Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Civilisations don’t have to clash, but they do have to talk

Given that communication is perhaps the most significant common denominator across all cultures and all continents, it is surprising how difficult it can often be to communicate at an intercultural level. Which is why, I suppose, disputes are just as common across most cultures.

The importance of communication at the inter- and intra-cultural level is explored in the book The Dialogue of Civilisations: The Self and the Other by the renowned Emirati author Mana Saeed al Otaiba.
The book’s intention is to point the way to achieving a more harmonious Arab-Muslim-Western dialogue. But before discussing the book, it would be helpful to first examine, briefly, the background of the author.
After all, there is a popular saying that “the fruit does not fall far from the tree”. So learning about the man will provide an idea about his beliefs – and how much weight we, as readers, should place on what he says.
Dr al Otaiba gained his PhD from the University of Cairo with flying colours in 1976. He has written many books in Arabic that discuss language, civil society, gender, education, and migration. He is also a successful entrepreneur – the chairman of Noor Capital – an advisor to both the founder of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed, and the current President, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, and a six-times president of Opec. And if all that weren’t enough, he is a prolific poet and currently the Director of Arabic Studies at Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA. A set of credentials that tell us he is a man we should listen to and take seriously.
Back to the book, the title immediately tells us what to expect: a dialogue rather than the more fashionable “clash” of civilisations”. It is a topic the book extensively explores, dividing the subject into three parts, with an enlightening introduction that clarifies key terms such as “civilisations”, “culture” and “dialogue”.
In Part One, the author expounds on the importance of communication between civilisations. He argues that dialogue can either be a choice or a duty. He brings history into the discussion, explaining the valuable contributions Arab-Islamic civilisations have made over the centuries to inter-cultural dialogue.
The second part, with the title, “Obstacles and Dialogue”, is mainly concerned with the challenges that anyone wanting to participate in a cross-cultural dialogue are likely to encounter. Dr al Otaiba’s argument, essentially, is that meaningful communication between civilisations is not an easy process as both sides continually encounter what is best termed “conflicts of interest”.
Such conflicts are particularly hard to resolve as, once raised, the opposing cultures have to make concerted efforts to continue the process of dialogue before they can find a mutually agreeable solution. This section of the book does more than simply extol the importance of dialogue between civilisations, but emphasises that in the modern world it is essential if the conflicts aren’t to degenerate into something far more serious.

“Spaces and Horizons of Dialogue,” is the title Dr al Otaiba gives to the third section. His argument is that economic progress should be a means for promoting mutual understanding among people and cultures. He advocates different cultures sharing with each other their progress across the whole range of human activity: industry, education, agriculture, tourism, etc.

As a result of the processes of globalisation, different cultures and countries are having more contact with each other anyway. The “global village” that we all talk about means that we are all more likely to interact with one another. If there is to be less conflict, not more, then cultures should make communicating with each other a priority. As the book points out, the progress of one particular culture could be directly affected by the way it communicates with another.

In many ways, Dr al Otaiba is a mouthpiece – and a representative – for the entire region. The Middle East in recent years has become synonymous with cultural disputes. However, as this book so ably demonstrates, it is this region that also supplies the thinkers with solutions to the problem. The Dialogue of Civilisations is required reading.

The Dialogue of Civilisations is translated into English and published by the Red Sea Press and Africa World Press

By Dr Salem Humaid, an Emirati writer and researcher in cultural and anthropological studies based in Dubai.

Harakah Sepatutnya Menjadi Akhbar Harian

Dalam salah satu hasil 'kejayaan' misi muzakarah antara UMNO-PAS ialah Harakah akan kembali muncul dua kali seminggu. Tidak lagi dua minggu sekali seperti selepas Pak Lah menjadi PM.

Akhbar politik milik parti pembangkang lain yang tidak bermuzakarah dengan UMNO akan tetap muncul dua kali sebulan. Begitu manjanya layanan UMNO kepada PAS demi ketuanan dan perpaduan Melayu dengan umpanan kepada hak penerbitan Harakah.

Tidak pasti selepas ini, tertera amaran di muka depan Harakah, "Untuk Ahli PAS dan UMNO sahaja!"

Saya menulis agak aktif untuk Harakah dalam tahun 1998 melalui genre cerpen yang boleh dikatakan agak regular tersiar dengan menggunakan nama pena MFMNor.

Arkib kumpulan cerpen tersebut boleh dibaca di Dotkomania.

Begitupun, saya kira sepatutnya mereka yang berusaha mendapatkan kembali hak Harakah di cetak dua kali seminggu sepatutnya mendapatkan lesen Harakah sebagai akhbar harian bertaraf media perdana.

Barulah hebat makna ketuanan Melayu dan sahlah UMNO jujur untuk bermuzakarah dengan PAS, parti yang dianggap sesat oleh ramai pemimpin UMNO sendiri.

Sememangnya kita memerlukan akhbar harian baru yang jauh lebih hebat dari akhbar serta media kepunyaan UMNO. Harakah pernah memohon untuk berbuat demikian diatas nama akhbar PURNAMA rasanya.

Lagi baik kalau PAS mendapat lesen TV dan radio sekali dibawah Harakah. PAS tentunya telah mampu untuk menubuhkan syarikat media konglomerat seperti Media Prima.

Kita juga akan dapat menyaksikan lebih banyak iklan yang bermutu, tidak seperti iklan-iklan merapu yang menghiasi Harakah, terutama iklan-iklan 'kesihatan untuk lelaki' dsbnya. Syarikat-syarikat sekutu UMNO akan berani untuk mengiklan secara besar-besaran.

Tidak mengejutkan bank-bank Islam yang banyak sekarang akan menawarkan fasiliti perbankan khas pada ahli-ahli PAS termasuk sistem pinjaman Ahlong dan kad kredit.

Cuma barangkali apabila Harakah atau PURNAMA atau apa saja nama lain akhbar (juga media)terbitan syarikat kepunyaan atau bersangkut-paut dengan PAS selepas berpakat dengan UMNO, akan sama sahaja dengan Utusan, Berita, NST, Sun dan Star mahupun Sinar serta lain-lain tabloid yang bersekutu dengan UMNO.

Iaitu, menghentam mereka yang dianggap pembangkang kepada UMNO dan kawan-kawan sekatil.

Walauapapun, masih belum terlambat untuk PAS mendapatkan hak menerbitkan Harakah dalam bentuk akhbar, TV, radio dalam muzakarah berikutnya!

BOHONG itu salah satu sifat WAJIB Menteri

Boleh dikatakan semua menteri kabinet Malaysia mempunyai satu sifat yang dianggap wajib untuk bertaraf menteri dalam Islam Hadhari, iaitu menjadi pembohong.

Lihat sahaja Perdana Menteri yang banyak kali berbohong dan akan terus berbohong bersama kabinet pembohong pimpinannya.

Timbalan PM juga sudah serasi dengan berbohong biarpun akan bersumpah berkali-kali yang dia tidak berbohong.

Menteri-menteri lain juga sama tarafnya kerana sekali berbohong, terpaksa berbohong untuk menutup bohong yang lain. Boleh disenaraikan semua pembohongan untuk dibukukan dalam rekod BOHONG menteri kabinet Malaysia, dulu, kini dan selamanya (termasuk bila Mahathir dan Anwar Ibrahim dalam kabinet)

Dengan muka seposen dan bersahaja, pembohong bercakap 'benar' di depan khalayak termasuk di parlimen. Bohong yang berterusan menjadi lapuran media yang sama-sama berbohong demi pembohongan atas nama kebenaran.

Tetapi secara amnya, semua ahli politik mesti pandai berbohong. Ciri yang menjadikan mereka lebih berjaya kalau dapat berbohong secara neutral. Kalau tidak pandai berbohong, baik jadi ulamak sahaja.

Mereka-mereka yang menjadi pembohong lazim ini jugalah yang berjaya meyakinkan beberapa kerat kepimpinan PAS untuk bermuzakarah atas nama ketuanan baru-baru ini. Segala janji dan tawaran untuk PAS tentunya boleh termasuk kategori bohong sebelum menjadi realiti.

Kemudian, kepimpinan PAS yang terlibat terpaksa pula berbohong untuk menutup kebohongan pemimpin UMNO yang bertaraf menteri.

Maka benarlah......
Siakap Senohong
Gelama Ikan Duri
Bercakap Bohong
Itu kerja para Menteri
dan yang mahu jadi Menteri!

Monday, July 28, 2008

What are roads in Malaysia used for?

(Somebody sent this by email)



Written by David Astley, a British/Ozzie guy now living in KL

A guide for expatriate drivers in Malaysia

Since arriving in Malaysia in 1997, I have tried on many occasions to buy a copy of the Malaysian road rules, but have come to the conclusion that no such publication exists (or if it does, it has been out of print for years). Therefore after carefully observing the driving habits of Malaysian drivers, I believe I have at last worked out the rules of the road in Malaysia.

For the benefit of other expatriates living in Malaysia, and the 50% of local drivers who acquired their driving licences without taking a driving test, I am pleased to share my knowledge below:

Q: What is the most important rule of the road in Malaysia?
A: The most important rule is that you must arrive at your destination ahead of the car in front of you. This is the sacrosanct rule of driving in Malaysia. All other rules are subservient to this rule.

Q: What side of the road should you drive on in Malaysia?
A: 99.7% of cars drive on the left hand side, 0.2% on the right hand side, and 0.1% drive in reverse (be on the look out for drivers reversing at high speed in the left hand lane of freeways, having just missed their exit). Therefore on the basis of 'majority rules', it is recommended that you drive on the left. However, be aware that only 90% of motorcyclists travel on the left hand side - the other 10% ride in the opposite direction or on the sidewalk. Fortunately, motorcyclists traveling in reverse are rarely seen.

Q: What are the white lines on the roads?
A: These are known as lane markers and were used by the British in the colonial days to help them drive straight. Today their purpose is mainly decorative, although a double white line is used to indicate a place that is popular to overtake.

Q: When can I use the emergency lane?
A: You can use the emergency lane for any emergency, e.g. you are late for work, you left the toaster plugged in at home, you are bursting to go to the toilet, you have a toothache or you have just dropped your Starbucks coffee in your lap. As it is an emergency, you may drive at twice the speed of the other cars on the road.

Q: Do traffic lights have the same meaning as in other countries?
A: Not quite. Green is the same that means "Go", but amber and red are different. Amber means "Go like hell" and red means "Stop if there is traffic coming in the other direction or if there is a policeman on the corner". Otherwise red means the same as green. Note that for buses, red lights do not take effect until five seconds after the light has changed.

