Thursday, May 29, 2008

Born Today 29 May

King Charles II
I must say the Senator's victory in Wisconsin was a triumph for democracy. It proves that a millionaire has just as good a chance as anyone else." Leslie Townes Hope
"You know nothing for sure...except the fact that you know nothing for sure."
John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Not "The Middle Rock" But "The Middle Finger"

We lost, so what? It is only a small island not bigger than a footbal field.

The Foreign Minister said, the ICJ decision was 'win-win' situation for two neighbouring and friendly countries which were once united under a same Agong and rukunegara.

Singapore was awarded officially the Big Rock which is also known as Padra Branca. Malaysia 'won' by being awarded the Middle Rock. Well, it could be 'the Middle Finger' from Singapore to us!

A friend wrote that the O N L Y reason we could lose this case is because of the sheer, utter and complete incompetence of our defence team. Each member of the team should be sacked (and I would add public flogging if I have my way), or charged for treason which wouldn’t be far off either.

Yes, check the Singaporean team out and compare to our team (who are they, one is son of the current AG). Expose them for their sheer, utter and complete incompetence!

The loss is bigger in terms of maruah especially for UMNO goons who are still high on ketuanan. Who gave away Singapore at the first place? And now even the former PM of Malaysia and former president of UMNO accuses that the current regime under his successor is selling away Iskandar Malaysia to Singaporeans. He may be right.

Someone wrote somewhere (I do not know the writer) which is worth reading.

1) The loss of Pulau Batu Puteh (PBP)
The loss of PBP is like raising the white flag in any conflict. But it is not an end yet when the financial loss in bringing up this ICJ case is substantial especially the loser may have to be held responsible for this debacle. How much did the costs add up on both sides of the tip of the Peninsula Malaysia? Likely to be up to half a billion Ringgit - down the drain again.
Kapal Singh was accusing the Government of the ill advice to go in to win back the PBP. I would say the illegitimate Government was 'sleeping' over the whole episode as it had not done its homework and relying on emotion. Was it the strategy of the island state to get even with 1965's event and Malaysia was trapped finally with the finality of the decision of ICJ? The illegitimate Government and its advisers would not listen to whistle blowers on any issues and that is on the way of the white flag for the nation - a backlash of ill treating Sabah.


2) Ligitan and Sipadan could be the impetus to go ICJ for PBP.

I think the win of Ligitan & Sipadan case with Indonesia could have inspired the stupid national leaders to go on with PBP. L&S was won on the active administrative effort on the islands by the Sabah's Government for a long time while Indonesia just remain passive although L&S are in the global line for Indonesia. So if we assess the grounds of winning L&S, how can we ever win back PBP? Now the stupid leaders are moaning for what - win- win scenario? Malaysia is only worth fishing rights over Middle Rock islands while Singapore got the pearl of the region and that is a surrender phenomenon.

3) What is the committee to resolve ICJ's decision on PBP?

Now a new committee is to be formed to resolve the decision of ICJ. Was such a similar joint committee done prior to the case going to ICJ? Who are now holding on the straw? May be it is the start of conflict post ICJ's decision as a way to divert attention in drama of the loss.

4) The South Ledge Island
Why did not the ICJ give a specific or clearer decision on that South Ledge Island? Who had over looked that and the vague result happens? Would there be another expensive case when Indonesia can bring Singapore and Malaysia to ICJ?
Could South Ledge Island be claimable by Indonesia and since Indonesia was not a
party to this trial, the decision was vague? Unlike the intervention by Philippines on L&S, Indonesia did not doing anything on South Ledge Island - maybe the hurts on L&S was too much for it. Since Indonesia was not a party to this '3 islands' case, ICJ would not rule on South Ledge hence held in suspense.

5) What is next?
There are still a few islands to be disputed such as Spratly Islands and the Ambalat. What is Malaysia going to do about that? Both these groups of Islands are very near to Sabah, hence Sabah must do something about this and not wait for the others to sit on them.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Malaysiakini - Pak Lah Ran For his Life in Parliament!

This is a very good exercise if in the future there will be no-confidence vote for the PM. Imagine instead of sleeping in his room, PM will be rushing by running for his life to ensure BN will get the right number of required votes to deny the no-confidence motion for his premiership.

Pak Lah shall now take up some jogging and other exercises to ensure he is fit for any unexpected run from his office. He must not fall or lose his breath while running to the chambers. Jeanne could help by trying main kejar-kejar at Sri Perdana bedroom.

Even the cabinet ministers now have to stay fit for 100 meter dash once the bell rings for quorum. Fortunate indeed that fat Rafidah Aziz is no longer in cabinet.

With the current scenario as rumoured and confirmed by some people, 30 to 40 of BN MPs should be already fit for a bigger challenge in Malaysia Record Book, to jump over and run for their new lives as PR MPs!

BN gets scare in bloc-vote test
Soon Li Tsin & Fauwaz Abdul Aziz May 28, 08 4:39pm

Barisan Nasional had a scare this morning when deputy speaker Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar for the first time ordered bloc voting - instead of a voice vote - on part of the Supplementary Supply (2007) Bill 2008.



The B-12 section of the bill refers to 'Contribution to Statutory Fund' related to a Youth and Sports Ministry programme. Bills are usually passed by a voice vote to indicate whether MPs agree or disagree to passage of a Bill, a practice which BN representatives had previously taken for granted, given their overwhelming majority in the House.


During the voice vote this time, however, the voices of opposition MPs shouting ‘disagree’ to the Bill emerged louder than those of BN who said ‘agree’.


Zuraidah Kamaruddin (PKR-Ampang) and Mohd Azmin Ali (PKR-Gombak) then objected to passage of the Bill.

Emboldened by the fact that Pakatan MPs equal, if not exceed, the sparse number of BN MPs then in the House, more than 15 Pakatan MPs stood up in support of a bloc voting exercise when Junaidi asked those who were ‘serious’ about the issue to indicate their position.

There was palpable panic on the BN side of the chamber, as they scrambled to get the numbers.
Even Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (right) was seen running in, followed by his deputy Najib Abdul Razak and Education Minister Hishammuddin Hussein among others.

Amidst the cheers and jeers, there was a sense of relief when Junaidi announced 92 votes were counted in favour of the Bill, with 60 against and one absention.

First time to see PM rushing in
On emerging from the chambers later, Hishammuddin lamented the opposition's strategy in creating disorder in the House.

"Most importantly, we have more votes than we need and it was to our benefit, but all the fuss from them (opposition MPs) is just to disturb and disrupt the proceedings," he said.

