Saturday, December 4, 2010

Nostalgic Weekend - Western Union Band, Singapore

I have never heard of the group until some time in the mid-seventies when I the song "Living next door to Alice", a Smokie original, was played during a friend's home party. I made enquiry about the group and I was told that it was the Western Union Band (or WUB for short) from Singapore. In fact, they have been around since the late sixties and have recorded a hit track "Sausolito" which, somehow or other, escaped my notice. Anyway, I subsequently bought the album and I must admit it was worth my hard-earned (then) RM11.50. So who are the members who made up of the group?

The Western Union Band, featuring Chris Vadham, Danny Lim, Abel Gan, Peter Mangkok and Daniel Wee. Their first LP, produced by Reggie Verghese [lead guitarist of The Quests], included tracks like Howzat, Slipping Away, Movie Star, Wise Man, We All Fall In Love Sometimes, Needles & Pins, Come Together, Living Next Door To Alice, Nights Are Forever, First Cut Is The Deepest, Paper Roses Paper Dreams, Did You Boogie, Stand By Me & Sausolito. The second LP, managed by Jap Chong [also of The Quests], offered tracks like Yesterday's Sorrow, When You Walk In The Room, You Keep Me Running, Free Me, Ain't Nothing Gonna Keep Me From You, Takin' Care Of Business, I've Got Love, You Are The Woman, Every Kinda Of People, How Can This Be Love, I Will Still Love You, I Can't Hold On & Dust In The Wind.

Christ Vadham, however, went solo and made a name for himself.

Here are my three favourite tracks:


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
Janice Wee, Sarawak
Roy Chew & The Merrylads, Kuala Lumpur
The Checkmates, Singapore
Terry Thaddeus and The Teenage Hunters, Kuala Lumpur

The Thunderbirds, Singapore

The Straydogs, Singapore
The Strollers, Kuala Lumpur

The year is coming to an end. Are we any hopeful of a better year ahead?

While driving to work last week, it suddenly hit me that we are almost at the end of another year. It then further dawned on me that within a few weeks, we would be into the second decade of the noughties and only 10 years away from the Vision 2020 target.

While stuck on what is usually the country’s biggest car park in the mornings — the Federal Highway — I wondered if, by 2020, we could at least reach touching distance of the fully-developed nation goal announced by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 1991.

On a sugar high from the sweet coffee I had that morning, I thought to myself, perhaps we can. If we could just focus and take things seriously, maybe we can.

Then I took a look at the front page of theSun lying on my passenger seat and the reverie was shattered.

There it was. A little red pail sitting next to a little blue pail on the floor of our Parliament House.

The pails were put there to gather water from a leak on the roof-top. It is 2010 and we can’t even do the simple thing of ensuring that the nation’s august house is in tip-top condition befitting all that it stands for.

And this wasn’t the first time the roof had leaked.

We are a nation boasting one of the world’s tallest buildings (with another monstrosity on the way) and yet we have a legislative house that leaks more than a BP oil well.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz brushed the incident aside as “an act of God”.

I don’t think so, Mr Minister. God didn’t do this.

I’d be surprise if God wanted to have anything to do with our Parliament at all, given its history of less than palatable exchanges between MPs from both sides of the divide.

Even funnier was Deputy Works Minister Yong Khoon Seng. According to him, the roof leaked because it was old. Oh that’s it! Amazing deduction.

Thanks man, but it isn’t about the age of the roof. There are old buildings with old roofs all over the country that do not leak.

It’s about poor maintenance. You know it and the public knows it.

In May 2008, the same roof leaked and this was just two weeks after the then-Works Minister Mohd Zin Mohamed assured the public that it wouldn’t happen again.

And who can forget that time in April 2005 when then-Works Minister extraordinaire, the soon-to-retire Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, made a theatrical inspection and declared that the leak was “a small problem” despite it drenching the Dewan Rakyat chamber and bringing proceedings to a halt.

