Saturday, October 16, 2010

Nostalgic Weekend - Janice Wee

This is another sweetie from Kuching who made it great in the sixties. If circumstances had been right, she would have been the first Sarawakian to have recorded an album in English, and not Rose Iwanaga. On the day when she was about to fly to Singapore to record her album, someone in the family passed away which unavoidably prompted her to stay back. She was then replaced by Rose Iwanaga, and the rest, like they say, is history.

Previous highlights:

The Saints, Kuala Lumpur
The Quests, Singapore
The 'Little' Falcons, Kuala Lumpur
The Crescendos, Singapore
Rose Iwanaga, Sarawak
Naomi & The Boys, Singapore
Rocky Teoh, Ipoh
The Surfers/October Cherries, Singapore

Friday, October 15, 2010

The National Budget 2011

Here are some interesting comments that have been tweeted around since the announcement of Budget 2011:

Special gift for special someone

Teo Nie Ching (Serdang MP): Tax deduction for bags, hairspray, perfume... Najib's early Christmas present for Rosmah (Najib's wife Rosmah Mansor)?

Nasrudin Hassan (PAS Youth): The rakyat is fortunate to be able to wear imported underwear without having to pay tax. Who is going to buy undies in bulk after this? I think I know.

yahyashukor: Underwear plays an important part in achieving the objectives of the Economic Transformation Programme and the seven percent economic growth rate.

Pimo: So Budget 2011 means more Coach, Kate Spade, Miu Miu (handbags) for all? Why not free health services?

Tian Chua (Batu MP): Najib kept a secret gift for the first lady - RM111 million for Permata! What a surprise for Rosmah. Thank you, hubby! So sweet!

Mikichoo: I think the opposition are being a little bit naughty here. Everyone knows Rosmah prefers to do her shopping overseas!

FarisMuhandisu: 'Kosmahtic' budget.

100-storey tower: Outdoing Mahathir

georgettetan: Do we need another huge erection?

Fahmi Fadzil (Fairly Current Show): What would a 100-storey tower really do for the country? Oh wait, contracts.

pratamad: I suspect Najib is like Dr Mahathir - both want a retirement office on top of a skyscrapper. Dr Mahathir has got (Petronas) TwinTowers, Najib wants Warisan Merdeka.

Bumilangit: Guess how many low-cost homes can be built with that money?

strung_out80: Taking (the saying) 'the sky's the limit' a bit too seriously.

Bumilangit: I hope it won't be designed by Rosmah. But why do I think that I would be wrong?

Payrise for the lucky few

Edmund Bon (Bar Council): The crux is in increased allowance for Tok Batin. Who gives it? Where is the accountability? Is it a way to control the Orang Asli?

Amir Muhamad (Filmmaker): Imams and postmen earning RM700? It doesn't pay to seek the right path, or deliver messages in this country.

amai amai: A strategy to buy votes!

What about our future?

CKGord: Looks like EPF funds will be used for development. Hey, that one is not 'tax' money but 'our future' money!

Z4r4z4in: No increase of toll rates for the next five years for PLUS highways - there goes our EPF dividends.

IamMalaysian: RM146 mil to support oil, gas and energy and a "commitment" for green technology. Sweet.

Thumbs up

Erna Mahyuni (Writer): No mention of alcohol tax! Let's drink to that!

Some pats on the back:

Dzulkefly Ahmad (Kuala Selangor MP): RM500 million for re-tooling and upscaling skills. That's good, PM! Make sure there are no leakages for cronies.

Khairy Jamaluddin (Rembau MP): I'm glad suggestions by BN Youth Lab made it to the budget: first home-owner scheme, skills training, minimum wage and 1Malaysia fund.

rubus_pheonic: The 3-months maternity leave sounds great. Are all you Astro subscribers ready for the six percent service tax?

Question marks

RashidYusoff11: I waited over an hour. What's the deal with my income tax?

IreneJY: I thought they said if we don't cut down the spending we'd go bankrupt? Why the budget increase this year?

And the conclusion is …

Shahredzuan: It's an election budget!

[Source: Mkini]

iPhone4 or Blackberry Torch 9800? OMG, I am having a headache choosing

The time is finally here. I certainly need to upgrade my present Sony Ericsson K530i to a better mobile phone that will meet my needs, both for business as well as for personal use. So with the recent launch on iPhone4 and the hype that went with it, choosing the right mobile phone is not as easy as it seems. So I decided to ask around, amongst my friends, which do they think serves me better for someone who is in business and loves music as well. There was a 50/50 feedback, both recommended either the new iPhone4 or the Blackberry Torch 9800.