"I hope they will learn their lesson. We have proven that we have the numbers and their tactics have no effect on us," said Hishammuddin.

Meanwhile, PKR vice-president Azmin Ali saw the result as a moral victory as only 92 of the 140 BN MPs were present to vote in support of the bill.

"It was a big drop. I know some of the MPs decided to leave the House before the vote because they didn't want to be a part of it. However, the opposition similarly was able to garner only 60 out of its 82 available votes against the bill.

Azmin nevertheless mocked the prime minister and other cabinet members, all of whom rushed into the House to cast their votes.

"This is the first I have seen the prime minister running into the House," said Azmin.

"They are suppose to be there. They are answerable to the Parliament but they have no respect for the proceedings so they just left right after they finished voting," he added.

The "New Silk Road"

I was a bit perpelexed in 2002, when involved in planning of Dragon Mart and Chinatown in Dubai's International City on the seriousness of Dubai government to attract chinese business. I was informed it was a G-to-G arrangement. Something like the project would be built by Dubai and funded by China government.

The Dragon Mart complex is huge (pic below) and was supposed to house more than 4,000 retail shops under one roof. Chinatown which is a cluster of apartment buildings inside International City was built to complement Dragon Mart to house the workers and traders.

The location was a bit far from then the Dubai downtown and I still remember it was nothing there but desert and adjacent to a big sewage treatment plant (which is now still in operation and produces bad odour to the vicinity).

Fast forward to the future, UAE has the energy-China has the biggest market, the two countries are building a new silk road that is phenomenal!



Below is an article from Business 24/7

The "New Silk Road" Рthe rapidly growing trade between the Middle East and China Рhas been the subject of media articles, business conferences and economists' treatises so often that it has almost become a clich̩. But recent research from the World Trade Organisation show what we are witnessing in this new two-way trade is nothing less than a revolution in the pattern of global commerce that will have profound effects on the two regional trading blocs, as well as the rest of the world. It is so significant that I make no apologies for again highlighting what could be the most significant phenomenon of present-day business practice.

The WTO has published figures comparing the rates of growth of different global trading blocs regions in their business with China over the decade 1996-2006. This was the period when the Chinese economy – set free from the shackles of communist ideology a few years earlier by the visionary Deng Xiao Ping – really began to accelerate, and western commentators woke up to the sheer power of China, with its population of 1.3 billion potential consumers, as a force in the world economic system.
Over that decade, all parts of the world saw big expansion of trade with China, with Europe leading the way with a 582-per cent increase in the value of two-way commerce between the two. But the Middle East, over the same period, saw an increase of more than 1,000 per cent in its trade with the new economic powerhouse to the east.
For the UAE, this trend will continue to accelerate, with a predicted seven-fold increase in trading volumes over the next seven years, when it is predicted to stand at $100 billion. That will make China the UAE's largest single trading partner, overtaking both the US and Europe, which currently dominate the Emirate's trade. Both those regions will continue to be important customers of the UAE, of course, but the country as a whole will turn 180 degrees from West to East, with huge economic and political consequences.
The basic reason for the volte-face is obvious: the UAE, indeed the Gulf, has the world's largest reserves of energy, which China needs to fuel its economic growth, still running at around double-digit levels each year, even with the West heading into recession. In return, China can pay cold hard cash, due to the huge dollar reserves it has built up over the past two decades.
It has also been able to supply basic goods such as textiles and household items cheaply and to an increasingly high standard. But its factories and assembly lines are also beginning to produce the high technology goods that insatiable consumers in the Middle East want in ever-increasing numbers – electronics, hi-tech consumer durables, and even motor cars. We are rapidly approaching the time when "Made in China" is not a symbol of cheapness, but has a brand value of global cachet.
Apart from these basic economic and financial factors, another geo-political impetus has ensured that the Middle East and China will increasingly turn to each other – the US has made it pretty clear that it does not want much to do with either. The UAE was rebuffed when it tried to buy the American ports of the old P&O business, but China too suffered humiliation when two of its biggest corporations tried to buy stakes in the US oil and telecommunications business. When these two economic power blocs find the way to America closed to them largely for political reasons, it was only to be expected that they would turn to each other instead.
There are factors that could work against the new trading alliance between Arabs and Chinese. A change of US administration might lead to a freeing up of US sentiment towards the region, and an increase in US-Gulf trading relations. But it is unlikely that on its own could stop the momentum of the economic power shift.
There is also the possibility of a collapse in the soaring oil price, which would affect the buying power of oil producers, but the experts, such as US investment bank Goldman Sachs, tell us it will keep going to the $200 level.
The threat of a Chinese recession – perhaps prompted by the Western financial credit crunch – could also affect the equation. But most authorities agree that even at its worst an economic downturn would only knock a couple of points off Chinese growth rates. The Chinese economic juggernaut seems unstoppable.In these circumstances, the logic of the "New Silk Road" appears unbreakable. Business leaders in the UAE have already shown they are well and truly aware of the phenomenon, and they should continue to tread the path of growing commerce to the East, whatever the West might do.



By Frank Kane

Sand Fountain

You can't believe this in present materialistic life but this has happened in Saudi Arabia .
A SAND FOUNTAIN.. Subhanallah

The discription says: A fountain of sand erupted in the desert of saudi arabia and
until today geologists don't have a clue or an explanation to what is going on. Scientists say that
this will bring out some minerals and metals that we have never seen or encountered before..

IT IS JUST ANOTHER MIRACLE FROM ALLAH (GOD).Suddenly, a 9-meter fountain (geyser) apparead, in the Al-Ahsae City , Eastern Saudi Arabia .

Immediately, Armaco geological teams and scientists hurry to deal with this strange phenomenon, but they did not succeed in explaining what happened !

But they agreed on a theory (...) that these are -what so called- burdens of the Earth. Some scientists said this phenomenon will lead to apparency of new materials, which will change the humanity way of life.

Allah says in the Quran :
'And the earth throws up her burdens (from within)' 99.2

'We will show them Our signs in all the regions of the earth and in their own souls, until they clearly see that this is the truth ...' (Holy Quran: Chapter Fussilat, 41: Verse 53)

The Day of Judgment is near when there is a single star in the sky, straight away the path of forgiveness will close. The writing in the Quran will vanish. The sun will lower itself with the earth.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Pertemuan dengan Dr. Harun Din

Ahad 25 Mei, kami sempat bertemu dengan Datuk Dr. Harun Din di Hospital Mafraq, Abu Dhabi. Anakanda beliau, Dr. Huda dimasukkan hospital tersebut.