These things seem small but they are not.

It is reflective of the nation’s incompetence and wantonness. There is no building in this country more important than Parliament House. And we treat it so negligently. As Benjamin Franklin once remarked: “A small leak can sink a great ship”.

Fed up, I decided to stop reading the paper and surf the Net on my mobile phone instead.

And what do I find? — a news report stating that Malaysia plans to have its second astronaut stay in the International Space Station (ISS) for weeks or months instead of days.

National Space Agency director-general Dr Mustafa Subari estimated that at least US$20 million (RM62.2 million) was needed to fund the project.

We have a National Space Agency? What does it do? Does it have the technology to fix leaky roofs? Can it detect stolen jet engines or missing public funds from outer space?

A National Space Agency is as useful to the nation as a submarine that cannot dive when we don’t even have a minimum wage model and when about a third of the country’s working population still earn less than RM700 monthly.

We also don’t even have enough hospitals in Malaysia yet. With its 800 beds, Sarawak’s only public hospital in Kuching serves a population of more than 2.5 million of whom nearly 700,000 reside in the state capital.

According to National Heart Association Malaysia president Prof Dr Sim Kui Hian, who also heads the Sarawak General Hospital cardiac department, 800 beds are not even close to enough for purposes of serving Sarawak’s ever increasing population.

Dr Sim says that the problem stems from the fact that the health needs of Sarawakians are stymied or bound by bureaucracy. He was quoted in The Star as saying that “when the state Health Department highlights the need for a second general hospital, it must pass through the state Cabinet, then on to the federal Cabinet, then on to the Economic Planning Unit, then finally to the Finance Ministry. Somewhere along the line, our needs are likely to get distorted.”

This is surely surprising, given the fact that there seems to have been no bureaucratic problems in approving and setting up the National Space Agency.

It is, however, good to note that Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai announced two weeks ago that Sarawak is to have a second general hospital which is to be located in Petrajaya. The people of Sarawak will still have to wait until 2014 though.

In an interview given to the International Astronautical Federation (which seems to exist with the goal of “connecting space people”), former National Space Agency director-general Dr Mazlan Othman was asked two questions — Why does Malaysia need a space agency? and Isn’t starting a space agency expensive?

Her response, among other things, was that “not so long ago, only the Russians and Americans could afford to go to space. Now any country can start a space presence for about US$10 million. This is a modest budget.”

Tell that to the thousands of Orang Asli in the country who currently live in poverty. US$10 million would probably snap them right out of it instead of having to wait until 2020 — which is the government’s targeted date to reduce Orang Asli poverty to zero.

Anyway, Mazlan is no longer director-general of our National Space Agency. She is now the head of the United Nation’s little-known Office for Outer Space Affairs (Unoosa) which is a set-up that apparently searches for extraterrestrial communication.

Can you believe it? A Malaysian at the point of first contact. Not Jodie Foster, not Will Smith and not Bruce Willis. It’s our Dr Mazlan.

So in the event Mother Earth receives a visit from little green men, it won’t be Obama they’ll meet first when they say “Hello there, please take me to your leader”. It’ll be Dr Mazlan.

Perhaps she can ask the aliens how we can finally solve the tricky matter of our Parliament House’s constantly leaking roof.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Malaysia, the country I am confused with

Back in the eighties, I used to watch the TV series, "Mind your language". There was this one episode where Mr Brown was trying to explain to Max how cricket was being played. Max then tried to confirm Mr Brown's explanation in plain simple English. He said, "Mr Brown, what you are trying to say is, in cricket, when a player is in, he is not really in; and when he is out, he is not really out." Mr Brown concurred, and Max exclaimed, "My, what an English sport!" The same thing applies to politics in our country, that is, the way our politicians preach about what they plan to do but always ended up doing the opposite. Najib's "1Malaysia" is a good example. Does anyone knows what it is all about? It has come to a state where situations can be more than confusing. So, welcome to Malaysia, the land of the doublespeak.