Anyone out there, can help me out?

There is currently a confirmed rumour that LG will be launching their new model (brand not known yet) in November, which has better capabilities and far more less costly than iPhone4 or Blackberry. Technology just never failed to amaze me how fast we are evolving as a wired-up society.

Dummkopf, it's Nazri's red book and not Mao Tse Tung's

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz is seeing red over the recent detention of Bar Council volunteers as they were distributing leaflets on legal awareness last weekend.

"I'm very unhappy with it. I don't have the facts before me of what really happened or why they were detained, but it's not right.

"I don't understand why they were detained if they were just distributing the constitution," he told Malaysiakini yesteday.

He was responding to the Sunday incident when a group of four legal aid volunteers were detained by police as they were distributing the Bar Council's "Red Book: Police and Your Basic Rights" at Bukit Jalil and briefly held at the Puchong Police Station.

NONE"This is certainly a curb on the freedom of expression and actions by ordinary citizens," said Nazri (left), who is also de facto Law Minister.

"We are not a police state. There shouldn't be any unlawful detention. Only hold someone if they are suspected of having broken laws, but don't simply detain people like that," he said.

The "Red Book" - incidentally launched by Nazri himself in 2006 - provides information on a person's basic rights when stopped, arrested or questioned by police.

The two lawyers and two chambering students were detained when they were handing out the copies to mark the start of the National Law Awareness Week. Their booklets were subsequently returned to them.

Action by overzealous police

But Nazri, who is also in charge of parliamentary affairs for the BN, denied that there is a growing intolerance for lawyers on the part of the police.

"I don't know if there is a deep-seated hatred between police and lawyers. I believe that (the detention) was just the act of overzealous and overenthusiastic personnel.

NONE"But it shouldn't be read as they having been instructed to do that. I don't think there is a standing instruction for police to attack lawyers," he said.

Incidentally, 1Malaysia Youth Graduands Club (Kelab Belia Graduan 1Malaysia) lodged a police report early last month over the Bar Council's distribution of the MyConstitution leaflets.

Despite that, Nazri attributed the lodging of police reports to the growing awareness of the people in exercising their rights.

"If you want your rights, you don't curb other people's right to make a police report. That's their freedom.

"If I support the freedom for the Bar Council to distribute their leaflets, why should I say no to other people who don't support them? It's not intolerance," he said.

The senior citizens of Penang speak up, against Dato Azhar

Support for the Penang state government's appreciation for the elderly programme in the form of financial aid has been expressed by about seventy senior citizens in Seberang Prai.

Urging chief minister Lim Guan Eng to continue with the programme, which recently received bad publicity from UMNO-owned press amid the party's allegation that the money was derived from gambling revenues, the group expressed dismay that state Opposition Leader Azhar Ibrahim had called Penangites to return the money as a sign of protest over its alleged non-halal origin.

In the past few weeks, UMNO has been organising several made-for-media protests, gathering elderly individuals to announcing that they were returning the RM100 'compassionate allowance' received from the Penang state government.

Permatang Pasir state representative Saleh Man, however, reminded Penangites not to be influenced by "evil lies" from the state opposition, saying it had "run out of political capital".

"The contribution from horse racing revenue has not been channelled to the senior citizens' fund but is used for the state's poverty eradication programme (RAK) among non-Muslims," said Saleh, who is also deputy head of the Penang Islamic Religious Council (MAIP).

'Now we know the truth'

Zainab, Abu Bakar and Sambasivam
Saleh was speaking at a session to "dispel UMNO lies" at Bangunan Datuk Ahmad Badawi here. Others who spoke included state representatives Thanasekharan (Bagan Dalam) and Lim Hock Seng (Bagan Jermal).

Many among those who attended the event said the controversy generated by the media was merely another political play by local UMNO warlord Reezal Marican Naina Marican, who had been at the forefront of attacks against the chief minister.

Zainab Mat from Butterworth said she was fully convinced with the explanation from the state leadership.

"Only upon coming personally to listen to the state reps and Seberang Prai Municipal Council counsellors, that I learned about the truth of the whole issue," she said.

Abu Bakar Said, a former UMNO member from Bagan Ajam, said state officials had never visited suraus or mosques in the state during the Barisan Nasional administration, unlike the current practice by Pakatan Rakyat.