Cerita lanjut di sini dan sini

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Ezam To Bring His 6 Boxes Along To UMNO

One of my SMS conversations with aruah Adlan Benan Omar (Ben) back in 2006 was on Ezam's pending re-admission to UMNO. They were close friends.
Ben answered my question, yes, Ezam would be back in UMNO soon. It was 2006, even before Ezam's departure from PKR. This plan was never materialised or the timing was not right. I thought it would never happen at all. But I was wrong and Ben had said it right long time ago.
Ezam was at my home in Dubai together with Anwar Ibrahim, Zunar and now YBs, Dr. Hatta, Dr Zulkifly and Zulkifli Noordin as well as Ben in 2005. First time I met him in person.
I do not really know both Anwar's proteges, Ezam and Azmin. Only knew about them during reformasi but not really fond of them. They have oratory skills like their mentor or sifu but lack of charisma and aura. It could be both over-copying their sifu's styles without exploring own distinctive styles. Especially Ezam who could be mistaken as Anwar's double.
During one of Anwar's trips and sessions with PR's supporters in Dubai, there was one question about Ezam. Anwar mentioned about Ezam's way and his way to return to power. Two different approaches for the same goal.
My understanding was Ezam might want Anwar to rejoin UMNO. It was the only way for Anwar to become PM according to Ezam. Again, that was my own conclusion within my limited knowledge and experience in politics.
It could be also to pave way for Anwar's own re-admission into UMNO as someone says with confident. Anything is possible in politics. The actors may have different scripts for different scenarios. Never trust politicians, whoever they are....someone else says.
Ezam's outburst on Anwar regarding Azmin's too much influence on the sifu was not unexpected. One of them had to go. Either one of them is not in my list of future leaders but they could be leaders with current dearth of real talents.
The recent report on Ezam's pending re-admission into UMNO makes me feel deja vu. Najib welcomes him by claiming Ezam is not a trojan horse. While Hishamudin puts forward three questions before deciding whether to welcome or reject Ezam.
This is democracy at work. Mahathir, Sanusi Junid and Mokhzani left UMNO in disgust while Ezam will be again an UMNO member and he can claim his membership number, whatever it was or he may buy over number 00000001 previously under Mahathir's name.
With the current UMNO dire situation, Ezam can be another candidate for Ketua Pemuda UMNO. It could be an interesting contest if the son-in-law and Mukhriz are also in the running for the post.
By rejoining UMNO, Ezam can bring his 6 boxes of corruption files as he repeatedly claimed during the heights of reformasi.
And the boxes may contain some files on Anwar or Azmin!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

For Dr M - everything else is collateral damage

Dr M determined to get what he wants, everything else is collateral damage

A LEOPARD never changes its spots.
Nearly 40 years ago as a young Umno rebel, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad went on a tirade against the leadership of Tunku Abdul Rahman. Dr Mahathir cleverly used the race angle, accusing the Tunku of failing to protect and promote the interests of the Malays.
He was sacked by Umno, a move which made him a hero with the Malay community. When the Tunku resigned in the aftermath of the May 13, 1969 race riots, his successor Tun Abdul Razak not only brought Dr Mahathir back to the party but also paved the way for him to become Umno president and prime minister in 1981.
Dr Mahathir is now hoping to topple the current Umno president and prime minister by playing the same game — adopting the race angle and hoping to stoke fear and anger among the Malays against Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Just listen to the speeches he has been giving since the March 8 elections, the latest last week in Johor when he said the Malays were losing their grip on power. At a gathering of some 1,000 people, he said: “If we don’t speak up, if we choose to keep quiet, we will lose our rights and the other races will take over.”
On his blog, he recently wrote: “Today, the Malays have lost their political power and the non-Malays no longer respect the Malays and the Malay institutions. All the special rights of the Malays are being challenged and questioned. And the Malays cannot do anything to strengthen their position.”
The fact is power in this country is still very much in the control of the Malays and will remain so and no non-Malay would dare challenge Malay institutions like the royalty. In fact, the last time we checked, the only person who had done anything against the Malay royalty was Dr Mahathir himself when he was the all powerful prime minister who tolerated no challenge to his authority and views.
But obviously Dr Mahathir will not let facts get in the way of his fear mongering and his current goal to knock out Abdullah.
Dr Mahathir was hoping that the Umno leadership would sack him like they did in 1969, but Abdullah has learnt from the Tunku. He didn’t want to make Dr Mahathir a hero or trigger a wave of sympathy for him.
Frustrated that Abdullah did not sack him, Dr Mahathir on Monday decided to quit Umno and swore to return only when Abdullah is no longer the leader. He also urged Umno members to follow him.
Throughout his political career, Dr Mahathir is obsessed with only what suits him and will do anything to try and get what he wants. The consequences didn’t matter. Everything and everybody else is collateral damage.
Be it the tension that led to May 13, 1969; the political infighting in Umno that ended with the 1987 arrest under the ISA of over 100 people and the sacking of six top judges just as the court was set to hear an Umno appeal case; to the vicious 1998 crackdown on his then deputy and supporters, one common theme stood out — Dr Mahathir had to get what he wanted. Everything and everybody else is collateral damage.
It’s the same with his latest move to resign from Umno and his use of the race card to attack Abdullah’s leadership.
Dr Mahathir doesn’t care if Umno, already reeling from the aftershock of the March 8 elections, plunges into turmoil.
Dr Mahathir doesn’t care that his racist attempts to ignite the anger of the Malays will create unnecessary tension.
Dr Mahathir will resort to anything to get what he wants. Everything and everybody else — including Malaysia and the people of Malaysia — is collateral damage.
He has succeeded in the past.
This time, we must not let him get away with it.
Umno and its members must not end up as collateral damage to enable Dr Mahathir to get what he wants.
The rakyat and the country must not end up as collateral damage just so that Dr Mahathir can get what he wants.
Tun Musa Hitam said on Monday that the era of Mahathirism was over. The people of Malaysia must show in an emphatic way that it is by rejecting Dr Mahathir’s latest stunt and use of the race card.

- The EDGE -

JOM MURTAD DARI UMNO!


Para ahli totok UMNO sering menyamakan yang UMNO itu Melayu dan Melayu itu UMNO. Sekiranya dilihat dari perlembagaan, Melayu itu Islam dan Islam itu Melayu. Dengan sendirinya UMNO itu Islam.

Begitulah konsep ketuanan Melayu menjadi perjuangan UMNO dulu, kini dan selamanya. Walaupun dari segi perjuangan sebenarnya adalah KETUANAN UMNO di muka bumi tanah Melayu.