One of the many spoofs in cyberspace
It's amusing to see UMNO is barking about 'Ketuanan Raja'. Don't you think UMNO should flip through history. Who was the one who withdrew the Sultan's power? Welcome to Malaysia!

MIC is busy bashing Selangor state government for being racist for denying Indian students rights for Selangor state scholarship. Ironically, what MIC has been doing for past 52 years when every year UMNO denies PSD scholarship for many excellent Indian students?-Welcome to Malaysia!

UMNO has been championing 'Ketuanan Melayu' for ages, yet 96 percent of poor are Malays- Welcome to Malaysia.

Police force is indulging in 'trigger-happy acts'. Fatal shootings involving minors and innocent civilians is rampant, yet Home Minister claims that we are 'safe' - again, Welcome to Malaysia

Those who should set a good example and educate the younger generation are spreading racial slurs. However, when complaints are lodged against them, the tables are turned against the complainants. Deputy Minister of Eduction reprimands them lightly', while on the other side, PM is sending a 'strict warning' against extremists? Welcome to Malaysia

Luxury summits, conferences, and forums are organized without fail but when it comes to action, everything also fails. Public money is wasted to boost some individuals' public relation. Welcome to Malaysia.

Efficient PEMANDU introduces NKEA, ETP, NKRA, KPI and etc but no database has been set up to date to prove the efficiency of those plans. All remains beautifully on white pieces of paper. Welcome to Malaysia

Attorney General is hiding relevant documents from the defendant in Sodomy II, but PM claims that Anwar is getting a fair trial despite a slew of international calls to drop the case. Welcome to Malaysia

Parliament's roof is leaking and a 'Prophet' pointed out that it is an act of God. Horrifying accidents occured in the past few months and flash floods hit some states recently. Are these also acts of God? Welcome to Malaysia

They can't even admire a satirical piece yet they plan for some big nuclear thingy and charcoal plants. Welcome to Malaysia.

There are families saving and scrimping to try to make ends meet while SYABAS's CEO is comfortably receiving RM425K salary every month. Welcome to Malaysia

Malaysians' grouses about poor public transport fell on deaf ears but when a YB tried using public transport and ended up going to Parliament by foot after his trial failed, he was highlighted in a mainstream media. Welcome to Malaysia.

Technically Malaysia is in recession and every Malaysian with average knowledge is aware about this. Yet, it is surprising that some dim-witted people fail to see how Warisan Merdeka could be disastrous. Especially when KLCC is not fully occupied still.

First Lady is preaching about rescuing children from poverty as poverty will rob their basic rights to education. On the other hand, taxes on luxuries items are removed. Are you able to make sense of this? If you know what I mean that is, but welcome to Malaysia!

Warts and all Malaysia is our 'unique' country. In Malaysia, we do not go for quality but follow the majority. Some think that we are we are dim-witted. We are ignorant, yet we dream to be astronauts. But an astronaut must be a genuine one who really makes it to the moon or bring back valuable scientific specimens for testing. And not 'wayang wayang' - if you know what I mean.

But, welcome to Malaysia!

[Source: Malaysia Chronicle]

The Selangor Times

The Selangor state government has launched its own newspaper, The Selangor Times, a week ago. It covers a wide range of issues, especially on happenings in Selangor and activities carried out by the various councillors.

For more, please read here.

The BEAUTY of Malaysian politics

Nurul, Jenice and Hannah

Teo Nie Ching

Elizabeth Wong

Malaysian politics does not allow much space for imagination.

There are simply too many Ah Peks and Ah Mahs who talk in the political jargon of a bygone century, and doing things that were prevalent half a century ago.

By looking at them, you can be quite sure they won't offer a lot of surprises nor something we can look forward to.

Politics that lack some imagination is like watching a repeat old drama in midnight: sleep-inducing.

But I got a shot in the arm recently. I thought I saw some colours in Malaysian politics.