Q: What does the sign "Jalan Sehala" mean?
A: This means "One Way Street" and indicates a street where the traffic is required to travel in one direction. The arrow on the sign indicates the preferred direction of the traffic flow, but is not compulsory. If the traffic is not flowing in the direction in which you wish to travel, then reversing in that direction is the best option.

Q: What does the sign "Berhenti" mean?
A: This means "Stop", and is used to indicate a junction where there is a possibility that you may have to stop if you cannot fool the cars on the road that you are entering into thinking that you are not going to stop.

Q: What does the sign "Beri Laluan" mean?
A: This means "Give Way", and is used to indicate a junction where the cars on the road that you are entering will give way to you provided you avoid all eye contact with them and you can fool them into thinking that you have not seen them.

Q: What does the sign "Dilarang Masuk" mean?
A: This means "No Entry". However, when used on exit ramps in multi-storey car parks, it has an alternative meaning which is: "Short cut to the next level up".

Q: What does the sign "Pandu Cermat" mean?
A: This means "Drive Smartly", and is placed along highways to remind drivers that they should never leave more than one car length between them and the car in front, irrespective of what speed they are driving. This is to ensure that other cars cannot cut in front of you and thus prevent you from achieving the primary objective of driving in Malaysia, and that is to arrive ahead of the car in front of you.
If you can see the rear number plate of the car in front of you, then you are not driving close enough.

Q: What is the speed limit in Malaysia?
A: The concept of a speed limit is unknown in Malaysia.

Q: So what are the round signs on the highways with the numbers, 60, 80 and
110?
A: This is the amount of the 'on-the-spot' fine (in ringgits - the local currency) that you have to pay to the police if you are stopped on that stretch of the highway. Note that for expatriates or locals driving Mercedes or BMWs, the on-the-spot fine is double the amount shown on the sign.

Q: Where do you pay the 'on-the-spot' fine?
A: As the name suggests, you pay it 'on-the-spot' to the policeman who has stopped you. You will be asked to place your driving licence on the policeman's notebook that he will hand to you through the window of your car. You will note that there is a spot on the cover of the notebook. Neatly fold the amount of your fine into four, place the fine on the spot, and then cover it with your driving licence so that it cannot be seen. Pass it carefully to the policeman. Then, with a
David Copperfield movement of his hands, he will make your money disappear. It is not necessary to applaud.

Q: But isn't this a bribe?
A: Oh pleeease, go and wash your mouth out. What do you want? A traffic ticket? Yes, you can request one of those instead, but it will cost you twice the price, forms to fill out, cheques to write, envelopes to mail, and then three months later when you are advised that your fine was never received, more forms to fill out, a trip to the police station, a trip to the bank, a trip back to the police station, and maybe then you will wish you had paid 'on-the-spot'.

Q: But what if I haven't broken any road rules?
A: It is not common practice in Malaysia to stop motorists for breaking road rules (because nobody is really sure what they are). The most common reasons for being stopped are:
(a) the policeman is hungry and would like you to buy him lunch;
(b) the policeman has run out of petrol and needs some money to get back to the station;
(c) you look like a generous person who would like to make a donation to the police
welfare fund; or
(d) you are driving an expensive car which means you can afford to make a donation to the police welfare fund.

Q: Does my car require a roadworthy certificate before I can drive it in Malaysia?
A: No, roadworthy certificates are not required in Malaysia. However there are certain other statutory requirements that must be fulfilled before your car can be driven in Malaysia.
Firstly, you must ensure that your windscreen is at least 50% obscured with English football
club decals, golf club membership stickers or condo parking permits.
Secondly, you must place a tissue box (preferably in a white lace cover) on the back shelf of your car under the rear window.
Thirdly, you must hang as many CDs or plastic ornaments from your rear vision mirror as it will support. Finally, you must place a Garfield doll with suction caps on one of your windows. Your car will then be ready to drive on Malaysian roads.

Q: What does a single yellow line along the edge of a road mean?
A: This means parking is permitted.

Q: What does a double yellow line along the edge of a road mean?
A: This means double parking is permitted.

Q: What does a yellow box with a diagonal grid of yellow lines painted on the road at a junction mean?
A: Contrary to the understanding of some local drivers, this does not mean that diagonal parking is permitted. It indicates a junction that is grid-locked at peak hours.

Q: Can I use my mobile phone whilst driving in Malaysia?
A: No problem at all, but it should be noted that if you wish to use the rear-vision mirror to put on your lipstick (women only please) or trim your eyebrows at the same time as you are using a mobile phone in the other hand, you should ensure that you keep an elbow free to steer the car. Alternatively, you may place a toddler on your lap and have the child steer the car whilst you are carrying out these other essential driving tasks.

Q: Is it necessary to use indicator lights in Malaysia?
A: These blinking orange lights are commonly used by newly arrived expatriate drivers to indicate they are about to change lanes. This provides a useful signal to local drivers to close up any gaps to prevent the expatriate driver from changing lanes. Therefore it is recommended that expatriate drivers adopt the local practice of avoiding all use of indicator lights. However, it is sometimes useful to turn on your left hand indicator if you want to merge right, because this confuses other drivers enabling you to take advantage of an unprotected gap in the traffic.

Q: Why do some local drivers turn on their left hand indicator and then turn right, or turn on their right hand indicator and then turn left?
A: This is one of the unsolved mysteries of driving in Malaysia.

Q. What is the use of the hazard warning lights?
A. Contrary to all international protocol, this four way flashing light is = switched on when the Police are escorting VIPs on the road to warn lesser mortals to move out of the way and not hinder the flow of the motorcade.
Taking a cue from the Police, motorists use this at the slightest excuse when it rains to tell other motorist to get out of the way as using their hazard light anoints them with powers that part the traffic, somewhat akin to Moses parting the Red Sea.

When PAS leaders LIED (Reports From Malaysiakini)

I am not a member of any political parties but a keen observer on the on-goings in political arena. I have limited knowledge about politics as well as do not have much trust on almost all politicians, especially if there are from UMNO and its allies.

In my previous entry, I did say that I was confused and disillusioned about UMNO-PAS muzakarah.

Well, it is not only me but some PAS leaders as well are upset. Some greedy or too-ambitious leaders have their own agendas and again as political animals, they will go for their own desires (like being offered deputy PM or ministers) rather than think for those who had voted them as their MPs at the first place.

PAS leaders, ulamaks or not, are not maksum. They make mistakes, have their weaknesses and vulnerabilities, and some of the predecessors had misjudged on UMNO's previous pact offers, based on ketuanan or unity. UMNO leaders's real motive is only for their own survival and PAS leaders will be again conned by the beautiful word of ketuanan or unity.

There are bigger agendas for a better Malaysia, one important step is to get rid of UMNOputeras who have sodomized the country under the ketuanan Melayu!

Muzakarahs or now muqabalahs with pre-set mind on getting ministerial posts are for disasters. If PAS really going for a pact with UMNO, then the real winner will be the UMNOputeras who will have more time and avenues to rape/sodomize our country dulu, kini dan selamanya.

Read these two reports from Malaysiakini.



Saari: Some PAS leaders keen on pact with Umno
Syed Jaymal Zahiid Jul 28, 08 5:52pm
There are some PAS leaders who are seriously considering the possibility of a political alliance between the Islamic opposition party and its arch rival Umno.

This revelation comes from PAS Selangor information chief Saari Sungib amid denials from the party’s top leadership that no such cooperation will take place.
Speaking to malaysiakini today, Saari said PAS deputy president Nasaruddin Mat Isa and the party’s commissioner for Terengganu Mustapha Ali are solidly behind the idea.
"They believe that if PAS leaders can hold some key ministerial posts in the Umno-led federal government, it will be possible to initiate changes from within," he added.
This could deliver another blow to Pakatan Rakyat whose intra-party ties have been strained since the secret PAS-Umno talks were exposed by former Selangor menteri besar Dr Khir Mohd Toyo and Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Pakatan Rakyat is the opposition alliance comprising PKR, PAS and DAP. It's stalwart Anwar Ibrahim has also publicly stated that they could make up the numbers with the help of defectors from Barisan Nasional to take over the government.
Last week, Abdullah and Khir confirmed that Umno secretly made an offer to PAS to jointly rule Selangor just a few days after the March 8 polls. The post of MB was offered to Selangor PAS chief Hasan Ali.
However, PAS had rejected the proposal as they had already backed PKR treasurer general Khalid Ibrahim for the post.
Meanwhile, Saari said that it was Nasaruddin who instructed Hasan to meet with the Umno leaders.
"The meeting between them was given the green light by the central party leadership. It was Nasaruddin who instructed Hasan to meet with Umno leaders," he added.
PAS grassroots see red
Saari also pointed out that the PAS grassroots were unhappy with the current meeting between the party and its political adversary.
"Anwar (Ibrahim) had tried to do the same thing (initiate changes) when he joined Umno but he failed. PAS also did the same thing when it joined Barisan Nasional in the past and failed to initiate any changes.
"A lot of people are already injured by this meeting proposal and the grassroots are saying enough is enough," he added.
Saari said a battle of political strategies is taking place, with Umno "trying to sever the Pakatan bond" while PAS is trying to "infiltrate Umno and make changes from within."
In view of this, the PAS leader said he has urged PAS Selangor to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the issue.
"I have urged PAS Selangor deputy commissioner and central committee member Abdul Khalid Samad to hold an emergency meeting so that we can direct our input into solving this matter," he added.

Will DAP back PAS?
As for the relationship between Pakatan parties, Saari claimed that the alliance is not perturbed by the current development despite what is being reported in the mainstream media.

"I spoke to (DAP leader and Selangor exco) Ronnie (Liu) and he told me that the alliance will not be torn apart by the PAS-Umno meetings and he understood why (they took place) and is willing to defend PAS on this issue," he said.

DAP national chairperson Karpal Singh, however, has openly questioned PAS’ loyalty to Pakatan.

Calling it an "act of bad faith", Karpal said DAP and PKR were not informed about the top-level talks.

"The assurance by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang to Pakatan Rakyat partners that PAS will not abandon the alliance to join BN is not bona fide and not supported by past events," he was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times.