Setelah UMNO (original) dikuburkan oleh mahkamah dan UMNO (Baru) dilahirkan, masih sahaja propaganda yang keduanya adalah satu dan sama dicanangkan dengan menyambut ulangtahun UMNO (original) yang sudah tiada di muka bumi.

UMNO bukan agama, malah agama pun ada yang boleh keluar masuk sebagai penganut. UMNO mahu jadi lebih dari agama dan lebih dari Melayu walaupun nama UMNO itu sendiri bukan bahasa Melayu dan tidak semua penganutnya orang Melayu (seperti isteri presiden) dan Islam.

Sehingga dulu, kini dan selamanya menjadi slogan yang sekali pandang memang boleh memesongkan akidah. Masuk kubur nanti tiada pertanyaan, "Apakah nombor keahlian UMNO anda?"

Para kepimpinan elit dari golongan dinasti UMNO yang kini dalam generasi kedua atau ketiga mahu terus memegang kuasa ketuanan parti. Anak Tun Razak sekarang di kerusi nombor dua, cucu Onn Jaafar juga menanti giliran, di ikuti menantu presiden sekarang yang meneruskan obor keluarga dengan matlamat menjadi presiden dan PM sebelum berusia 40.

Tidak lupa anak kepada bekas presiden yang sudah murtad dari UMNO baru-baru ini. Peliknya, si bapa yang menjadi presiden selama 22 tahun telah disahkan murtad dari UMNO, manakala anak yang mahu merebut kerusi pemuda masih menganut ideologi UMNO.

Bermakna bekas Presiden dan PM Malaysia tersebut, Tun Mahathir gagal dalam meyakinkan anaknya sendiri untuk sama-sama mengistiharkan kemurtadan serta-merta. Walau lantang menyarankan ramai lagi penganut parti UMNO sama-sama murtad sementara iaitu sehingga imam besar Hadhari jatuh tergolek.

Sejarah mencatat yang kesemua presiden UMNO Onn Jaafar, Tunku Abdul Rahman dan Hussien Onn, kecuali Tun Razak telah murtad dari UMNO .

Saya telah lama murtad dari UMNO, sejak tahun 1998. Menjadi ahli UMNO dalam tahun 1992 pun atas dasar terpaksa kerana surau yang kini masjid berdekatan rumah perlukan dana untuk pembesaran. Kerajaan Selangor waktu itu memberi syarat akan memberi dana dalam setengah juta ringgit sekiranya cawangan UMNO setempat berjaya mendapatkan 300 ahli baru.

Maka saya tandatangan sahaja borang bersama isteri, ibu dan anak-anak saudara. Tidak pun aktif dan hadhir mesyuarat. Selepas masuk TV3 sebagai 'orang kita', ada juga aktif sekejap sebelum mendapati UMNO (masa itu di Rompin bawah bekas menteri yang dituduh meraba punggung pelayan) memang cukup parah dengan rasuah, penyelewengan, hasad dengki, cantas-mencatas dan membuang masa apabila survival perut adalah perjuangan 'ketuanan'.

Sebaik DSAI dibuang dan dimalukan oleh UMNO, saya bersama Zulkifli Noordin sama-sama murtad dari UMNO. Tidak seperti Zulkifli yang pernah aktif dalam UMNO dan kini MP untuk PKR di Kulim Bandar Baharu, saya tidak menyertai mana-mana parti, hanya sebagai penyokong PAKATAN RAKYAT.

Dengan kemurtadan Tun Mahathir, samalah taraf saya dengan dia dan lain-lain presiden UMNO sebelumnya, MURTAD DARI UMNO. Tidak seperti Tun Mahathir, saya tidak sementara taraf kemurtadannya.

Mungkin murtad dari UMNO dulu, kini dan selamanya!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Umno in search of its constituency?

NEWS of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad quitting Umno must have brought much relief for party president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who has been asked to take the blame for the party’s dismal showing at the last elections. The exit of Dr Mahathir may have little bearing on the party’s strategy to extricate itself from a very delicate position it is in. However, his exit could promise further cracks in a shell-shocked Umno and set it back further from getting its house in order.
Getting over the trauma of a humiliating rejection at the last general election does not guarantee that the party will eventually regain its strength.
Although it is hard to imagine Malaysian politics without Umno, the truth is, it is easier to see Umno withering away in the years ahead given the many issues afflicting the party. After all, the party, together with its Barisan Nasional partners, secured less than 50% of the popular votes in the peninsula.
And the bickering that has plagued the party in the aftermath of the elections seems to have done nothing to allay that fear. On the contrary, it threatens further injury. The danger is, the longer it takes a fractious Umno to find a proper cure for its ills and rehabilitate public perception of the party, the closer it approaches the point of no return.
But does Umno have a clue as to what had hit it so hard? How pertinent is Umno’s revival strategy?
Many reasons have been tossed about by party leaders and political pundits alike to explain Umno’s dismal performance at the recent polls. I believe, however, it takes more than the arrogance and misdeeds of a few to bring down a mighty organisation such as Umno. Mass desertion of supporters and sympathisers can only happen as a result of a structural fault within the organisation. Much like the event at the fault line in the Indian Ocean which caused the deadliest tsunami in living memory, Umno’s electoral rout was precipitated by a severely damaged link with its constituency.
If that was the case, the strain in the link must have been building for some time, perhaps even before the previous elections. The fact that voters returned Umno (and BN) post-Mahathir with unprecedented mandate could be more an indication of people’s longing for change than an expression of their confidence in the new leaders. It is important to recognise the difference.
People were crying out for a wholesome change in the country’s political scene. But Umno, and most of its BN partners, did not understand that the call was directed as much to the government as to the parties running it. Umno, in particular, has not been very good at distinguishing itself from the government. At times, the line between the two entities is so thin that it’s barely visible. At least that has been the public perception of how Umno activists continue to see and behave themselves.
It is the failure to make this distinction that had lulled Umno into thinking its fortunes were secure as long as the government did well in managing the country. In good times, perhaps, but in bad times people would distance themselves from the country’s leadership. Suffice to say, it was this failure that caused the party to drift away from the main body of its constituency. It was the broken bond that led to a structural failure which undermined the party’s very foundation.
Umno should have evolved with the times. It should have outgrown and laid to rest the notion that Umno equals government, a relic from the pre-Merdeka days. Nonetheless, it is instructive for Umno to learn how the notion came about and adapt the lesson to the present circumstances. It could yet be key to the party’s revival.
Umno started out as a movement. It helped the nation gain independence, and it moved people, intellectually, economically and literally — thousands of families uprooted from their villages to the Felda schemes. The party had a great gift — the ability to engage, organise and move people. And the success of its organisational prowess lay in the operative word that is so close to the Malay culture: “inclusion”.
The concept is well expressed in phrases like bergotong-royong and berat sama dipikul, ringan sama dijinjing. Umno was a successful organisation because it was one with its constituency.
It was the inclusive nature of the party that sustained the strong bond it had with the grassroots and regulate party leaders against excesses. Thus, it was not such a travesty for Umno to equate itself with government. Umno would have had no chance of maintaining the bond if it were perceived as an exclusive club for the elite, as what party stalwart Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has claimed it has become.
If Tengku Razaleigh is right, as seems likely, the task of reviving Umno’s fortunes would be extremely arduous. First, it has to dismantle the exclusive club and work tirelessly to mend the broken link with grassroots. It’s another question whether the party has enough dedicated activists to take up the challenge to see the job through.
Second, Umno has to prove that it is a progressive party that is able to operate outside the ambit of government and remain relevant to present day circumstances. It should be able to prove, for instance, that it can organise a well-functioning international relief body backed by the party’s three million members. Or, it can build a reputable private university to rival MCA-backed Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman without government help. It must be a party that its constituents look up to and have pride in.
At age 62, is it too late for Umno to change its ways? Even if Umno’s revival strategy is right, it may have lost its skill to engage its constituency meaningfully. More urgent perhaps is that the party identify and define its constituency — in the kampungs and in towns — before it can work on them.
It’s a competitive world out there, and Umno leaders must bear in mind that there are other parties that can guarantee a clean, transparent, efficient and pro-people government.