Nurul Izzah Anwar was voted PKR vice-president with the highest number of votes, while Jenice Lee and Hannah Yeoh were elected committee members of the Selangor DAP, at the top two positions.

These three young ladies are probably below 30 years of age today. If they were in aged parties like Umno or the MCA, given their age and in particular, their sex, they were at best placed in nurseries in the likes of "Puteri" for a further 10 or 20 years of gradual grooming.

That was the modus operandi of Malaysian politics during the times of kampung and new villages.

The old men might say, politics is a highly risky game unsuited for women. So they set up things like Wanita and much later the Puteri wings in the name of protecting the rights of women but in actual fact insulating women from broader political participation.

Fortunately, the PKR and DAP did not do the same to Nurul, Elizabeth Wong, Jenice, Hannah or Teo Nie Ching. ,They want these young women to come up and lead the game instead of throwing them into Wanita and getting them to start a few cooking classes.

These young lasses have never actually placed themselves within protective enclosures since the very beginning, but have gone all out to take on the battles as full political figures.

Nurul is the eldest daughter of Anwar Ibrahim, and no one can dismiss the fact that her background had great influence in her meteoric rise in politics. But she has her own aspirations, energy, image, and is very much concerned about major issues in the country. For a wide range of topics from press freedom to civil rights, she has on numerous occasions hit out directly at the prime minister himself.

She has not harnessed her advantages as Anwar's daughter or any special channels to win the party election. She also has not listened to everything her father has said, and is obviously on the opposite site from Azmin Ali. She later also distanced herself from Zaid Ibrahim to walk her own way.

Jenice and Hannah are widely regarded as the most diligent elected representatives who focus their efforts entirely on good governance and not on the trivial party infighting.

Malaysia's new age politics indeed needs rising stars like these people. No one wants old-man politics and no one can afford to keep living in the past.

Think about it, ten years down the road, people like Nurul, Jenice and Hannah may still be at their most energetic under-40, while Shahrizat and Ng Yen Yen will have turned frail septuagenarians by then.

Who wants aged aunties walking on crutches to still continue serving the nation?

Political rivalry is not a matter of wrenching near-term benefits but long-term goals.

[Source: mysinchew]

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A problem that refuses to be flushed away

chor-chee-heung-public-toilet The issue with dirty toilets keeps resurfacing and we have not been successful in resolving it. At the launch of the 2010 World Toilet Day celebration and national environmental health seminar on 22 November, the Housing and Local Government Minister Chor Chee Heung said that most public toilets audited by the Local Government Department were dirty.

He said, “It looks like we are still far from achieving a satisfactory level of cleanliness” when describing an audit of 5,764 public toilets conducted from March 30 to June 30, of which only 7% were rated five-star, whilst a majority (52%) received one or two stars.

He tried to get the message through to the general public, by posing for photographs whilst sitting on a toilet bowl during the launch of the World Toilet Day. The event was also attended by the ministry’s secretary-general Ahmad Kabit, and ministry director-general Datuk Arpah Abdul Razak.

Chor said local authorities must perform spot checks on public eating places at least twice a year and those who fail to keep their toilets clean would be asked to shut down until they improved hygiene.

Haven’t we heard this before? If Chor is serious and if he wants results, two spot-checks is insufficient. How about introducing a hefty fine? What about closure if there are repeat lapses in standards of hygiene?

He might need to enlist the help of other ministries, such as health, education and tourism, to get a concerted effort going.

As it is, one ministry will highlight the problem if and when it arises, such as when a tourist lodges a complaint. The usual fuss follows, then dies down until the next person, perhaps a student who complains to her parent, who then brings it up with the media. The same cycle then repeats itself.

First Chor must identify which ministries, government departments, companies and educational establishments need to be involved.

Schools are ideal places to inculcate good hygiene habits. Malaysians are an apathetic lot and serious change can only be effected if every student and teacher is involved in the drive to be clean and hygienic. Students must also be taught to respect school property and other people’s belongings.

