Saturday, June 28, 2008
Jun 28, 08 11:03pm
A police report has been lodged against PKR
MCPXde facto leader Anwar Ibrahim for allegedly sodomosing one of his aides - the second time that such an accusation had been made in over 10 years.
The report was lodged by the 23-year-old victim at the Jalan Travers police station at 6pm.
KL police chief DCP Muhammad Sabtu Osman confirmed that the report had been made.The man has been sent to Hospital Kuala Lumpur for a medical examination.
It is learnt that Anwar met with a number of party leaders at an emergency meeting late tonight.
At 11.15pm, PKR sent out an SMS message stating that the police had detained Anwar's special aide Saiful Bahari this afternoon and forced him to lodge a police report about being sodomised by his boss.It added that the police are expected to arrest Anwar soon.
Meanwhile, Anwar is expected to comment on this latest crisis at a pre-arranged press conference tomorrow.
The press conference is scheduled to be held after a meeting between Anwar and all PKR members of parliament and state assemblypersons.
'A very serious situation'
Party sources said that Anwar was chairing a party supreme council meeting at a hotel in Shah Alam when he received an SMS at about 9pm on Saturday night about the police report lodged against him.
He apparently then told the party leaders that his aide Saiful had been missing for two days."He then received another SMS at about 9.30pm and his faced changed dramatically after reading that SMS," said a party insider.
"He did not reveal the details of the SMS but merely said that the situation was very serious," added the insider.
Anwar is said to have left the supreme council meeting to meet his lawyers until about 11pm.The council however continued their meeting without Anwar.Party leaders are saying that they have to be prepared for any eventuality.
DAP's veteran leader Lim Kit Siang wrote in his blog that he had spoken to Anwar over the phone and that the PKR leader was expecting the worst.Watch out for government attacksAnwar himself issued a press statement at about 1.40am, saying that the report lodged against him was a complete fabrication.
"I believe we are witnessing a repeat of the methods used against me in 1998 when false allegations were made under duress," he said.
"This is clearly a desperate attempt by the Barisan Nasional regime to arrest the movement of the Malaysian people towards freedom, democracy and justice."
He said that the police report against him was organised by interested parties to attack him in retaliation for evidence he had recently obtained implicating Inspector General of Police Musa Hassan and Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail in misconduct including fabrication of evidence in the cases launched against him in 1998-1999.
"This vile attack will not prevent me from releasing this dossier to the public," Anwar added.Anwar urged Malaysians to stand against the repressive forces that "will be unleashed by the government in the coming days and weeks".
"We expect the media, the judiciary and the police force to all come under the direct and unchecked control of the executive," he said.
Accused of sodomy in 1997
Meanwhile at about 1am about 400 people had gathered outside the hotel in Shah Alam to ensure that nothing happened to Anwar.
The party leaders and Anwar's lawyer SN Nair also held a press conference at the Shah Alam hotel at about 1.30am where they distributed Anwar's press statement. Anwar, a former deputy prime minister and finance minister of Malaysia, was sacked from the government in 1997 for allegedly being involved in sodomy and abuse of power.
In 1999, he was sentenced in a highly controversial trial to six years in prison for corruption, and in 2000, to another nine years for alleged homosexual acts.
However in 2004, the Federal Court - the country's highest court - reversed the second conviction and he was released.
Anwar has always maintained that the charges were a government hatched political conspiracy against him, a move denied by the government.
Najib said at the opening of the International Conference on Meeting of Minds: Developing the Malaysia Master Brand:
“To effectively position Malaysia in this globalised arena, we must be characterised by a unified core of competence and unique selling proposition that fits all levels of economy and society.”
Destination branding is no enviable task, as I found out during the past week when I went through hundreds of websites, brochures, articles and a couple of books. More so for a nation as varied as the United Arab Emirates, where identifying a unique characteristic which can generate a positive emotional response from a person is only a part of the task; but also involves addressing issues like the volatility of the middle-east and cultural sensibilities.
Nations has increasingly resorted to the “We have everything” or a “We are different” angle which did nothing more than to get fairly easy approvals from governments and other decision-making bodies. Among Uniquely Singapore, Incredible India, Enchanting Finland, Wonderful Greece, Magical Kenya, Dynamic Korea, Naturally Nepal, Uruguay Natural, Wow Philippines, which one will actually generate a positive human response from a citizen or a tourist is debatable.
Others have resorted to their regional significance – Tanzania claiming to be ‘Authentic Africa’ while Rwanda urges you to ‘Discover a new African Dawn’ (featuring a Gorilla naming ceremony!) and Zambia reckons you can Experience the Real Africa’, Samoa is ‘The treasured island of the South Pacific’, Grenada is the ‘Spice of the Caribbean’ while Dominica is ‘The Nature Island of
the Caribbean’, Malta is the ‘Heart of the Mediterranean’ while Croatia is ‘The Mediterranean as it once was’.