by Abd Ghani Hamat - The Edge 20 May 2008

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Sorry State of UAE Real Estate

by Sheikh Sultan bin Saud Al Qasimi
Chairman, Barjeel Geogit Securities and Cll


One has to wonder about the lack of government supervision that allows firms to issue press releases that are clearly stretching the truth, break promises that begin with delivering real estate projects late or never and jeopardize the reputation of the UAE buy mistreating foreign labour.

It seems like not a single day passes without yet another extravagant announcement about a new real estate project that defies gravity, the laws of nature and the laws of finance.
One has to wonder about the lack of government supervision that allows firms to issue press releases that are clearly stretching the truth, break promises that begin with delivering real estate projects late or never and jeopardize the reputation of the UAE buy mistreating foreign labour.

Take the case of a local development company in the UAE that is owned by GCC shareholders. This firm claims to have AED300 Billion under development, which roughly accounts for 75 percent of the GDP of Abu Dhabi. The firm has announced a project "in excess of US$20 billion" in a country that has a GDP of US$36 Billion. Does that make sense to anyone else? It clearly escapes my understanding. How can the government allow such press releases, and how does the local press publish them without verification? To put things into perspective, this case is similar to someone claiming to have a project "in excess of US$ 7 trillion" in the US (roughly 55 per cent of the GDP).

Another local company, which is one of the few home-grown brands to go regional, claims to have a portfolio "in excess of US$40 Billion." This is clearly an example of a company that bit off more than it could chew. A local news report found that out of the 15 advertised projects in Dubai that the company was developing, all were running, "substantially behind their projected completion schedules" to the extent that investors were threatening to withhold future payments to the developer. Oddly enough, one of the few publicized cases of real estate developers fleeing the country after selling off planned projects to unsuspecting investors to the tune of AED14 million has yet to be resolved.

Copycats
Another issue plaguing the real estate sector is the copycat culture that is about to make our beautiful city of Dubai into a sameville mini-me of other cities around the world. For example, more than one project currently promises to replicate the Eiffel Tower in Paris; moreover, as if copying individual landmarks was not enough, one project even threatens to replicate the entire city of Lyon in Dubai. A contender for the most profuse project award has to be the Falcon City of Wonders that has pledged to reproduce. "the Pyramids, Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal, Great Wall of China and the Leaning Tower of Pisa". Tatweer also has its own replication process going on within the Bawadi project.
Don't people understand that, what has made Dubai great is the spirit of entrepreneurial originality? Shall we wait for a project that promises to replicate the entire city of Abu Dhabi in Dubai or maybe the Holy Shrine of Mecca?
Labour Pains
A different case of construction workers woes emerged in the autumn of 2007, when 40,000 employees of Arabtech went on strike over low wages that, according to the official UAE news agency, "turned into riots", with stones being thrown at police. This situation could have been dangerous for the entire country if you consider that the size of the Dubai police force is around 15,000 personnel (they were outnumbered three to one).
The management of Arabtech must be proud now that it has reported a 115 per cent increase in profits to US$ 93 million in the 2007, despite serious damage to the UAE's reputation and social security.
Basically, because the company didn't meet the labourers demands for an AED90 Million increase per year (a sizeable 25 per cent of its profit), the UAE was unfavorably featured on the front pages of various newspapers, websites and TV stations around the world as a country that does not treat its "guest workers" fairly. Was that decision worth the damage?
Other Emirates
Sharjah's real estate development is the least planned in the UAE, with problems relating to parking, electricity cuts, water stoppages and general frustration about the sorry state of roads. Despite a daily headline in the local press, all seem to be well on course to staying exactly the same. Abu Dhabi should pay attention to the plight of its sister emirates before launching gigantic projects in the relatively calm capital island that will result in traffic chaos similar to what Dubai is experiencing today.
How do we even account for such a collective failure of engineering and planning? Clearly the UAE authorities were not prepared for such a fast pace of development. For a country that proudly claims to have US$500 billion worth of real estate projects under development, it is high time for the federal government to enact serious nationwide laws and regulations that will set this industry straight.
Courtesy: MONEY works magazine March 2008

Malaysiakini : Children without childhood

(This article is from Malaysiakini)