Mahfuz: Sorry for the lie over PAS-Umno meetings
Syed Jaymal Zahiid Jul 28, 08 6:59pm
PAS information chief Mahfuz Omar today apologised for not telling the truth about the party's meeting with Umno and claimed he received directives from certain top leaders to do so.
Mahfuz, in his capacity as the party's information chief, had in the past officially denied that PAS had met with Umno to discuss the possibility of jointly ruling Selangor.

However, subsequently Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi revealed that there had been three meetings between the parties, beginning right after the March 8 general election. PAS leaders since then had confirmed the meetings.

"I write this open letter to sincerely apologise to all PAS members and supporters denying that the party had met with Umno. Again I apologise for my misdemeanour," said Mahfuz in a two-page statement issued today.

He stressed that the denial was not made on his personal capacity but was done in his capacity as the party's information chief and based on the instruction given to him by the party leadership.

He added that the blame must not be placed on the shoulders of the party leadership as a whole but on a "few individuals that failed to give the real picture to party leaders".

"Their decision to keep certain issues pertaining to the PAS-Umno meeting in the dark had prompted the party leaders to take the position of perceiving that no meetings between the both parties had taken place," he said.

"Because of these individuals, who had in the name of PAS and without the knowledge of the party central working committee, did not provide detailed information on the matter, the party leadership had instructed me to issue the denial," he added.

Refusing to name anyone

Mahfuz, also the Pokok Sena MP, wants the "few individuals" to come forward and explain to party members and supporters the details of what had transpired in the meetings.

"They must claim responsibility because this had happened due to their indiscretion. I myself was surprised when they (Umno leaders) and PAS president (Hadi Awang) had confirmed that meetings did take place, which was contrary to what I had stated initially," said Mahfuz further.

When contacted, Mahfuz refused to name the responsible persons, saying that it was enough that an open apology has been issued and that the matter will one day "unravel itself".

Immediately after his denial of the meetings, Mahfuz had then received numerous criticism from PAS members, supporters and fellow Pakatan Rakyat members.

"I realised that history will not repeat itself but humans do make mistakes. I urge other PAS leaders to be honest to our members and supporters and to also focus on strengthening our political ties with our fellow Pakatan members," he said.

Mahfuz said he was also ready to face any criticism or punishment by party members following his "accidental mistake".

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Bila PAS berpakat dengan UMNO

Tidak dapat dinafikan yang situasi politik semasa sedikit sebanyak membuatkan ramai, termasuk saya terkeliru dan dalam 'disillusioned'. Masih dalam keghairahan untuk menumbangkan UMNO/BN kekadang terlupa yang PR juga adalah haiwan politik yang perjuangan terbesar adalah untuk survival diri sendiri, peduli apa pada rakyat yang telah mengundi berdasarkan kepada 'trust' yakni keyakinan kepada mereka yang kini bergelar YB.

PAS mempunyai sebab musabab untuk bermuzakarah dengan UMNO atas nama ketuanan Melayu dan ketuanan Islam. Mereka telah mula berpakat secara rasmi dan kemungkinan untuk PAS keluar dari PR bukan lagi satu persoalan, hanya bila waktunya sahaja.

Kita pisahkan dua faktor, satu UMNO yang mencari bantuan pernafasan dalam keadaan lemah dengan segala pergolakan dalaman dan pasca PRU-12 yang menjadikan UMNO pembangkang di lima negeri. UMNO perlukan PAS untuk mempertahankan kuasa dan segala fail-fail rasuah, penyelewengan, jenayah yang menjadi sebahagian dari rekod cemerlang, gemilang, terbilang umnoputera.

Faktor kedua, adalah faktor PAS sendiri kurang menyerlah dibawah PR. Berkongsi katil dengan PKR yang masih kabur hala tujunya selain badan tubuh Anwar Ibrahim dan DAP yang memang anti-Islam (terutama senior seperti Kit Siang dan Karpal Singh) membuatkan PAS kehilangan sengat dan pengikut TOTOK yang terus mahukan keujudan negara Islam.

Pengundi telah memberi petunjuk dalam PRU-12 untuk melihat perubahan besar dalam lanskap politik negara. Setelah muak dan jengkel, benci dan meluat dengan keangkuhan UMNO/BN yang bermaharajalela berkuasa, keputusan PRU-12 memberi nafas segar buat mereka, termasuk saya yang bersemangat untuk melihat Malaysia bergerak ke arah lebih baik.

Tetapi setelah berpakat selama beberapa bulan, sudah nampak puak-puak dalam PAS kurang senang dengan keadaan semasa. Apalagi agak jelas pimpinan tertinggi PAS nampak percaya yang Anwar memang terlibat dalam kes liwat terbaru.

'Marriage of convenience' yang berpaksikan pada Anwar boleh saja bercerai-berai apalagi kalau kes liwat ini berterusan dan menyebabkan Anwar ke penjara sekali lagi. DAP juga lebih senang menjadi pembangkang di parlimen manakala PKR akan terus caca-merba dengan pelbagai ideologi.

Sewaktu demo PROTES di Kelana Jaya, tiada pimpinan tertinggi PAS yang muncul, kecuali Setiausaha Agung. Begitu juga selain TG Nik Aziz, tidak kelihatan Presiden dan Timbalan Presiden PAS berada di sisi Anwar dalam menghadapi kes liwat.

Kepimpinan PAS tentunya mempunya sebab musabab besar untuk berpakat dengan UMNO terutama dalam melihat untung rugi percaturan politik terutama masa depan dan survival PAS sendiri.

Buat ramai yang masih terkeliru seperti saya, mungkin lebih baik melupakan sahaja untuk melihat perubahan dalam negara. Bila PAS berpakat dan tidur sekatil dengan UMNO, usah diharap apa yang diperjuangkan seperti menghapuskan ISA. akta-akta drakonian, kebebasan media, rasuah, penyelewengan akan selesai kerana masih bertunjangkan ketuanan yang tidak semestinya islamik.

Nampaknya, lebih baik sahaja berhijrah keluar dari menjadi hamba kepada 'haiwan politik' yang pada asasnya, sama sahaja selagi ahli politik memperjuangkan perut dan survival diri sebagai lebih penting dari segala yang lain!

Friday, July 25, 2008

More Opportunities For Malaysians to Work in the UAE

The UAE government has new visit visa regulations that can affect job-seekers from traditional countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Philipines.

This in a way boosts the demand for professionals from countries like Malaysia whose citizens are still not charged for visit visas. Malaysians are among 34 nationalities for an entry visa and the free entry permit on arrival will remain unchanged, a senior interior ministry official said on Thursday.

With the current political and economic scenario in Malaysia, it is good to have more Malaysians coming to join us inthe UAE!

Check kerjadubai regularly.

Job-seekers will be hit hard by new visa rules
By Alice Johnson, Staff ReporterPublished: July 24, 2008, 23:37
Dubai: New visit visa regulations are set to affect job-seekers in the UAE.
Nationalities previously visiting the Emirates that were exempt from visa fees, will now need to pay a Dh1,000 refundable deposit and take out health insurance.
This, say recruitment agencies, will have a negative effect on the UAE's employment market.
Umesh Awadramani, Business Development Manager, Careerline recruitment agency, said that certain nationalities will be particularly affected by the new rules, which could lead to labour shortages.

"People coming to look for a job in the UAE from India, Pakistan, Nepal, the Philippines and Bangladesh now won't be able to come - there will be less people from these countries coming to the UAE to look for work. You need one or two months in hand to really look for a good job. People won't want to spend this money to renew a tourist visa just to get a job," he said.

On Wednesday, Major General Mohammad Ahmad Al Merri, Director General of Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD), said the new rules would regulate the market. He said travel agencies would not be allowed to apply for tourist visas.
"This will regulate the business and make the process of people travelling to the UAE easier and smooth, as tourism is a high priority for us."
Awadramani continued that the new rules will also affect employers and recruitment agencies.
"Employers are never going to pay money up front for people to come and visit, because they don't know if they are going to take on the person or not. Employers will have to go to the countries concerned to select people and hire them from there," he said.
Burden
The new visa regulations are set to be enforced from July 29.
Those found working on a visit visa can be fined more than Dh50,000 and banned from re-entering the UAE. Employers will also face harsh penalties.
Jennifer Lucas, Recruitment Manager, Wadi Jobs, said that employers will also bear the brunt of costs when the new regulations are enforced.
"It will be more costly for employers - they will bear the costs - because they will have to fly in people to start working. There will be less people coming in to look for work because the fee is a lot of money, so companies will chose to recruit from countries of origin.
"What might happen is that it might be a quicker recruitment process, because employers and recruiters might carry out interviews over the phone. If employers don't want to make the decision there and then through a telephone interview and want to do it face-to-face, they will have to fly the person out, pay for their visit visa and their accommodation. So it will probably be more costly for employers," she said.

Anwar Tidak Patut Bertanding di Kulim-Bandar Baharu

Dalam senario politik semasa, adalah salah strategi untuk Anwar memilih kawasan Parlimen P18 - Kulim Bandar Baharu. Alasan paling menonjol ialah apakah perlunya sdr Zulkifli Noordin berkorban untuk Anwar walhal pemimpin lain PKR yang mempunyai dua kerusi iaitu Parlimen dan DUN, seperti TS Khalid Ibrahim dan Azmin yang lebih sepatutnya berkorban.

Keduanya tidak rugi apa-apa. Tetapi selain Zulkifli Noordin, sekiranya pihak mahkamah memutuskan untuk dibuat pilihanraya semula yang paling rugi adalah rakyat P18.

Mereka akan kehilangan seorang tokoh muda yang dapat memberikan khidmat serta sumbangan relevan kepada pengundi dan rakyat seluruhnya.

Malah kalau dilihat dari segi politik yang telus, Anwar MESTI bertanding di Permatang Pauh!

DS Dr. Azizah selama ini menjadi proksi kerusi tradisi Anwar dan lebih dari itu, apakah kita mahu melihat suami (bapa), isteri (ibu) dan anak dalam sidang parlimen? Apalagi Kit Siang dan Karpal Singh juga mempunyai anak , walau PM mempunyai menantu di Parlimen. PR nampak lebih kepada parti anak beranak.

DS Dr. Azizah juga tidak nampak ketokohan sebagai ketua pembangkang yang baik dan menyerlah. Setelah dua penggal sebagai MP, lebih baik beliau berundur demi sang suami.

Begitu juga MP Kelana Jaya yang tidak mempunyai bakat sebagai pemimpin dan sekadar menang kerana sentimen semasa. Dia yang baru ditempeleng itu boleh dikatakan tidak sesuai langsung.