Clean toilet campaigns in schools may reduce maintenance costs for the school.

But the cooperation of the teachers and students will be ineffective, if the cleaners and school administrators are not involved.

A school needs to work out its requirements and have sufficient numbers of toilets for the school population. Overworked toilets will lead to frequent breakdowns if the toilets are substandard. Thus, the workmanship, lifespan and quality of the fittings need to be good.

Cleaners who do not know what they are doing or who are not properly supervised can also prove to be the weak link.

Some cleaners have been known to use the toilet brush to clean the taps on the sinks. This will only spread germs. Others complain that there is nowhere to place their cleaning chemicals, whilst a few say they have not been given substantial cleaning equipment, instruction and tools.

The need to reinforce good toilet habits is equally important. Many people treat the toilet bowl as a dustbin and discard items which will cause blockages. Students must realise that the cleanliness of their toilets is not dependent on the janitor but is also their responsibility, as a toilet user. Perhaps, parents could also reinforce good toilet etiquette at home.

Outside of the class room, the Tourism ministry has an important role to play.

Minister for tourism, Ng Yen-Yen told members of the public that they had to help the authorities build an image of Malaysia as a safe and tidy destination.

She said that the cleanliness of public toilets and the surrounding areas must not be overlooked as it reflected the state of the country: “I have received complaints of dirty toilets and poor maintenance of public amenities at tourist spots. Local councils should respond to such complaints promptly as they have an adverse effect on tourism in the long term.”

However, what the public wants to know is how she attempts to tackle the toilet problem. Talk alone is insufficient.

As in many institutions, the root of the problem is the quality of supervision by the officers in charge of the cleaners. Workers underperform and the maintenance regime is poor. The repair of faulty equipment and broken toilets is delayed. As a result of this, the remaining functioning toilets are under strain and in time, they too breakdown.

Toilets for the disabled are not widespread and in many areas, the cleaners perceive that hosing everything down will rid the toilet of dirt and germs. Few seem aware that diseases can be spread by water and water-borne droplets.

Public places like supermarkets, shopping malls, big department stores also lack supervision to keep their toilets clean.

Even after millions of ringgit have been spent on public toilets, the public is unable to see the results of this investment.

Education and awareness are key to a successful cleanliness regime. School, the media, community places, shopping malls, campaigns, and leaflets left in clinics, hospitals and places of worship may help.

Malaysians are in awe and are full of praise for countries which have high standards of hygiene. They adhere to the strict cleanliness that is practiced in these countries. So why will they not do so at home? Is it apathy or laziness?

And just when you thought dirty toilets was a big issue, another disgusting recurring problem is dirty eateries. But Malaysians are a pathetic lot. Sometimes they will tolerate the dirty restaurant and its equally dirty toilet, but will still patronise the establishment, because of the good food.

Maybe it is time, the Malaysian mindset about being indifferent or being preferentially tolerant, is changed.

[Source: MMirror]

Talking about toilets .....


This is a picture of a public toilet in Houston, USA

Now that you have seen the outside
Take a look from the inside

It is made entirely using one-way glass
Which means you can see the going-ons outside from the inside but people from the outside cannot see the going-ons in the inside.
I wonder who would dare to use such facility anyway?

Is exercise really good for our health?

Everyone today is nothing but a health zombie. We would do any form of exercise so long as it keeps us fit and ALIVE. If this was so, now consider this.

  • If walking is good for your health, the mailman would be immortal.
  • A whale swims all day, only eats fish, drinks water and is fat.
  • A rabbit runs and hops and only lives 15 years.
  • A turtle doesn't run, does nothing ... yet lives for 450 years.