Stan Yee May 12, 08 11:14am
If we can turn our attention away from politics for a moment, there is a lot for us to worry about elsewhere. The state of our education, for instance.
Our exam-oriented system is cause for grave concern because the whole nation is fixated on a concept of ‘academic excellence’ as defined by exam results.
Scholastic performance is no longer a function of what the school can produce, but rather largely a result of performance-enhancing private tuition.
What is intended to benchmark our educational standard relative to comparable countries abroad, and a means of gauging our teachers’ level of competence, the public exams have now become annual inter-school high-jump contests in which doing well is not good enough. The quest is for the highest number of ‘A’ passes.
To achieve the optimum performance many students go to private tuition classes that cumulatively add up almost as much time as the hours they spend in school every day. On their part some schools pick and choose students to make sure that the weak ones will not spoil their percentages. The old idea about going to school to learn to be a well-rounded person seems to have been thrown out the window.
Each time our public exams turn out brilliant results, the crossbar of the standard of excellence is moved yet another notch higher, never mind that these results have been induced by the tuition steroids that have been pumped into children.
Some kids attend one tuition class after another, after school every day. As if that is not bad enough, now their time is going to be even more constricted by the new national programme known as the Integrated Timetable for Secondary Schools in which selected schools operate from 7am to 3pm to integrate the normal curriculum with co-curriculum periods.
If I understand the situation correctly the proposed timetable is still at its pilot stage to test the system and the reaction of the school community throughout the country. As such the programme will only serve its trial purpose if the local directors of education understand its trial nature and provide honest feedback to the education ministry - and not a glowing report unrelated to the situation just to please the bosses in KL who conceived the idea.
At first glance, two days a week for such an integrated school schedule should suffice. Anything more will overburden both students and teachers. We should not emulate Japan whose schools finish at 3pm. They have all manner of facilities and extra-curricular programmes to engage a wide range of interests among the students. Even so the rat-race there has driven many a young person to desperation.
We do not want that to happen here. Already, we have seen an increasing number of suicides in this country. Just recently one child jumped off the 5th floor of his school building in Kota Kinabalu, which partly prompted this article. Many fear that if the new schedule is accepted it will intensify an already suffocating daily regime for children, and will lead to even more stress and strain and a worsening mental health situation. There is a real fear that, for some, this may well be the last straw.

Missing dimensions

Apropos the exams, one wonders what good it will do to our education system when the authorities read more than they should into exam results that have been artificially enhanced by factors that have little to do with what our schools are capable of producing.
The intensifying pressure on the school population exacts a heavy price and begs many questions. Is getting a good number of ‘As’ so important that we can disregard everything else that children enjoy doing, like being with friends, playing sports, spending time with the family or just ‘stand and stare’ and be children?
Will the exam results that benchmark our educational standard serve the purpose to the extent they are touted to represent? And what glory can our schools honestly derive from the high percentages that students achieve when they know that without tuition the results may have been very different?
What price do children have to pay to satisfy this standard of excellence to which their schools do not measure up, and when students have to forfeit their short, priceless childhood to boost the glory of the school and perhaps their parents’ ego?
How many hours can we expect children to work in a day and how many days a week?
We bemoan the fact that our young people do not read. How can they when they get stuck all day with those boring textbooks that they lug around in their school bags? How can they not be sick to death of books?
What about character and personality development? Character does not grow out of a massive dose of maths or science or BM or English or loads of textbooks or even religious or moral instruction classes. If anything these can even stifle character development.
There is something quite ridiculous about the way moral instruction is made an examination subject. Kids swot up the moral values presented in a cut and dried fashion to pass the tests. They do not necessarily live up to the values or even believe in these. They swot up on whatever they think the examiner wants.
Few think things through for themselves and relate these to real-life situations where right or wrong does not always present itself in black and white clarity. They memorise words but do not necessarily internalise skills and values.
Children learn to relate to the world from social interaction with other children, from lessons learned in normal conflicts and perhaps a fight or two, from adults around them, from literature and good movies, from sports and some of the foolish things that adults look back on and laugh about. Anything short of this may turn children into insipid introverts with very little imagination, personal initiative or drive and ability to work independently.
While some children do need tuition to help them catch up on weak subjects, it should not be a substitute for the normal learning at school. They should receive their staple diet of education at school. Tuition is just a supplement to make up for the shortfall at school.
Unfortunately as the demand for tuition increases, so will the likelihood of some teachers’ ethical standard and professionalism going the other way.
But, all said, the main culprit is our over-emphasis on using exam results as the yardstick for our schools’ scholastic worth. Periodically we should re-calibrate the benchmark to accord with what the system can produce unaided by extraneous factors.
As matters stand, the present one-size-fits-all approach is woefully out of sync with the realities on the ground. It gives the education ministry a bloated idea of the country’s educational standard.

STAN YEE is a retired government officer in Kota Kinabalu.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Parks in the UAE: Hafeet's no mean feat


A dusk view of Jebel Hafeet park's undulating terrain.

Jebel Hafeet is the name of a mountain overlooking Al Ain. At the base of the mountain are natural springs where hot water bubbles forth from under the ground. Around the spring you will find a large park with rivers of hot water running through and two swimming pools — one for men and one for women.
You can walk or drive up the mountain. If you feel like some exercise, there are hiking trails that go all the way up. If you are less adventurous, there is a small hill in the park that is popular with climbers and children. To reach the top quickly, it is best to hop in the car and take a spin.

At the top of Jebel Hafeet is a magnificent view that looks out over Al Ain. A small rest stop sells snacks and ice creams to munch while you are enjoying the vista.

There is a choice of camping or guesthouses in the area, so a visit to Jebel Hafeet makes a nice weekend break away from the hustle and bustle of life in the city.


A view from the top of the mountain.

Fun in The Spring



An UMNO-linked company in Dubai Is officially DEAD!


Finally, PECD Dubai is no longer in existence. Dubai Courts have ordered PECD Dubai to be closed down and its office in Qusais is currently sealed. All PECD Dubai asset will be auctioned to pay for the outstanding debts which amounted to millions!
The collection from this auction may not be able to repay those debts. Not sure on any actions by PECD Bhd but it was announced that PECD Dubai to be closed down albeit not through court order!

Another UMNO-linked company was closed down earlier, read HERE.

PECD is an UMNO-linked company with is directly under its treasurer, the famous Azim Zabidi who had lost in the last election. There were series of court cases against PECD since 2006 including charged by its former staff. Read the story of PECD staff detained HERE.
According to some sources, two former PECD employees are still being detained by the Police for two different reasons, one (a Malaysian who claimed he was a datuk) for CBT and another one (an Iraqi) for dishonoured company cheques.

Most other former employees were resigned or sacked or transferred. Some are still not being paid their dues accordingly.

Another Forgettable and Wasteful IAP meeting



Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (right)
shaking hands with members of the International Advisory Panel (IAP)
fter the group photo session before officiating
the 11th Malaysia IAP Meeting here, in Kuala Lumpur.
ix: Samsudin Mohamad


Ladies and gentlemen, especially those who are new media savvy, what do you know about Malaysian International Advisory Panel (IAP)?