Secara peribadi, rasanya Anwar tidak mungkin menjadi PM pada September nanti. Bayangkan kalau Anwar bertanding di P18 dan kemudian terpaksa bergelut di mahkamah untuk beberapa tahun. Apalagi kalau didapati bersalah, bertambah rugi pengundi P18.

PR yang berpaksi pada Anwar juga memang nampak rapuh selepas lima bulan berpakat. PR buat masa ini mungkin sedang mengalami satu lagi cabaran besar apabila UMNO sudah hampir berjaya menarik PAS untuk menjadi rakan politik ketuanan Melayu dan ketuanan Islam.

Boleh dilihat dari body language Presiden dan Timbalan Presiden PAS bahawa mereka menunggu masa dalam muktamar PAS sahaja untuk mengistiharkan pendirian.

Sebaiknya Anwar sama ada bertanding di Permatang Pauh atau Bandar Tun Razak atau Gombak atau Kelana Jaya. Dengan sentimen anti-BN yang tinggi di kawasan bandar, lebih baik bagi Anwar bertanding secara jantan daripada merasa mahu 'selamat' dengan memastikan kemenangan.

Kalau tidak, sekadar jadi pemimpin tanpa mana-mana kerusi, bermakna menjadi PM bukan destini beliau dulu, kini dan selamanya.

Lebih baik menjadi pemimpin peringkat antarabangsa dan buat mereka yang mengharapkan Anwar menjadi PM, semakin dekat tarikh September 16, nampak semakin jauh kerana Anwar mesti menentukan kawasan mana untuk bertanding sekarang, kalau tidak tentunya melucukan apabila bakal PM masih terkial-kial untuk bertanding sebagai ahli parlimen.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Congratulations - Our Inflation Hits New Record

Yes, that's only the beginning and the best (or worst) inflation rate is yet to come. And the whole gomen is more on DNA, sodomy and muzakarah more than solving the real problems on the ground.
The UMNO's sidang angguk-angguk will dwarf the gigantic problems ahead when the real power transition is too late too little to make any differences at all.
We certainly need new sets of leaders who can take us out of this mess of over 50 years under BN!

Inflation hits 7.7%, highest in 26 years

Malaysia's annual inflation rate jumped to a 26-year high of 7.7 percent in June due to a substantial rise in fuel prices, according to official data released today.

Nor Mohamed Yakcop, second finance minister, had already said that a 41-percent hike in subsidised fuel prices last month was set to boost inflation in June and July.
The figure came as something of a surprise as economists had predicted June inflation of 6.6 percent.
Economists now expect the central bank to raise interest rates by 25 basis points at the end of July to counter the jump in inflation.

Transport prices increase 20%
Malaysia's key interest rate now stands at 3.50 percent.
Transport prices rose 19.6 percent in June as compared with a year ago, while food and non-alcoholic beverages rose 10 percent.
In the first half of the year, consumer prices rose 3.7 percent from the same period the year before.
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi last month announced a deeply unpopular 41 percent increase in petrol prices to cut the country's subsidies bill, which would have reached 17 billion dollars this year.
- AFP

Our Dubai friend in Malaysian Papers today....

STAR Here
Berita sini
Utusan sini
Below NST

Matthew Scott Oakley Abdullah was by his wife’s side at the hospital before she died.


KUALA LUMPUR: "We kissed and I assured her that everything was going to be okay before she went into the operating theatre. I never thought that it would be the last time we would speak with each other."
A distraught Matthew Scott Oakley Abdullah broke down in court yesterday as he recalled the last moments with his wife.

With tears flowing, Oakley told High Court judge Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat how he lost his wife, Nik Rosemawati Nik Mohamed, 43, following an operation.

He cried again when he told the court of how he was by Nik Rosemawati's bedside at the Intensive Care Unit when various alarms from the monitors started to go off. The doctor later informed him that his wife had died.
Oakley, a civil engineer from the United Kingdom was testifying against plastic surgeon Dr George Varughese and an-aesthetist Dr R. Raja Kumar.

In his suit filed on June 10, 2006, Oakley, among others, claimed that the two doctors had failed to use reasonable care and skill in monitoring and assessing his wife's condition.

He is claiming RM520,431 for general and special damages, apart from interest, costs and other relief deemed fit by the court.

Yesterday, Oakley told the court that his wife had consulted Dr Varughese to remove fatty tissue around her abdomen, which developed after her second pregnancy.

"She was concerned over the large amount of fatty tissue as well as excess skin hanging around her waist." To a question by his counsel, Renu Zechariah, Oakley said Dr Varughese recommended a full tummy tuck which included liposuction and corrective surgery to remove the fat and skin.

The couple was informed that it would cost about RM9,000. When they told the doctor the charges were higher than expected, he suggested that the operation could be done at his clinic at a lower cost. He also offered the Oakleys staggered payment over six months.

Oakley said Dr Varughese told Nik Rosemawati that the surgery was a simple procedure requiring two or three small incisions.

"Dr Varughese also suggested that my wife be sedated and that he would be using local anaesthetic to ensure that she did not feel anything."

Oakley, who has since moved to Dubai with his two children, Sarah Rose, 9, and Daniel Adam, 6, said that the doctor was fully apprised of his wife's medical history.

Nik Rosemawati checked into the clinic at 2pm on June 21, 2004, and two hours later, she went for the operation.

"Dr Raja was in attendance and had administered the anaesthetic on my wife during the operation."

He said that at 6.30pm, Dr Varughese had informed him that the operation was successful.

"However, about 7.10pm, I was told that my wife had suffered a cardiac arrest and that resuscitation procedures were undertaken. My wife was then put on a ventilator."Oakley said arrangements were then made about 11pm to transfer Nik Rosemawati to the Gleneagles Intan Medical Centre.

"Nik Rosemawati was at the ICU for two days where her condition continued to deteriorate and she died on June 23, 2004, without regaining consciousness."

In his statement of claim, Oakley said the post-mortem report revealed that his wife had suffered extensive internal bleeding and the cause of death was stated as "Acute Intraabdominal Injury (Perioperative Death)".

In their statements of defence, Dr Varughese and Dr Raja denied negligence. Dr Varughese argued that at all times, he had acted with the skill and diligence expected of a medical practitioner, while Dr Raja claimed that the injury suffered by the deceased was due to the abdominal liposuction carried out by Dr Varughese and did not have any connection to the anaesthetic given by him.

The hearing will continue on April 6 next year.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

MUZAKARAH - Senarai Permintaan PAS kepada UMNO



Menurut entri Pendedahan Dalang2 Yang Hendak Membawa PAS Masuk Barisan Nasional, Kemuncak dari usaha ini adalah perjumpaan antara Najib Tun Razak bersama Timbalan Presiden PAS, Ustaz Nasaruddin Mat Isa dan Cikgu Mustafa Ali di London.

Najib Tun Razak telah menyatakan tawaran mereka kepada PAS.

Tawaran tersebut adalah:

a. Jawatan Menteri Besar kepada PAS di Selangor, Perak, Kedah dan Kelantan.

b. Jawatan exco kepada PAS di Terengganu, Pahang, Perlis dan Johor.

c. PAS akan mendapat kesemua kerusi yang dimenangi oleh PKR dan DAP untuk ditandingi dalam PRU ke 12 kelak.

d. PAS akan mendapat jawatan Timbalan Perdana Menteri ke 2

e. PAS akan diberikan 5 jawatan Menteri Kabinet penuh

f. Sejumlah jawatan Timbalan Menteri, Setiausaha Parlimen. Sejumlah jawatan Senator dan Ahli Majlis dalam GLC

h. Dan berbagai2 lagi tawaran yang dibuat.

Pada pemimpin PAS yang beriya-iya mahu bermuzakarah dengan UMNO, silakan. Apa salahnya bertemu, berdiskusi dan tawar-menawar untuk bersama-sama menegakkan 'ketuanan Melayu' dan 'ketuanan Islam'.

Ada baik dan buruknya kalau muzakarah ini membawa PAS kembali ke dalam BN dan menjadi 'pelengkap' segala ketuanan.

Biarlah selepas ini pengundi bukan Melayu/Islam malah yang Melayu/Islam yang bencikan kezaliman UMNO tidak akan percaya lagi kepada PAS, asalkan ketuanan UMNO terus bertahan dulu, kini dan selamanya. Lebih dari itu, pemimpin UMNO yang korup, penjenayah dan anti-Islam akan terus suci dan bersih tanpa dihadapkan ke pengadilan.

Pimpinan PAS yang akan bermuzakarah, sila buat permintaan berikut:-

1. Kerajaan UMNO/BN meminta maaf dengan kes MEMALI dan membayar gantirugi (seperti kes hakim-hakim yang dipecat) kepada semua mangsa (termasuk keluarga)

2. ISA akan dihapuskan dan kerajaan UMNO/BN akan meminta maaf pada mangsa serta keluarga ISA termasuk membayar gantirugi sepenuhnya

3. Islam Hadhari di haramkan serta-merta

4. UMNO menerima Amanat Haji Hadi sebagai halal

5. Semua akta drakonian lain seperti AUKU, OSA dsbnya dihapuskan serta merta

6. Kebebasan media sepenuhnya

7. Mahathir, Musa Hasan dan Gani Patail serta mereka lain yang menjadi barua dihadapkan ke mahkamah

8. Kes ECM-Libra dan semua urusan berkaitan menantu Pak Lah dibongkar semula

9. Kes Altantuya dibuka semula dengan siasatan lebih komprehensif

10. Kes sodomi pertama dan kedua Anwar Ibrahim di buka semula dengan lebih adil melalui shariah

11. Harga petrol diturunkan mengikut formula Anwar Ibrahim sebaik PAS masuk BN

12. Pengajaran subjek Sains dan Matematik kembali dalam Bahasa Melayu

13. Kesemua kereta rasmi ditukar kepada Mercedes kerana lebih menjimatkan..he he he

serta lain-lain.....malas mahu memikirkan....sebab muzakarah pun sudah mahu masuk sesi ke empat.

AMANAT HAJI HADI.....


Saudara-Saudara Sekelian Percayalah,
Kita menentang
UMNO, bukan kerana nama dia UMNO. Kita menentang Barisan Nasional bukan kerana dia lama memerintah kerajaan. Kita menentang dia ialah kerana dia mengekalkan Perlembagaan Penjajah, mengekalkan Undang-Undang Kafir, mengekalkan peraturan jahiliyah. Oleh kerana itulah kita menentang mereka. Oleh kerana itulah kita menghadapi mereka. Oleh itulah kita cuba berlawan dengan mereka.