"The CM himself visits Muslims to show his appreciation to the seniors. This was never the case during BN rule," he added.

Sambasivam said he now knew the real facts behind the controversy and had previously "listened to only one side".

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Aha, finally the chicken has come home to roost

In a move that is bound to be cheered by many Malaysians, the Kelantan palace has revoked the datukship title granted to Pasir Mas MP Ibrahim Ali, who is also president of ultra-Malay rights group Perkasa.

Pundits now expect Ibrahim to kick up a ruckus through Perkasa and claim that he has been victimized because of his love for the Malay race, although the Kelantan Palace is likely to have punished him for trying to poke fire in a still-simmering royal family feud.

"Not only his datuk-ship should have been stripped away long ago, he should have been locked up under the Sedition Act as well. This is the price he will have to pay for his ardent racist, Malay supremacy stand that does not benefit any Malay but only himself and select Umno leaders," PAS central committee member Nizar Jamaluddin told Malaysia Chronicle.

"Serves him right also for trying to be the batu-api in the Kelantan Palace affairs when his motives are not due to love for the state or the Sultan."

Apart from Ibrahim, the Palace also revoked the datuk-ship title awarded to former state secretary Wan Hashim Wan Daud.

Ibrahim Ali had visited the former Sultan of Kelantan Tuanku Ismail Petra last week. After that meeting, Ibrahim was quoted by the media as saying that the former Sultan was very happy to see him and that he remembered about their shared experiences in years gone by.

Suddenly today, my award was retracted

At the Parliament lobby on Wednesday, the tubby MP told reporters he was not perturbed by the punishment and still held datuk titles from Selangor and Malacca.

“If I don’t have a datukship, it’s OK, I prefer to be called Saudara Ibrahim Ali. You don’t call me datuk, it’s OK. It is a small matter to me,” Malaysian Insider reported him as saying.

“There were other states too (apart from Selangor and Malacca) I could have received my datukship award from, only I never filled up the form. To me, it is not a big deal. Nowadays, even those who are not datuks, we still call them datuk.”

Despite the brave words, it is clear the latest decision is an enormous blow and embarrassment to Ibrahim as Kelantan is his home state. Not only has he been stripped of his title, he has also been severely and publicly warned off by his own Sultan.

According to Ibrahim, he is “not surprised” and admitted that the punishment could have been due to the feuding amongst royal family members.

“I do not know the reason, it was not explained to me but I think it could be because of the present situation in Kelantan,” he said.

“I visited the previous Sultan as a friend because he is sick and since his return from Singapore, for almost one year, this was the first time I visited him. And he is too close to me as a personal friend so that is why I visited him. He was asking for me. We conversed like normal and then suddenly today, my award was retracted."

Happy 70th birthday, Cliff!!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mahathir, the Musical

When I read about "Mahathir, The Musical" in the Malaysian Chronicle, I couldn't help but to put my two cents worth to this condescending effort by the people involved in the production. I wonder what Andrew Lloyd Webber has to say about the play? Maybe "Cats" will be pale in comparison?

Anyway, for such a play to have some meaning, the casts will need to sing a song or two depending on the scene at that moment. So I asked myself, "What was Mahathir famous for during his 22years as prime minister of this country that one can relate a song to?". Here are some of the scenes with the casts singing the related songs in full gusto. I wonder whether maestro Johari Salleh is involved in this project as well?

NEPOTISM - He ain't heavy, he's my brother.
CROYNISM - That's what friends are for.
MONEY POLITICS - Money [The Beatles]
INVOLVEMENT IN CURRENT POLITICS - Silence is golden [The Tremeloes]
BUILDING THE TWIN TOWERS - Ain't no mountain high enough.
REFUSAL TO RETIRE FROM POLITICS - Let's hang on [The Four Seasons]
AS BN/UMNO FALTER - It's sign of the times [Petula Clark], followed by "The Final Countdown" [Europe].
HIS ADVICE TO UMNO - All or nothing [The Small Faces]
CORRUPTION IN UMNO - Help yourself [Tom Jones]
HALIM SAAD AND TAJUDDIN RAMLI (doing a duet, praising Mahathir) - You raise me up [Josh Gorban]
IMF TO MAHATHIR (overcoming the 1997 $ crisis without IMF loan) - How do you do it [Gerry & The Pacemakers]

If the above are included, I do not mind spending my hard earned ringgit to see the irony of this man.