may be determined by means other than a vote of no-confidence in the LA;”)
- Yes. (“As for the third question our answer is that if the MB refuses to tender the resignation of the Executive Council under Article XVI(6) the MB and the Executive Council members are deemed to have vacated their respective offices.”)
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
As the western Valentine's Day is fast approaching, domestic religious and moral organisations are very cautious as if they are facing a formidable enemy.
Their latest task is to ensure that women wear their panties.
I would like to solemnly declare that it is not a joke.
Persatuan Ulama Malaysia Penang Branch (Pumpp), together with two other organisations have set up the "Anti-social Corruption Secretariat of Penang" with two missions: to advice Muslim couples not to celebrate Valentine's Day and to ensure that women wear their panties on that day.
It is said that SMSs have been spread recently to promote the "Bare your love, no panties during Valentine's" campaign.
It is an illusion in the virtual world and not many people will take it seriously in reality.
However, religious and moral organisations are really shocked. They believe that the society is ill and morality is corrupted. And the last chance would be whether they are going to put on their panties.
As a result, they have formed a picket team with 500 members to stop women from giving up their "Maginot Lines".
However, I wonder how are they going to carry out the task.
Can we imagine that a group of men who are holding signs shout along the road: "No Valentine's Day! No "no panties campaign"! No...."
It will certainly become the world's most funniest protest that feels like a post-modern black comedy.
Perhaps, they will persuade Muslim couples on the streets.
"Ladies, as a woman, you must wear your panties...."
Isn't it weird? As a man, I have been wearing underpants everyday since I was five without anyone teaching me to do so, not to mention women.
Let's also assume that the picket team stops a woman at Penang Queen Bay Mall.
Religious Office : "Miss, are you wearing panties?"
Lady : "Why do I have to tell you whether I'm wearing panties?"
Religious Officer : "We are from a picket team of the Anti-social Corruption Secretariat of Penang. Whether you are wearing panties is related to whether the society is corrupted."
Lady : "It's my own business whether I'm wearing panties or not. How can it be related to the society?"
Religious Officer : "We are giving you one last chance, are you wearing panties or not?"
Lady : "Fine, I'm wearing panties."
Religious Officer : "Then you will have to prove it."
Lady : "How am I suppose to prove it?"
Religious Officer : "You have to lift your skirt and show us."
Lady : "Are you crazy? You want me to let you see my panties? No way!"
Religious Officer : "We are not seeing but checking instead. If you refuse to do so, we can bring you back to the bureau."
Lady : "Well, okay. I'll let you see a little bit...."
Religious Officer : "Hey! I can't see clearly. Lift a little higher, a little higher...." "Okay, I can see it. You do wear panties, but you still fail. You need to be counselled, so come with us."
Lady : "Why?"
Religious Officer : "We accept only black, flesh-coloured and white but you are wearing pink. Who are you trying to seduce? It will easily lead to social corruption."
Lady : "I'm corrupting the society? Your minds have been filled with the thought whether women are wearing their panties and what colour they are wearing. I think you are the ones who are corrupting the society."
(By TAY TIAN YAN/ Translated by SOONG PHUI JEE/ Sin Chew Daily)
Monday, February 8, 2010
with several other doctors. The waiting room was filled with patients. As he
approached the receptionist's desk, he noticed that the receptionist was a
large unfriendly woman who looked like a Sumo wrestler.. He gave her his name.
In a very loud voice, the receptionist said, "YES, I HAVE YOUR NAME HERE; YOU
WANT TO SEE THE DOCTOR ABOUT IMPOTENCE, RIGHT?"
All the patients in the waiting room snapped their heads around to look at the
very embarrassed man...
He recovered quickly, and in an equally loud voice replied, 'NO, I'VE COME TO
INQUIRE ABOUT A SEX CHANGE OPERATION, BUT I DON'T WANT THE SAME DOCTOR THAT
The room erupted in applause!
DON'T MESS WITH OLD FOLKS.
night with the tip of her index finger shot off.
"How did this happen?" the emergency room doctor asked
"Well, I was trying to commit suicide," the blonde
"What?" sputtered the doctor. "You tried to commit
suicide by shooting your finger off?"
"No silly!" the blonde said. "First I put the gun to
my chest, and I thought: I just paid $6,000.00 for
these breast implants, I'm not shooting myself in the
"So then?" asked the doctor.
"Then I put the gun in my mouth, and I thought: I just
paid $3000.00 to get my teeth straightened, I'm not
shooting myself in the mouth."
"Then I put the gun to my ear, and I thought: This is
going to make a loud noise. So I put my finger in the
other ear before I pulled the trigger."