Its 11th annual meeting was held recently and the only news I read so far:
Abdullah Wants IAP Members To Look Into Food Production and
The Best IAP Meeting Thus Far, Says Abdullah.

Well, every year, either Mahathir or Pak Lah would claim without any substantial facts, the best IAP meeting so far! Best for whom?

In anyway, do you know what is IAP?

According to the IAP web site:

When the vision to accelerate the development and expansion of Malaysia‘s ICT industry first arose a little over a decade ago, the world’s pre-eminent industry icons were sought after and consulted to lend their expertise.

Many responded, and soon this grouping of world ICT titans was assembled into an elite circle. Thus, the MSC Malaysia International Advisory Panel (IAP) was born. January 16, 1997 was the day the world’s most influential ICT leaders, thinkers and researchers gathered and inaugurated the MSC-IAP at Stanford University, USA.
MSC Malaysia was conceived as a vision of purpose and goals, but it required the impetus to move forward. The MSC Malaysia IAP provided this through invaluable counsel in the form of direction, strategies and actionable ideas.


From this noble mission initiated under Mahathir for his MSC's 'Malaysia's gift to the world' and over the years since 1997, I would like to pose a question to the organizers, do we as Malaysians, especially ICT wannabes get the benefits form these so-called meeting of world's most influential ICT leaders, thinkers and researchers.

It is not only about our money which was spent from 1997 to fly these world's most influential ICT leaders, thinkers and researchers to the event, but also on the real benefits for our local IT industry, in ringgit and sen.

Who are these world's most influential ICT leaders, thinkers and researchers? I may be ignorant but from the list, most are not really well-known. There were some from previous years but Bill Gates for one never really in the list, I could be wrong but over the years this is an annual forgettable event.

There is no record on the web site on the attendances or speeches of previous years world's most influential ICT leaders, thinkers and researchers.

Even worse, since this group of world's most influential ICT leaders, thinkers and researchers established, no single Malaysian beside those officials is in the list. We are really not moving that fast enough to produce world's most influential ICT leaders, thinkers and researchers.

Please name our world's breaking feat innovations in ICT beside those attempts to break records like dropping Proton on the north pole.

The organizers should include real entrepreneurs, innovators and creators such as founders of yahoo, e-bay, amazon, google, hotmail, facebook, youtube, to name a few. These founders of Internet business are missing from guest list. It could be they are not interested to be part of this sembang-sembang and makan-makan event. Well, a waste of time!

I had conveyed a suggestion to CEO of MDeC, Badlisham when he was in Dubai last year to include certain prominent Arab leaders, including some successful Internet ventures like tejari and Dubai e-government.

The Gulf is shortage of 100,000 IT professionals, read here...are we ready to take this opportunity for our graduates?

Why not for a change, next year for the 12th meeting, world's most influential ICT leaders, thinkers and researchers can have online conferences simultaneously from their own bedrooms or toilets...so they can sleep while the others talking nonsense, especially our own PM, the best PM ever....who would then claim proudly to the world 'this is the best IAP meeting thus far in my life time!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Abu Dhabi Is No Longer A Sleeping Giant!

I went to Cityscape 2008 in Abu Dhabi on Thursday and big WOW indeed to see those projects in this richest emirate in the world. I spent good three hours to be mesmerized with the sheer magnitude of Abu Dhabi in the near future.
The amount of money is mind boggling but then again, Abu Dhabi has 100 years of oil stock and is among top world's producers.
I am not fond of Abu Dhabi city due to its boringness and staleness, no colors like Dubai. Even I hate driving to Abu Dhabi and every trip is torturous indeed.
With Abu Dhabi is no longer a sleeping giant, its awakening will be something to see with deep interests. Until now, Dubai has been stealing the limelights but with loads of money to spend, Abu Dhabi is soon taking over the attractions!




Abu Dhabi's real estate projects to cross Dh1.71tr

By Saifur Rahman, Business Editor
Published: May 16, 2008, 00:38

Dubai: Real estate projects announced in Abu Dhabi so far, including those under planning and development, are estimated to cross $466 billion (Dh1.71 trillion) when completed, according to the latest update.

These, developers say, collectively represent a 'tip of the iceberg' - compared to what is expected in the coming years. The figure is significantly higher than the $327 billion project value estimated at the Cityscape last year.

"It is worth remembering that it is only the projects that are officially planned or have broken ground, that have made it onto the list. After last year's event, we estimated that $327 billion worth of projects had been announced, this year's total is sure to be significantly higher," Mark Goodchild, project manager of Cityscape Abu Dhabi, said yesterday.

Since then, developers unveiled a $40 billion Yas Island project, a $40 billion Khalifa City, $24 billion mixed use real estate community project by Burooj Properties, a $10 billion mixed-use Ghantoot Green City, among many others, raising the project value significantly.

However, some of the biggest surprises include a new capital district that will become the administrative headquarters of the government - something like Malaysia's Putrajaya - is yet to be unveiled.

The Abu Dhabi Government will gradually unveil a vast Wetlands National Park that is to be triple the size of the existing Abu Dhabi island, as well as Hudariyat Island - another mega project - together will raise the project value to a much higher level.

Real Estate Property

These exclude the government's investment in hydrocarbon, utilities, ports and airports, communication and infrastructure. "Abu Dhabi has entered a new era of leadership and the city epitomises a fresh spirit of city-building which is almost unmatched anywhere in the world," said the latest report by Jones Lang LaSalle.

"The city offers shining possibilities for long-term growth through substantial wealth-creating opportunities, massive infrastructure investment, a clear vision, strong governance and the availability of capital."

However, risk management, quality and imbalance in projects remain a challenge. "There are significant risks coming for developers. Consumers need to trust the development, the developer and the market," Abu Baker Al Khouri, managing director of Sorouh Real Estate, said.


Top 10 Abu Dhabi projects worth Dh700b

Staff Report
Published: May 16, 2008, 00:38

Dubai: More than Dh700 billion ($190 billion) is being budgeted across just the top 10 civil construction projects currently planned or under way in Abu Dhabi, said a statement.

Analysts believe this is the tip of the iceberg as the UAE capital has yet to unveil the major projects that will help it to realise its 2030 vision, which will more than triple the current population.

Many of these projects are being showcased at Cityscape Abu Dhabi, which closes today after extending the show by one day at government request.

Cityscape provided a glimpse of what to expect in the next few years, while officials hinted that the major project rollout will continue in the next few years, in line with Abu Dhabi's Plan 2030.