Percayalah Saudara-Saudara Sekelian,
Perjuangan kita adalah
Jihad, ucapan kita adalah jihad, Derma kita adalah jihad. Bergantunglah kita kepada Allah dengan (Menghadapi) puak-puak ini kerana kalau kita mati melawan puak-puak ini, mati kita adalah Syahid.
Mati kita adalah
Islam. Kita tidak perlu masuk Buddha, Kita tidak perlu masuk Hindu, Kita tidak perlu masuk Kristian, Tapi kita menjadi kafir dengan mengamalkan 'Politik Suku, Agama Suku'.


DNA is never too OLD - Expert


SEKSYEN 377 - PERSETUBUHAN LUAR TABIE

Tengok klip video Malaysiakini dibawah dan perhatikan kelembutan 'Uncle Pet'



1. BAHAN KESALAHAN
1.1. Persetubuhan luar tabie antara lelaki, perempuan atau haiwan
1.2. Persetubuhan bertentangan dengan aturan tabie
1.3. Dilakukan dengan sengaja
1.4. Kemasukan alat seks memadai dikatakan sebagai persetubuhan.

2. KUASA MENYIASAT
2.1. Kesalahan lazim ditangkap tanpa waran
2.2. Mempunyai kuasa khas menyiasat dibawah KANUN ACARA JENAYAH
2.3. Semua anggota Polis mempunyai kuasa menangkap

3. TINDAKAN SETELAH LAPORAN DIBUAT
3.1. Membaca, meneliti dan penjenisan repot.
3.2. Mengadakan soalsiasat terhadap aduan dengan ringkas tentang kejadian untuk tindakan segera.
3.3. Bertanyakan kepada aduan jika ia tahu siapakah orang yang disyaki/melakukannya.
3.4. Menghantar aduan ke hospital dengan seberapa segera dan dapatkan tandatangan aduan untuk membenarkan ia diperiksa.

4. TINDAKAN TEMPAT KEJADIAN
4.1. Tentukan cara jenayah dilakukan dan bawa mangsa/aduan ketempat kejadian
4.2. Tentukan daripada mangsa/aduan tempat yang sebenar kejadian
4.3. Mengesan cap jari ditempat kejadian.
4.4. Ambil gambar tempat kejadian.
4.5. Buat rajah kasar tempat kejadian
4.6. Ambil barang bukti jika didapati ditempat kejadian seperti seluar dalam/ kesan darah/ bulu/rambut/kesan air mani
4.7. Jika melibatkan haiwan, jika ada haiwan hantarkan ke Jabatan haiwan untuk diperiksa, samada terdapat luka disebabkan kemasukan.

5. TINDAKAN SELEPAS SIASATAN DI TEMPAT KEJADIAN
5.1. Rakam percakapan orang-orang yang berkaitan dengan kes.
5.2. Hantar barang-barang kes ke Jabatan Kimia.
5.3- Jika perlu, keringkan dahulu barang kes berkenaan ditempat teduh.

6. TINDAKAN SELEPAS TANGKAPAN
6.1. Hantar ODS (ORANG DISIASAT) ke hospital untuk di periksa oleh doktor
6.2. Dapakan pakaian dari ODS, yang dipakai ketika kejadian (Jika ada) dan hantarkan ke Jabatan Kimia.
6.3. Buat kawad cam (jika manusia) dan jika aduan (pengadu) cam.
6.4. Tahan dibawah Sek. 117 KAJ jika perlu.
6.5. Barang kes hendaklah ditanda dan dibungkus berasingan
6.6. Kes ini boleh di beri jamin
6.7. Dapatkan bulu/rambut OYDS (ini dilakukan oleh doktor)
6.8. Hantar OYDS hendaklah di hantar ke hospital, setelah mendapat persetujuan bertulis darinya

7. DIARI SIASATAN
7.1. Buat diari siasatan mengikut seksyen 119 KAJ
7.2. Catatan hendaklah di buat pada tiap-tiap hari siasatan dijalankan.
7.3. Catatkan segala tindakan yang diambil
7.4. Catatkan dengan detail kejadian dan tempat kejadian dan barang-barang kes yang dijumpai dan bagaimana ia di tanda.
7.5. Catatkan keterangan berkaitan OKT (ORANG KENA TUDUH) di tuduh atau ditahan (butir-butir peribadi)

8. TUDUHAN
Bahawa kamu pada jam lebih kurang ............di Daerah ................... telah meliwat atau mengadakan hubungan jenis luar tabie dengan seorang lelaki (atau perempuan) ........... (atau dengan binatang, iaitu ....) telah melakukan kesalahan yang boleh di hukum dibawah Seksyen 377 Kanun Kesiksaan.

Selamat Ulang Tahun ke72 (21 Julai 1936)


Monday, July 21, 2008

Dari Sri Pentas ke Jalan Liku

Hari ini sempat singgah di Sri Pentas, pejabat lama yang nampaknya semakin berseri dengan penambahan keluarga, yakni TV9, NTV7 dan 8TV serta stesen radio.

Gembira juga dapat bertemu kawan-kawan lama di kantin. Mereka kelihatan semakin berbahagia dibawah naungan Media Prima Bhd. Terimakasih pada orang kuat TV9, sdr Lokman.

Tidak sangka ramai juga yang masih ingat setelah hampir sedekad meninggalkan Sri Pentas.
Memang banyak nostalgia di Sri Pentas yang pernah mengembangkan karier dan mempertajamkan minda dalam penulisan kreatif. Di situ saya memenangi enam hadiah sastera!

Ketiga-tiga anak saya juga dilahirkan sewaktu bekerja di TV3.

Sempat juga menjenguk pejabat lama serta jabatan yang pernah menjadi ruang permainan. Perubahan nampak ketara dengan wajah-wajah baru.

Kemudian sejenak makan tengahari, nasi beringin di Jalan Liku. Yang pernah menjadi lokasi TV3 sebelum berpindah ke Sri Pentas. Begitu masa telah cepat berlalu. Saya juga pernah sekejap di Balai Berita NST. Cuma, tiada kawan lama, sekadar kawan-kawan baru.

Walau apapun mengenai TV3, terima kasih kerana pernah memberi ruang untuk mencari rezeki dan mengembangkan bakat kreatif.

Semuga kawan-kawan di situ akan terus diberkati limpahan rezeki adanya. Dan selepas ini, ada hubungan yang lebih baik sebagai jambatan komuniti Malaysia di Teluk.

Terimakasih!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bila Hisham Rais, Dr. Asri dan Dr. Nordin Kardi Berforum


Jumaat 18 Julai, saya sempat bertemu dengan Tok Guru Dato' Nik Aziz, MB Kelantan di majlis perasmian Badan Seniman Paksi Rakyat (PAKSI) di Kelana Jaya. Kebetulan majlis berlangsung di Dewan Seri Delima, berhampiran rumah saya.

Sewaktu saya tiba dalam 8.30 malam, dewan masih lengang. Datang kemudian dalam 9.30 juga masih lengang dan kedatangan Tok Guru disambut oleh hadirin yang tidak seberapa jumlahnya. Hanya setelah majlis berlangsung, baru nampak ramai yang memasuki dewan.

Tok Guru memberi ceramah mengenai budaya dan sastera mengikut perspektif Islam sebagaimana dilakukan selama beliau memerintah Kelantan. Secara kesimpulannya, semua bebas melakukan aktiviti budaya dan sastera asalkan tidak bercanggah dengan Islam.

Kemudian esoknya, saya menghadiri Seminar Penulis Pasca PRU 12, dengan tema "Penulis: Mengepalai atau mengekori?" serta forum: "Penulis - Pagar Yang Makan Padi?" yang berlangsung di Muzium Alam Shah, Shah Alam, Selangor.

Seminar dirasmikan oleh Exco kerajaan Selangor, Puan Rodziah. Sambutan adalah menyedihkan tetapi ini satu permulaan yang baik kerana budaya ilmu dan bertaraf intelektual ini sudah lama tenggelam dalam arus hiburan melulu.

Saya teruja mengikuti seminar ini dengan melihat nama-nama panel, SN S. Othman Kelantan (tetapi tidak hadir kerana dimasukkan hospital dan diganti oleh Sutung Umar RS), SS Dr. Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin (Mufti Perlis), Hishamudin Rais, Tan Sri Dato' Dr. Nordin Kardi (Naib Canselor UUM), Ainon Mohd, Anbakri (setiausaha TG Nik Aziz), Dr. Chong Fah Hing dan teman lama, sdr Amir Muhamad (kolumnis dan pembikin filem).

Tema 'Mengepalai atau Mengekori' sebenarnya tidak begitu dikupas oleh panel seminar.

Cuma saya tertarik untuk bertemu secara personal panel seperti Hisham Rais, Dr. Asri, Tan Sri Nordin Kardi yang baru glamour setelah muncul dalam Debat di TV, Puan Ainon yang saya ikuti kuliah Universiti Terbuka PTS, Dinsman (pengerusi PAKSI) dan teman lama yang kali terakhir bertemu hampir 10 tahun lalu, Amir Muhamad.

Dr. Asri adalah yang terbaik hari itu kerana kehadiran beliau memberi ruang baru untuk perspektif mengikut acuan Islam. Beliau sempat menyelitkan mengenai sikap suka menyelar atau mempersukukan individu mengikut fahaman politik. Beliau sendiri dituduh sebagai orang UMNO kerana memberi pandangan berbeda dengan PAS mengenai konsep negara Islam.

Saya teruja mendengar beliau secara langsung setelah membaca tulisan-tulisan beliau. Kebetulan Dr. Asri satu sekolah dengan isteri saya dan sebelum ini mempunyai persepsi berbeda mengenai beliau.

Perbedaan pendapat bukanlah satu masalah sekiranya kita bersikap terbuka, selagi pendapat masih terangkum dalam syariah Islam dan tidak menyalahi perintah Allah SWT.

Tahniah pada Dr. Asri yang kini sama bergiat dalam sastera dan budaya, sesuatu yang kurang dilakukan oleh ulamak lain.

Manakala Hisham Rais dengan 'sekolah' beliau yang merayakan perbedaan dan kepelbagaian menambah kemeriahan. Pendekatan dari sekolah pemikiran Hisham mungkin begitu liberal dan saya tidak bersetuju dalam beberapa hal, pun beliau mempunyai pendapat yang boleh menambah ilmu untuk difikirkan.