Chua Soi Lek, to head Penang Port Commission

When I read the recent news that the President of MCA, Chua Soi Lek, has been appointed the Chairman of Penang Port Commission, I just couldn't help telling myself of how low the party, especially the president post, has fallen in the eyes of UMNO. In the beginning, the president of MCA held the strategic and all powerful post of Minister of Finance in the government. After 1974, it was relegated to a minister of a nondescript ministries such as housing and transport. Now in 2010, it has been further relegated to head a state agency?? Chua Soi Lek should have done the honourable and dignified thing by rejecting the offer, but no, for him, this is one opportunity to good to pass. I guess to head a GLC would also be fine with him if he was appointed to one later on. Undoubtedly, this is one tight slap on MCA's face, but then this cannot be worse then having your president who had been involved in questionable activities that brought shame to his family and community.

The question here lies, if our first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, could recognise the importance of MCA and appointed the late Tun Tan Siew Sin, to head the Finance ministry, why wasn't the same recognition accorded to Chua Soi Lek? Well, your guess is as good as mine.

Now that Chua Soi Lek has been appointed Chairman of Penang Port Commission, another question springs forth. Will it become another PKFZ fiasco?

Like Chubby Checker sang in his song, "Limbo Rock" , how low can you go?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It is a frightening prospect and an outrage!

A school in Miri, Sarawak was found to have reclassified six of its students from the Orang Ulu and Iban communities as Malays, raising the fears of parents over their children’s religious future under the Federal Constitution.

The incident came just weeks after a 10-year-old Christian boy was caned by a teacher in state capital Kuching for bringing a pork lunch to school.

Parents of six the six Christian children have reported the matter to the Sarawak Teachers Union over concern that their official status might affect their religious belief, said the state PKR chief Baru Bian.

“We echo the concerns of these parents because it has great implications in the future. If such status is not clarified and maintained, it can be implied that a native person, once he or she is classified as a Malay in official school documents, is a Muslim by virtue of the definition of Article 160,” said Bian in a statement.

Article 160 of the Federal Constitution defines Malay as “a person who professes the religion of Islam, habitually speaks the Malay language and conforms to Malay custom”.

According to a copy of one of the student’s report card sent by Bian, an 11 year old boy of Kelabit and Lun Bawang parentage was classified as Malay by the school.

Bian explained that they were usually classified as ‘others’ by the authorities.

“We were informed by one parent that the status cannot be changed because it was already within the system and the Education Officer was not able to make the changes,” said Bian.

He asked the Education Ministry to investigate the case and urged all parents of Sarawak indigenous community to check their children status.

“The question we now pose to the Ministry of Education is why are native children now classified as Melayu or Malay in schools? We therefore ask the Education Ministry to investigate this matter immediately,” he said.

“We are afraid that this may just be the tip of the ice-berg and we would like to alert other native parents to check the status of their children before the matter becomes irreversible,” said Bian.

In a separate early this month, an Iban boy was caned 10 times for bringing fried rice with pork sausages to his school in Kuching.

The caning was believed to have happened following confusion over the boy’s religious status as his father Beginda Minda had converted to Islam before abandoning the faith.

According to a decree issued by the National Fatwa Council, if either parent is Muslim, the child must also be a Muslim.

The case was highlighted in newspapers on November 5 after the boy’s mother, Angela Jabing, complained to the Sarawak Education Department about the caning incident.

The largely Muslim Sarawak’s Malay/Melanau community make up only about 20 per cent of the state’s population but it remains in control of the state administration.

The various indigenous tribes who are mainly Christians form about half of the population.

According to Article 161 of the Federal Constitution, natives indigenous to Sarawak are the Bukitans, Bisayahs, Dusuns, Sea Dayaks, Land Dayaks, Kadayans, Kalabit, Kayans, Kenyahs (Including Sabups and Sipengs), Kajangs (including Sekapans, Kejamans, Lahanans, Punans, Tanjongs and Kanowits), Lugats, Lisums, Malays, Melanos, Muruts, Penans, Sians, Tagals, Tabuns and Ukits.

