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 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!