Anbakri yang bergading dengan Dr. Asri mempunyai gaya tersendiri dalam penyampaian. Saya kurang menerima gaya tersendiri itu tetapi ada beberapa perkara yang disebutkan beliau yang boleh diterima.

Kemuncak bagi saya ialah dapat makan semeja dengan Dr. Nordin Kardi dan berbual panjang. Beliau sempoi sahaja orangnya dan sembang-sembang menjuruskan kepada urusan rasmi untuk tindakan selanjutnya.

Saya tidak sempat mendengar beliau sewaktu forum sepenuhnya, tetapi dari perbualan kami, beliau ada menyebut mengenai menerima pelbagai kutukan setelah muncul dalam debat sebelum itu.

Saya memperkenalkan diri kepada Sdr. Dinsman yang turut mengikuti blog dan tulisan-tulisan saya selama ini. Terimakasih.

Puan Ainon yang dikenali sebagai SifuPTS pula, sekali lagi, saya tidak memperkenalkan diri kepadanya, nampak sibuk sebagai Timbalan Pengerusi PAKSI dan pembentangan beliau dalam forum memberi maklumat berguna mengenai industri penerbitan buku di Malaysia.

Industri yang dianggap sebagai anak tiri ini ternyata tidak termasuk dalam mana-mana inisiatif kerajaan semasa, baik berbentuk dana mahupun bantuan kewangan lain.

Statistik mengenai penjualan buku-buku Melayu yang bertambah secara menegak memberi semangat untuk menulis buku. Sudah dua tahun saya cuba menulis dan masih gagal untuk mendisplinkan diri walau sudah pernah mengikuti kursus anjuran SifuPTS.

Baca entri Puan Ainon di sini.

TAHNIAH dan SYABAS kepada PAKSI kerana anjuran seminar dan forum yang memberi ruang baru kepada penggiat budaya dan sastera.

Secara terbuka, walau tidak pernah menganggotai mana-mana persatuan penulis, sudah sampai masanya kita mempunyai wadah lebih baik, berbanding dengan GAPENA yang seperti BN, sudah tidak relevan lagi untuk memajukan budaya dan sastera negara!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Jumpa Malam Ini di Kelana Jaya



JUMAAT Malam SABTU 18.07.2008: Tuan Guru Nik Aziz akan Melancarkan PAKSI

Sempena majlis melancarkan Badan Seniman Paksi Rakyat (PAKSI), Tuan Guru Nik Aziz yang juga Menteri Besar Kelantan akan menyampaikan syarahan umum seperti berikut

Tarikh: Jumaat Malam Sabtu 18.07.2008
Tempat: Dewan Seri Delima, Kompleks Sukan KELANA JAYA (boleh muat lebih 1,000 hadirin)

Waktu: 8.30 malam
Majlis adalah terbuka dan percuma.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Anwar's Nude Videos in Youtube Soon!

You can never trust PDRM....

Malaysiakini reprts:-
'I was stripped naked, my private parts examined'
Jul 17, 08 2:55pm

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said he was stripped naked and his private parts examined during the physical examination yesterday at Hospital Kuala Lumpur.

“When I was brought to the hospital, I was stripped naked for tests and had my private parts examined,” he told a packed press conference at his house hours after he was freed on police bail. “They also measured the necessary parts,” he quipped.
Anwar added that he refused to have his photographs taken “as they could end up on YouTube”.

According to the PKR de facto leader, he also refused his blood to be taken during the medical examination.Anwar, a former deputy premier who seeking to mount a political comeback after being sacked and jailed on sodomy and corruption charges a decade ago, was arrested by balaclava-clad police commandos in dramatic scenes yesterday.

He was taken to police headquarters and underwent a marathon six-hour questioning session before being escorted to the hospital for a medical examination.

The arrest was over allegations that he had sodomised 23-year-old former aide Mohamad Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

MUKHRIZ - KALAU BODOH JANGAN SOMBONG


Dalam kepandaian seseorang walau bertaraf saintis nuklear, termasuk saya yang sekadar manusia biasa, memang mempunyai kebodohan dalam banyak perkara. Kepakaran dalam sesuatu bidang tidak semestinya bermakna boleh sombong tidak tentu pasal dan berhujah mengikut emosi atau kepala lutut.

Bila bodoh dan sombong dalam perkara agama terutamanya, boleh mengundang pelbagai kemungkinan. Jangan main-main, salah perkataan berdasarkan kebodohan, apalagi bertaraf bodoh sombong boleh membawa petaka.

Kalau bodoh atau tidak tahu, baik diam sahaja dari bercakap sia-sia dan pergi diam-diam pergi belajar dengan mereka yang berilmu.

Hari ni dalam Parlimen A/L Madey dari Jerlun telah mempertikaikan ketetapan hukum ALLAH yang mewajibkan persaksian empat orang dalam pertuduhan zina/liwat. Sebaliknya A/L Madey ini menyatakan penggunaan DNA lebih moden.
Sedangkan dalam kes 98 dahulu jelas penggunaan DNA telah diputarbelitkan yang akhirnya menyebabkan Augustine Pol expunge keterangan berkaitan tuduhan zina/liwat terhadap DSAI. Saya telah bangun menyanggah sangkaan buruk A/L Madey
yang mempertikaikan hukum ALLAH. Berlaku tikam lidah antara saya dan A/L Madey ni.

Seterusnya Baca di laman YB Zulkifli Noordin

Al Fatihah - setiausaha Akhbar pak Lah meninggal dunia

Beliau pernah menjadi kawan bersembang di Sri Pentas

Jenazahnya akan dibawa ke rumahnya di 19 Jln Tiang Seri U8/73B Bkt Jelutong Shah Alam, Selangor

Dari DUNIA TIGER

AZHAR OSMAN MENINGGALKAN KITA..
Saya mendapat pengesahan daripada sahabat di Berita Harian bahawa rakan di TV3, Azhar Osman, sudah meninggalkan kita. Beliau menghidap barah meninggal dunia di Hospital Pantai, Kuala Lumpur jam 9 pagi.
Beliau pernah bertugas di beberapa tempat termasuk di TV3 dan ISIS. Jawatan terakhir beliau ialah Setiausaha Akhbar Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Semoga rohnya ditempatkan oleh Allah SWT bersama orang-orang yang soleh.
Al-Fatihah.

OF HITLER, MUGABE AND MAHATHIR (. . AND THE NEW CONSPIRATOR(S))

(Someone forwarded this to me)

This trumped up sodomy charges against political opponent is nothing new. These trumped up charges are usually used by tyrant leaders to remain in power. They however, have striking similarities.

Hitler had used the same trump up charges against his political opponent for fear of the other person's power would exceed his power. But today, I am not going to relate about Hitler's history and the trumped up sodomy charges against his political opponent. You can find it in the net.

What I am going to relate below is about Robert Mugabe. Yes, Mahathir Mohamad's good friend. Mahathir might have learnt from his good friend on how to frame up a political opponent.

Canaan Banana was the first president of Zimbabwe in 1980. However the President’s post of Zimbabwe at that time was merely ceremonial. In 1987, this post was taken by Mugabe which in turn made the post as Executive President. Banana than became a Diplomat for Organization of African Unity and head of Religious Department at the University of Zimbabwe.

In 1997, Mugabe had him arrested on trump up charges for sodomy. Banana denies all charges against him saying that homosexuality is "defiant, abominable and wrong". , and the charges against him was "a mortuary of pathological lies" to destroy his political career. He fled to South Africa while on bail. He believes that Mugabe is plotting to assassinate him. In 1998 he return to Zimbabwe after Nelson Mandela convinced him to face the law. He was sentenced to a 10 year prison term.

That same year, 1998, Mahathir Mohamed made similar trump up sodomy charges against Anwar Ibrahim with all the apparatus in his power. Anwar did not manage to escape to another country as his arrest was swift. He was beaten up to near death while in prison by none others than the Head of Police himself (but on whose instruction?).

In March this year, 2008, during the one month long election counting of votes in Zimbabwe. All indication shows that Mugabe will loose the election to Morgan Tsvangirai. There were rumors in the international media that Mugabe would fled to Malaysia. Mahathir openly declared that the Malaysian Government should accept his mentor and good friend if he ever fled from Zimbabwe.

The question is. . . did Mahathir learnt from Mugabe on how to fix a political opponent with trump up sodomy charges? If it is true that there is another conspiracy surrounding the latest Anwar Ibrahim saga, than, this conspirator(s) might have learnt from Mugabe and Mahathir.

For sure, these two leaders as we know, are cruel and tyrant. That means too, this other person/conspirator who invented this new charges against Anwar will also be as cruel and tyrant as Mugabe and Mahathir! Did he in turn learnt from Mahathir and Mugabe???

Talking about who's idea it was created? Consider the time of happening. Both occurence happened almost about the same time.

For both incidences happened in 1997 (Zimbabwe) and in1998 (Malaysia). Therefore Mahathir got the idea from his good friend - Mugabe - that goes without saying. This supposed-to-be-called 'great'thir (Maha + thir) always picked-up from other people's ideas in every bits and pieces that were gathered during his frequent oversea-business trips off and on during his tenure as PM then.

"Maha" or great at copying people's ideas for own benefit. Both Mahathir and Mugabe seems to be good friends since then.

While their supporters may say "Great men think alike".
And great men rule alike too. For they are all 'great men' and "honourable men" indeed in terms of misdeeds.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

KPN Tidak Tahu menahu mengenai penangkapan Anwar

SEPANG 16 Julai – Ketua Polis Negara, Tan Sri Musa Hassan hari ini enggan mengulas mengenai cara polis yang menggunakan pasukan komando bertopeng untuk menahan Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim pagi tadi.
Ketika ditemui pemberita di Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Kuala Lumpur di sini petang ini, Musa tidak mahu menjawab sebarang soalan mengenai penahanan Anwar berhubung kes liwat itu.
Pada awalnya, menjawab soalan wartawan mengapa polis komando bertopeng yang diarah menangkap Anwar, Musa berkata:
"Mana ada.. polis takkan tangkap orang pakai topeng."
Tetapi apabila diberitahu bahawa seorang jurugambar sempat merakamkan peristiwa penahanan Anwar oleh sepasukan komando bertopeng itu, Musa menjelaskan:
"Saya baru sampai (dari Brunei), saya tak tahu menahu, saya tak ada komen," katanya.
Musa baru pulang dari Brunei kerana menerima Pingat Darjah Pahlawan Negara Brunei Yang Amat Perkasa Darjah Pertama sempena Hari Keputeraan Ke-62 Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah di Istana Darul Iman, Bandar Seri Begawan semalam. – Utusan.