The Chinese make up about 26 per cent of the population in the Malaysia’s largest state.

Unlike other states in Malaysia, Sarawak does not recognise Islam as the official religion.

[Source: MI]

A few years ago, I went to the NRD to have my MyKad data changed. You see, I am a Chinese Malaysian, a Roman Catholic and Married. But what I subsequently found out during a scanning exercise conducted at our Church, shocked me. I was listed as a "Buddha" and marital status, "Bujang". I immediately made a beeline to the NRD office to have the matter rectified. The lady officer who attended to me looked quite disinterested about my complaint in which I told her she could not arbitarily label all Chinese as "Buddha" because many belong to other faiths as well, including Islam. I further told her that "Buddha" is not a religion but a person, just as she would not like to classify all Malays as "Mohammad". Secondly, I told her I was married and she wanted proof. I then pointed to my wife who seated beside me, "This is the proof". Finally, she consented to the change but I had to pay RM5. I raised my voice at her, "Why should I when the mistake was done by you people in the first place?" My wife and I then left the office. Till today, I am still listed as "Buddha" and "Bujang". It was fortunate that she did not make a mistake by categorising me as Muslim. I can imagine the harrowing experience I have to go through to get the matter resolved.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Zeti, is there something wrong with our banks?

Global Finance names the World's Safest Banks 2010 in Asia

NEW YORK, August 30, 2010 — Global Finance magazine ( has named the top 10 "Safest Banks in Asia" in an exclusive survey to be published in the October 2010 issue. The banks were selected through a comparison of the long-term credit ratings and total assets of the largest banks. Ratings from Moody's, Standard & Poor's and Fitch were used.

The full report covers the safest banks in Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, Asia, the Middle East, North America, Latin America and Australasia. "More than ever, customers around the world are viewing long-term creditworthiness as the key feature of the banks with which they do business," says Joseph D. Giarraputo, publisher of Global Finance. "These banks have solid capital positions and superior risk management capabilities."

World’s Safest Banks 2010 in Asia :

1. DBS Bank [Singapore]
2. Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation [Singapore]
3. United Overseas Bank [Singapore]
4. Shizuoka Bank [Japan]
5. Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ [Japan]
6. Norinchukin Bank [Japan]
7. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group [Japan]
8. Agricultural Development Bank of China [China]
9. National Agricultural Cooperative Federation [South Korea]
10. Industrial Bank of Korea [South Korea]


For more, please read here.

What can Noah [Ark] teach us? You will be surprised

Everything I need to know about life, I learned from Noah's Ark .

One: Don't miss the boat.
Two: Remember that we are all in the same boat.
: Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark.
: Stay fit. When you're 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.
: Don't listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
: Build your future on high ground.
: For safety's sake, travel in pairs.
: Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
: When you're stressed, float a while.
: Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.
Eleven: No matter the storm, when you are with God, there's always a rainbow waiting.

Teresa, the new head of Selangor DAP

The Unity team looks to have maintained its hold on Selangor DAP's state committee, bagging seven of the 15 seats up for grabs in their just-concluded state polls today.

However, failing to make it to the top 15 is controversial Selangor executive councillor Ronnie Liu, who was embroiled in a case involving the issuance of support letters earlier this year.

dap selangor convention 281110 teresa kok votingThe key players in the Unity team - Teresa Kok, outgoing chairperson Ean Yong Hian Wah, Tony Pua, Gobind Singh Deo, Lau Weng San, Teo Nie Ching and Tiew Way Keng - all made it through albeit occupying the lower strata of the voting tally.

This presents an interesting dichotomy for the newly elected committee, as it is unlikely that Kok, who leads the Unity team, would be well received as the new chairperson by virtue of finishing a distant 11th with 437 votes.

selangor dap convention 281110 teng chang kim meeting delegatesIn terms of seniority, the most obvious choice would be Selangor state assembly speaker Teng Chang Khim who finished fourth with 504 votes, but even that would be a tough proposition as the Rainbow team only managed five seats overall.