Mark Goodchild, project manager, Cityscape Abu Dhabi, said: "The sheer scale of these combined projects is remarkable. Little wonder that investors have flocked to Cityscape Abu Dhabi, visitor attendance figures for the first two days of the show exceeded 20,000, which is double the number we recorded last year at the same stage.

"It is worth remembering that it is only the projects that are officially planned or have broken ground that have made it on to the list. After last year's event we estimated that $327 billion worth of projects had been announced. This year's total is sure to be higher."

The list: Mega plans

Some of the details of the top 10 projects were provided by research company Proleads. They are:

- The biggest single project is the new capital city for Abu Dhabi - Khalifa City. Budgeted at $40 billion, the city is to comprise all federal ministries, local government offices and embassies. The development will cover 49 million square metres. The city is expected to be completed by 2030.

- Work has started on the Yas Island Development, a massive $39 billion mixed-use tourist development including residential, hotels, beaches, marinas, retail, golf and equestrian facilities as well as a Ferrari theme park. The island will have a total developed area about one-third the size of Abu Dhabi island.

- Burooj Properties is behind a planned $24 billion mixed-use real estate community project in Abu Dhabi to include 11 residential towers, offices, four hotels and a shopping mall.

- Saadiyat Island is another massive offshore development under way with a budget of more than $22 billion. It includes 19 kilometres of beachfront, 29 hotels, three marinas, 8,000 residential villas and more than 38,000 apartments. The project also includes a museum, concert hall, maritime history centre, three harbours, a park, golf course and sailing club.

- A $22 billion budget has been allocated for the ambitious Masdar City project, billed as the first zero-carbon, zero-waste city. The city will include a university, commercial, residential and eco-friendly industrial areas. It will depend on solar energy. Masdar City will also be car-free. Around the city will be wind and photovoltaic farms.

- Under way is the $13 billion Al Raha Beach Complex, another mixed-use hospitality development involving reclaimed land and will include 50 high-rise and a number of low-rise buildings for approximately 120,000 people. Water-taxis will provide access to Abu Dhabi city centre.

- Abu Dhabi's International Capital Trading is planning a $10 billion mixed use city, tentatively called Ghantoot Green City. The project will comprise commercial centres, hotels, offices, residential areas, warehousing and light industrial areas.

- Al Reem Island development is a $7.8 billion mixed-use community next to the bridge connecting Al Reem Island to Abu Dhabi city. Several 40 and 50 storey towers will form the central business district. The development will include two 80-storey buildings and house approximately 80,000 people.

- With a budget of $6.5 billion, Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed City is another new city comprising 374 residential and commercial buildings as well as the associated infrastructure and entertainment facilities. The development is on the Abu Dhabi-Al Ain highway.

- At joint number 10 with budgets of $3 billion each are the Abu Dhabi Light Rail project and the MGM Grand Hotel. The rail project is in the study phase and will involve some 350 kilometres of rail. The MGM Grand project will have two further branded luxury hotels and more than 1,200 rooms. It will also feature a 12,000 seat arena, retail, restaurants, waterfront residences and private yacht berths.

Dubai In Old Photos

http://www.dubaiasitusedtobe.com/pages/galleries/p7hg_img_18/fullsize/Beach_Road_Aerial_fs.jpg

Chicago Beach Hotel (where Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Beach Hotel now are – "Jumeirah")

http://www.dubaiasitusedtobe.com/pages/galleries/p7hg_img_2/fullsize/chicago_beach_hotel1_fs.jpg

http://www.dubaiasitusedtobe.com/pages/galleries/p7hg_img_16/fullsize/egc4_fs.jpg

http://www.dubaiasitusedtobe.com/pages/galleries/p7hg_img_16/fullsize/egcbuild1_fs.jpg

Dubai's First Traffic Lights

http://www.dubaiasitusedtobe.com/pages/galleries/p7hg_img_13/fullsize/VV_and_Sons_fs.jpg

" Dubai 's Drivers have always been impatient, no more so than when waiting at Traffic Lights. The Drivers used to sound their car horns if they thought the lights were taking too long to change. For no apparent reason the Traffic Lights were switched off between midnight and 6 am. At least the Residents of the nearby Apartment Blocks could get some sleep. However no one needed an alarm clock! Promptly at 6am the car horns started again" J

Dubai's First Traffic Lights: Location Map

Dubai Clock Tower 1967: As seen from the Carlton Hotel

Taken from the roof of the Carlton Hotel in Diera in 1967. Clock Tower can be seen in the distance (arrow). In the centre of the photo is the old Dubai Municipality Building . Behind that is the Dubai Electricity Company's Power Station that supplied Dubai 's electricity. All the buildings in the foreground have been demolished.

Dubai Airport: 1960

Airport facilities were minimal. A compacted sand runway, a small terminal building and a service building formed Dubai 's Airport in the 1960s.

Dubai Airport: 1965

Dubai Airport: 1965

Dubai Airport: 1970s

A new Terminal Building and a hard surfaced runway had been built by the mid 1970s

Dubai Creek Dredging: 1950s

In the mid 1950s Dubai 's Creek filled with sand becoming very shallow and difficult to navigate. Dubai 's trade was affected. Diera's coastline was eroding and buildings and roads along the coast were threatened. Dubai 's Merchants and People were complaining.

Dubai Creek Dredging: Dredger

Sheikh Rashid solved the problem by employing Overseas AST to dredge Dubai Creek to 20 feet deep and make it navigable again. Dredge material was pumped ashore to reclaim new land areas on both sides of Dubai Creek. Dredged material was also used to recover Deira's Coastline and build the Deira Corniche.

Dubai Creek Dredging: Changing Dubai Creek

Dubai Police: Controlling Dubai's Traffic 1960s style

Doesn't appear to be too much traffic - non existent in fact! Must have been a major road junction in Old Dubai to have a Traffic Policeman on duty.

Dubai Police: Stopping Landrovers speeding in 1960s

Speed Cameras: Dubai Police were always keen to use technology to help their cause. Drivers had to keep a look out for VW Combi Vans parked on the side of the road!

Jumeirah Beach Road: Hatta Road

Hatta Road – Well do you see Academic city here J

Jumeirah Beach Road: Jumeirah Beach Road

Jumeriah Beach Road joined Jumeirah and Umm Sequiem to Dubai . Although the road shown here is tarmac, further towards Umm Sequiem the tarmac disappeared. The road did not lead anywhere and came to a dead end around where Burj Al Arab is today.

Sheikha leaving for wedding celebrations

Sheikha leaving for wedding celebrations

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum married his first cousin Sheikha Hind Bint Maktoum in 1979.

Ladies leaving for celebrations