CID chief reveals why Anwar was arrested

From Malaysiakini
(This guy could be aiming to be the new IGP to follow his boss' steps, started by carrying stained mattress to the court)

The police were worried that PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim would not show up at the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters by 2pm and therefore decided to arrest him.

Star Online quoted Federal CID director Bakri Zinin as saying that Anwar was supposed to have gone directly to the police headquarters immediately after giving his statement to the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) in Putrajaya.
"However, we were informed that after he left the ACA headquarters in Putrajaya, he had changed his route and was heading back to his house in (Bukit) Segambut.
"He was arrested as we had reason to believe he was not going to show up. We wish to point out that Anwar had initially agreed to meet us on Monday but failed to keep his appointment."
Given an ultimatum yesterday
The politician had refused to go on Monday claiming that the police acted unprofessionally by 'intimidating and harassing' his staff and family while attempting to serve an order under Section 111 of the Criminal Procedure Code on Sunday.
Yesterday, the police gave Anwar an ultimatum to be present at the police headquarters at 2pm or face the possibility of arrest. The PKR leader agreed to show up.
However, Anwar was arrested at about 12.55pm when he was on his way back to his house from Putrajaya. He is now being held at the police headquarters.
On June 28, Anwar’s 23-year-old former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan filed a police report accusing the politician of sodomising him.
The politician went to the ACA headquarters this morning for an interview concerning his police report alleging fabrication of evidence regarding his 'black eye' incident in 1999.
In the July 1 police report, Anwar accused police chief Musa Hassan and attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail of fabricating evidence in his trials 10 years ago.

'You are under arrest'

From Malaysiakini

"I was in the car with him when he was arrested. We were surrounded. Their (the police team) exact words were 'you are under arrest'."

Detained PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim's lawyer N Sankara Nair recounted this afternoon's drama when met by reporters outside the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters at about 2.45pm.
He said the police officers did not serve any warrant when arresting Anwar near his house in Segambut Dalam.
However, the opposition stalwart was not handcuffed when taken in a white Mitsubishi Pajero 4WD vehicle with tinted windows.
According to the lawyer, Anwar's arrest had nothing to do with his non-appearance at the police headquarters on Monday.
"In fact, several minutes before the arrest, the investigation officer DSP Jude Pereira called us to ask if were coming. We replied that we would be there at 2pm sharp," he said.
"If Anwar had not showed up at 2pm, I would understand the need to arrest. The police have breached the trust and confidence we once had.
"Now, my client has expressed fear that he will be subjected to intimidation by the police," he added.
On June 28, Anwar's former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan filed a police report claiming that the politician had sodomised him.
Anwar claimed it is a political conspiracy, but government leaders have denied this.Lawyer Sivarasa with Anwar
Sankara said the police must explain the purpose of arresting Anwar in such a manner.
He also stressed that under the law, Anwar does not need to provide the police with a DNA sample.
The police started recording the opposition stalwart's statement at about 2.50pm on the sodomy allegation against him.
It is believed that PKR vice-president R Sivarasa - who is also a lawyer - is present with Anwar.
Deputy national police chief Ismail Omar confirmed Anwar had been arrested, saying he was a suspect in the sodomy case and would need to undergo a medical examination.
"He is not being charged with anything yet, don't jump to conclusions," Ismail told AFP.
"We have to record his statement to complete our investigations," he said. "Once the facts are in we can make a decision."
Anwar was supposed to have gone to the police headquarters on Monday to have his statement recorded.
However, he refused to go claiming that the police acted unprofessionally by 'intimidating and harassing' his staff and family while attempting to serve an order under Section 111 of the Criminal Procedure Code on Sunday.
Yesterday, the police gave Anwar an ultimatum to be present at the police headquarters at 2pm or face the possibility of arrest.

Malaysiakini : Anwar arrested outside his house

(He is now treated worse than criminals....)

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was arrested by the police just outside his home in Bukit Segambut, Kuala Lumpur, at 12.55pm today.
The de facto PKR leader was on his way back to his house after being questioned by the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA).
A team of police officers were waiting, according to lawyer R Sivarasa.
Anwar was driven away in a 4WD with tinted windows, escorted by a convoy of 15 patrol cars. They arrived at Kuala Lumpur police headquarters at 1.11pm.
At 1.40pm, about 200 supporters and opposition parliamentarians were assembled outside the building. Among them is DAP leader Karpal Singh.
Anwar was to have met the police by 2pm to be questioned over the complaint of sodomy against him by a former aide.
According to media reports today, a warrant of arrest had already been obtained, to be used in the event of a no-show.
Anwar's wife and PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail confirmed the arrest.
She told reporters in parliament that she had received a call from Anwar and that he had complained of rude treatment by the arresting officers.
He also told her to return to their home first in order to calm their children and come to the police headquarters later.
It is learnt that Anwar is to be charged under Section 377C of the Penal Code, which reads: 'Any person who has sexual connection with another erson by the introduction of any object into the vagina or anus of the other person shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 20 years and shall also be liable to whipping.'

TAHNIAH MENTERI PENYERANGAN DAN PROFESOR KANGKONG


Sememangnya debat " Hari Ini Membentuk Kerajaan, Esok Turun Harga Minyak" telah berjaya menarik jutaan penonton. Dari komen-komen yang dibaca dan perbualan selepas debat, ramai rakyat Malaysia yang telah dapat menilai secara saksama taraf kedua protagonis yang berbeda dari mutu dan pengalaman.
Tahniah buat Menteri Penyerangan yang tidak perlu diulas dari segi persembahan kecuali kesan air liur yang bertakung dan fakta-fakya sejarah yang cukup baik untuk renungan generasi muda.
Tahniah lebih tinggi buat pelakun pembantu yang mahu mengalahkan hero, iaitu profesor kangkung dari Universiti Ulu Malaysia, tetapi akhirnya tercepuk sebagai hang kebun sahaja.
Tahniah paling hebat pada Pak Lah, Najib dan seluruh kabinet UMNO yang menghantar menteri penyerangan cemerlang, gemilang, terbilang (taraf mereka) untuk diketawakan rakyat yang menangis dengan kenaikan harga petrol dan gas mendadak dan tinggi.
Dan tahniah tidak terhingga kepada penyokong mereka yang totok, teruskan bersyukur untuk dulu, kini, selamanya berada dibawah kepimpinan terhaprak demi bangsa, negara dan agama. Baca media perdana dan tentunya kalian menang sorak, kampung tergadai!
BACA PERTEMUAN SAYA DENGAN PROFESOR KANGKUNG di sini

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Terimakasih Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Syed Albar.

Pix from STAR


Minister: Police action justified
KUALA LUMPUR: The police action of putting up roadblocks in the city for three days is justifiable based on the intelligence gathered, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Syed Albar.
He told a press conference at his office in Parliament yesterday that the information included blog postings and the SMS sent out inviting people to gather at Parliament yesterday.
“The blogs calling for people to turn up were 1426.blogspot.com and zul4kulim.blogspot.com,” he revealed.


'Ada bukti PKR rancang demonstrasi'


"Dalam laman web 1426.blogspot.com ada mengajak orang ramai menyertai perhimpunan itu, selain menerusi ceramah di Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina (SJKC) Sentul pada 11 Julai lalu," katanya pada sidang media di pejabat kementeriannya di Parlimen, semalam.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

What makes good leaders - nature or nurture?

The local media is buzzed with so-called leadership transition of power which is scheduled in 2010, if ever takes place as in politics, anything can happen during this period.

According to the announced plan, Abdullah is to hand over the post of prime minister, chairmanship of the Barisan Nasional and presidency of Umno to Najib in June 2010.

Most people viewed this as another political ploy that restricted Najib's moves as the power transition plan was only aimed at strengthening Abdullah's position, he said: “When you are about to retire, what is there to strengthen any more?"

Abdullah explained that he really wanted to retire and of course with his ever famous flip-flop decision, we are not too sure as well as his son-in-law may have a different exit strategy for him. This is to ensure that without father-in-law he will be able to survive in the orang makan orang environment.

The son-in-law is said to be the best political strategist now in the country and his hidden hands have something to do with the current mud-slinging episode which may kill two exponents at once and for all.

We reach to a level to ask, what makes good leaders - nature or nurture?

Abdullah has none of both but we may underestimate his capabilities in manouvering his political moves that even Mahathir had been misled.

There is a good article to share, how do Abdullah, Najib, Anwar and the son-in-law fit?


History is often written in terms of military heroes, but the enormous potential of human leadership ranges from Attila the Hun to Mother Teresa. Most everyday leaders remain unheralded. The role of heroic leadership in war leads to overemphasis of command and control and hard military power. In America today, the presidential debate is between Senator John McCain, a war hero, and Senator Barack Obama, a former community organiser.
The image of the warrior leader lingers in modern times. The writer Robert Kaplan points to the birth of a new "warrior class as cruel as ever and better armed" ranging from Russian Mafiosi and Latin American drug kingpins to terrorists who glorify violence just as ancient Greeks did in the sacking of Troy. Kaplan argues that modern leaders must respond in kind, and that modern leadership will demand a pagan ethos rooted in the past.
Smart warriors, however, know how to lead with more than just the use of force. Soldiers sometimes joke that their job description is simple: "kill people and break things". But, as the United States discovered in Iraq, hearts and minds also matter, and smart warriors need the soft power of attraction as well as the hard power of coercion.
Indeed, an oversimplified image of warrior-style leadership in President George W. Bush's first term caused costly setbacks for America's role in the world. It is not a manly modern Achilles who makes the best warrior leader in today's communication age. Military leadership today requires political and managerial skills.
Many autocratic rulers - in Zimbabwe, Myanmar, Belarus, and elsewhere - still lead the old-fashioned way. They combine fear with corruption to maintain kleptocracies dominated by "the big man" and his coterie. A good portion of the world is ruled this way.
Some theorists try to explain this with an "alpha male theory of leadership". The psychiatrist Arnold M. Ludwig, for example, argues that just as male monkeys, chimps, or apes automatically begin to assume more responsibility for their particular community once they attain the dominant status of alpha male, human rulers do so as well.