What is likely to happen however is that the 'independent' candidates will be co-opted by the winning faction, as usually is the case, to tip the power balance more in the victors' favour.

The top-three candidates on the votes tally unsurprisingly went to 'independent' candidates who did not align themselves with either of the feuding teams going into the Sunday polls.

Non-aligned candidates on top

The delegates' voting habits changed little as their penchant for 'neutral' candidates translated to a strong tally of 703 votes for Teratai state assemblyperson Jenice Lee, who topped the list of winners.

Subang Jaya state assemblyperson Hannah Yeoh also remained popular with the delegates, garnering 644 votes while former water activist turned Klang MP Charles Santiago was a comfortable third with 596 votes.

The top-five was rounded up by Rainbow team leader Teng in fourth place with 504 votes followed by his teammate Ng Suee Lim who earned 498 votes to finish fifth.

The rest of the Rainbow team who made it through claimed the last three spots on the committee - Ramakrishnan Suppiah (13th place, 405 votes), Lim Soon Hong (14th, 403) and T Kannan (15th, 402).

There were at least three high-profile casualties in the polls, not least being Liu who finished a distant 21st plce with 369 votes.

Also tumbling out of the race were Kajang councillor Lee Kee Hiong who managed only 308 votes in 26th place, and Teluk Datuk assemblyperson Philip Tan Choon Swee who finished in 34th place with just 34 votes.

Liu's position secure

dap selangor convention 281110 teng chang kim ronnie liu lining upIn an immediate reaction to the results, Kok said that Liu's position as a Selangor exco is not in danger despite losing badly in this state party polls.

"His position as exco is with the Selangor government. It is unrelated (to his loss)... (but) I think he knows why he lost," she said.

Meanwhile, Teng claimed moral victory for his Rainbow team.

The 15 successful candidates immediately held a meeting with members from both factions to choose their leaders for the next two years.

After about 30 minutes, the newly-elected committee members agreed to appoint Kok as DAP Selangor's new chairperson.

selangor dap election 281110 teresa kok interviewIt was again a close call however, with Teng telling journalists that the vote went only eight to seven in favour of Kok.

Kok (left) side-stepped further questions, however, by saying that the 15-member vote was secret.

The veteran politician will be supported by Pua (above, on left) as her deputy, while Teng and Charles will serve as the state DAP's two vice-chairs for the next two years.

Kok declined to comment on whether she has sufficient mandate from the delegates to serve as the new chairperson, but stressed that it is more important to look at the team as a whole rather than on each candidate's polls performance.

"It's a good team. The results show that those who do their jobs will get elected.

"We are now looking at closing ranks to get ready for the next general elections," she said after the polls.

Yong, who is the immediate past chairperson, will now serve as committee secretary and is assisted by Ng as assistant secretary, while Yeoh is the committee's new treasurer.

Organising secretary is Lau and assisted by Teo, while Lee is the new publicity secretary and assisted by Lim.

The task of political education director has gone to Tiew while the remaining three - Gobind, Ramakrishnan and Kannan - fill in the three committee members posts.

Selangor DAP committee members

1) Jenice Lee (Independent), 703 votes
2) Hannah Yeoh (Independent), 644
3) Charles Santiago (Independent), 596
4) Teng Chang Khim (Rainbow), 504
5) Ng Suee Lim (Rainbow), 498
6) Ean Yong Hian Wah (Unity), 478
7) Gobind Singh (Unity), 478
8) Tony Pua (Unity), 463
9) Lau Weng San (Unity), 459
10) Teo Nie Ching (Unity), 452
11) Teresa Kok (Unity), 437
12) Tiew Way Keng (Unity), 428
13) S Ramakrishnan (Rainbow), 405
14) Lim Soo Hong (Rainbow), 403
15) T Kannan (Rainbow), 402

[Source: Mkini]