Explanations

But such socio-biological explanations of leadership are of only limited value. Thus far, no leadership gene has been identified, and studies of identical and fraternal male twins find that only a third of their difference in occupying formal leadership roles can be explained by genetic factors. While this suggests that inbred characteristics influence the extent to which people play particular roles, it leaves a lot of room for learned behaviour to influence outcomes.
Even so, one effect of the traditional heroic warrior approach to leadership has been to support the belief that leaders are born rather than made, and that nature is more important than nurture. The search for the essential traits of a leader dominated the field of leadership studies until the late 1940s, and remains common in popular discourse today.
A tall handsome person enters a room, draws attention, and "looks like a leader". Various studies show that tall men are often favoured, and that corporate CEOs are taller than average. But some of the most powerful leaders in history, such as Napoleon, Stalin and Deng Xiaoping were little over five feet tall.
The traits-centred approach has not vanished from studies of leadership, but it has been broadened and made more flexible. Traits have come to be seen as consistent patterns of personality rather than inherited characteristics. This definition mixes nature and nurture, and means that "traits" can to some extent be learned rather than merely inherited.
We talk about leaders being more energetic, more risk-taking, more optimistic, more persuasive, and more empathetic than other people. These traits, however, are affected partly by a leader's genetic makeup and partly by the environments in which the traits were learned and developed.
A persuasive experiment recently demonstrated the interaction between nature and nurture. A group of employers was asked to hire workers who had been ranked by their looks. If the employers saw only the resumes, beauty had no impact on hiring.
Surprisingly, however, when telephone interviews were included in the process, beautiful people did better, even though they were unseen by the employers. A lifetime of social reinforcement based on their genetically given looks may have encoded into their voice patterns a tone of confidence that could be projected over the phone. Nature and nurture became thoroughly intertwined.
Genetics and biology matter in human leadership, but they do not determine it in the way that the traditional heroic warrior approach to leadership suggests. The "big man" type of leader works in societies based on networks of tribal cultures that rely on personal and family honour and loyalty. But such social structures are not well adapted for coping with today's complex information-based world. In modern societies, institutional constraints such as constitutions and impersonal legal systems circumscribe such heroic figures.
Societies that rely on heroic leaders are slow to develop the civil society and broad social capital that are necessary for leading in a modern networked world. Modern leadership turns out to be less about who you are or how you were born than about what you have learned and what you do as part of a group. Nature and nurture intertwine, but nurture is much more important in the modern world than the heroic paradigm acknowledges.
Modern information societies require us to go beyond the "big man" approach to leadership. It will be interesting to see how these classical stereotypes play out in the American presidential competition this year.

Joseph S. Nye is a professor at Harvard and author of The Powers to Lead.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Paying dearly for a cheap flight

Travelling from Dubai to Salalah for only Dh10 may sound like an irresistible budget-airline offer — especially when you want to escape the blistering heat of the UAE and fly to the cooler monsoon climate of Salalah.

But don’t just jump into booking a seat online. These attractive offers come with their own baggage. Budget airlines have come as a boon to travellers looking for cheap tickets on no-frills airlines that can also be booked in advance, but the attraction is so magnetic that they tend to ignore the fine print set down in airlines’ terms and conditions.

The low-price advantage comes with many hidden disadvantages that need to be taken care of to reap the real benefits of flying a budget airline. Let’s take a look at the ten most common pitfalls of flying budget airlines.

1. Fare higher than the price advertised: First, the advertised price is never the price you ultimately end up paying. A Dh10, one-way ticket could have an additional cost of Dh300 as tax.
Tax, too, varies from flight to flight, so be prepared to shell out the extra bucks.

2. Extra charges: When using a credit card, remember that in addition to air fare and taxes, there could be charges of about Dh100 for online booking. It sounds ridiculous but some budget airlines actually charge for it.

3. Fixed date of travel: When you book seats in advance, make sure you fly on the confirmed date. If you ever have to change the date of the journey, you will end up paying the difference between the later and previous air fares. Besides, you will have to pay the change-of-date charges — a minimum of Dh50. So don’t purchase a budget-airline ticket if you are not sure of your date of travel.

4. Non-refundable: Tickets for budget airlines are almost always non-refundable but some budget airlines have the option of providing a credit note of the same fare that remains valid for a year. This means you have to wrap up a trip within the specified time (a year) to avoid wasting the money you have already spent. Do not forget that in this case too, you will need to pay the extra amount for the later higher air fare.

5. No credit note: In case your trip is cancelled because of some unforeseen circumstance — for example, loss of passport — some budget airlines will not provide you a credit note for an equal amount of air fare. So you have to forget about getting the money back — unless you book another flight and pay the extra amount needed for it. So, do check whether there is a credit-note option before purchasing any ticket.

6. Credit card holder: Remember that if the ticket is purchased through someone else’s credit card, that credit-card holder has to travel with you. If not, you will have to purchase another ticket at whichever fare it is available at the time of flight. So stick to your credit card to avoid these hassles at the eleventh hour.

7. Baggage limit: A budget airline usually has a lower cabin-baggage limit — an average of 7kg, in addition to the 20kg of checked-in luggage. There are also certain restrictions on the dimensions of the baggage, but that varies from airline to airline. So, avoid multiple handbags — you may have relinquish some of them.

8. In-flight charges: Remember to have a meal before you board a budget airline. If not, be prepared to pay for all that you consume on the flight. There are no free meals on budget airlines. In addition, any kind of in-flight entertainment comes at a fee, so carry local currency with you. Especially if you aren’t the kind who can’t do nothing while flying.

9. Connecting flights: If the budget airline you are flying has a tie-up with another airline which will connect you to your destination, avoid it as far as possible — it can be a nightmare because most of the time, there is hardly any communication between these two airlines. For example, if the budget airline you’re travelling by gets delayed at take-off at the local airport, the connecting airline will not wait for you. This can be a huge problem if the transit time is short. In addition to that, chances of your luggage getting misplaced or damaged are pretty high during connecting flights.

10. Local office: If the budget airline you’re travelling is not locally based or does not have a local office, getting in touch with the management can be a not-so-pleasant task.—

Abdulla Mahmood is a UAE-based freelance writer

Inflation is a problem of our own making

With continuing commotion over the price of steel and cement we have missed the fact that the world has fewer and fewer suppliers. The steel companies became steel titans and they now control global markets.

MORE HERE

No Sign of Economic Crisis In Mid-Valley Mega Mall

Massive renovations to Ezam's already massive house in Shah Alam,
started since he joined Umno: From Malaysia-Today.

I was at Mid-Valley Mega Mall to visit the Property Show For Bumiputera at its exhibition centre. I spent few hours browsing those properties on offer even though it is a dream to have a massive house like the above photo.
I am neither a businessman nor a politician (who is jobless as well) who can afford a massive house worth millions. Most Malaysians work very very hard to earn their RM while umnoputeras keep stealing and robbing their wealth under bumiputera allocations.
However, the big crowd at the Mid-Valley defied certain people's prediction on the pending economic crisis after the recent petrol hike. Most restaurants, hypermarkets, outlets, foodcourt were full and there were long queues to purchase movie tickets at Cineplex floor.
Of course, Arab tourists were also flocking the mall and they seemed enjoying their vacation here even the exchange rate (Dirham or Riyal to RM) is not to their favour.
From my brief window shopping, it is still cheaper to shop in Dubai any time except for the fast food. Surprisingly, my nasi padang at the food court costed about the same in a Dubai restaurant.
It was traffic jam around Mid-Valley and after an hour waiting for the bus that never came, I decided to take a cab home. And the fare was also not as cheap as before.
Mid-Valley Mega Mall may not be the real indication on the current situation but it does give me an impression on our feel-good factor in an urban area.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Dubai faces property glut

The prospect of being unable to stimulate sufficient demand for the massive projects due to come on stream in Dubai is the biggest challenges facing the emirate’s property sector over the next year or so, a new report says.

The report, published yesterday by Fitch Ratings, said a record-breaking number of new homes are due to come on to the market next year and in 2010, leading to a situation where supply far outstrips demand.

Residential property in Dubai averages about Dh1,579 (US$434) per square foot, but oversupply could lead to a drop in prices.

“If supply exceeds demand, prices of property would fall, thereby reducing expected revenues, which in turn could have an unfavourable effect on a developer’s credit profile,” the report said. The report also predicts an oversupply of office space in the next couple of years.

“Contingent to delivery plans being met, the market may start experiencing a price correction as a result of the massive new supply in 2009–2010,” the report said.

Although Dubai has a population of 1.6 million, the emirate is constructing the same amount of office space as Shanghai and Moscow, which have populations of 20 million and 10.4 million respectively.

However, as developers and contractors grapple with labour shortages and the escalating cost of building materials, project delays or even cancellations could narrow the gap between supply and demand.

The Fitch report said that foreign demand would also be hit if there was a deterioration in political relations with other countries in the region.

“A geopolitical deterioration or a real estate downturn in Dubai may have an impact on the foreign demand, and could be more damaging to the economy than the correction in stock markets which took place in 2006,” the report said.

Dubai’s property sector might also feel the impact of the credit crunch and subprime lending crisis that has hit the UK and the US, due to the fact that most of the demand for property in the emirate is driven by expatriates and foreign investors.

But according to Bashar al Natoor, an analyst at Fitch Ratings and the author of the report, most expatriates will still be attracted by Dubai’s property market as their own standard of living improves.

“Many of the buyers are working and living in Dubai, so at the end of the day their job prospers as the region prospers,” said Mr Natoor.

Dubai’s ability to maintain its leading position over the next few years will also be tested with the emergence of new property centres in the region, such as Abu Dhabi and Doha.

“Abu Dhabi and Doha are emerging, but Dubai has a certain advantage: many large companies have established their regional offices here and that will be hard to change,” said Mr Natoor.

“This will act positively for Dubai in the future and a lot will need to be done for others to catch up.”
The report predicted strong revenue growth for developers in Dubai but said that there could be more delays due to labour and materials shortages.
About 50 per cent of Dubai’s upcoming property stock is either fully or partially-owned by the government, which could work to the advantage of the sector in the event of a market downturn.
“The large state-owned developers are likely to retain better access to raw materials and labour than smaller developers,” the report said.
The report also called for more transparent data to help investors and developers mitigate risk.
“Compared with Western markets there is little transparency or reliable sector data in Dubai’s real estate market,” said Mr Natoor.
“But the Dubai government is moving forward with this; it is producing tools such as a price index, and has introduced escrow accounts and other measures, which will act to mitigate this risk in the future.”

By Angela Giuffrida