Still more get philosophical and poetic- Macedonia is the ‘Cradle of Culture, land of nature’, Maldives claims to be ‘The sunny side of life’, Nicaragua is ‘A country with heart’(Sorry Dubai), Cayman Islands is ‘Close to home, Far from expected’, Niue Islands is ‘Undiscovered Unspoiled Unbelievable’, Thailand offers you ‘Happiness on Earth’, Vietnam is ‘The Hidden Charm’ while Panama takes up the clichéd ‘The road less travelled’ tag.
Others can simply be mistaken with products like mineral water, television or even shoes - like Seychelles claiming to be ‘As pure as it gets’ (or sometimes a little less) while New Zealand is ‘100% Pure’, South Africa says ‘It is possible’, Hungary has a ‘Talent for entertaining’.
Only a few has managed to stand out and make an impact– either due to their long-term vision or with the help of a bit of creativity shown while making their identities, executing campaigns and ensuring some level of consistency. Malaysia's ‘Truly Asia’, despite its obvious simplicity has proved to be a winner. Alaksa, which has a predictable tagline,
‘Beyond your dreams, Within your reach’ came up with an excellent Alaska B4UDIE campaign to boost tourism revenue. Ethiopia’s questionable ‘13 months of sunshine’ may not have prompted a huge tourist influx, but is nevertheless unique, but has not been marketed well. Latvias ‘Land that Sings’ is delightful, Cyprus’ ‘The golden apple’ is intriguing, Ireland’s ‘Your own Ireland’ works well combined with its identity, Jamaica’s ‘One Love’ is representative of the nations fun-filled outlook.
Australia emerges the winner of the pack with excitement always present in its identity and campaigns that generate discussion, not to mention the popularity of the destination itself. Poland used a plumber and a nurse to inject some fresh lease of life into the tourism industry. Bahamas has a unique and contemporary logo, but it is doubtful whether it portrays a national identity as well as Spain’s does.
Britain, one of the first countries to take destination branding seriously did not create much excitement in terms of creativity. ‘Visit Britain’ promised to be as boring as the country was perceived to be, while the pretentious ‘UK OK’ was typically unimaginative. And in case if you were wondering who was behind Saudi Arabia’s innovative tourism strategy, you are welcome to the lovingly named ‘Supreme commission for Tourism’.
But all over the world, what all this phraseology often very seriously lacks is the clear mention of names and the exact brand name identities attached to each project, as most have no recollection as to how to differentiate or even address these icons. Most cannot appreciate generic name brand like "World" to describe the cluster of islands, nor can they explain the "South American" region to tell others that they want to live in "Brazil, Dubai".
In a recent select study of the Dubai Brand Name-Identity Profile, conducted by ABC Namebank, Toronto - New York, the most significant observation was that there is a strong awareness of the number of Dubai's projects around the globe, but a serious lack of clear brand name identity recognition.
In Dubai and also all over the GCC, the first generation of the branding wave is almost over, where massive colourful campaigns were created to boost the image and visibility at the local level with all the tools of traditional advertising deployed resulting in some hugely successful projects.
"Do you know me, I am Mohammad Bin Rashid," said the visitor and as the elderly man looked closely at his face, he realised the visitor was special.
"You are most welcome Abu Rashid," said Mohammad Salem Khamis Al Ka'abi, who said he is 100 years old. "It is an honour to have you," said the Emirati.
The special visitor that day was His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
A five-minute conversation that day changed the life of the centenarian.
"It was an unforgettable moment," said Al Ka'abi, who has three sons and a daughter. Four other sons have died, three if them in road accidents.
"Give me an order father, whatever you want, just name it, said Shaikh Mohammad," said Al Ka'abi. "I just hope for a long and happy life," replied Al Ka'abi.
Shaikh Mohammad looked around and saw the old man's house had cracks on the walls. "Here we will build for you a very comfortable home," Shaikh Mohammad reportedly told him.
Al Ka'abi told Shaikh Mohammad that his house was given to him by Shaikh Rashid and he decided never to leave it even though the house deteriorated due to lack of maintenance over the years.
Shaikh Mohammad also ordered that the house be fully furnished.
When Shaikh Mohammad learnt that five grandsons of Al Ka'abi who lived in a similar dilapidated house nearby, he ordered that it also be renovated, furnished and equipped. Their father had died in a road accident.
"The contractors worked day and night. They never stopped, never took a rest, till the entire work was completed," said Al Ka'abi. "The contractors repeatedly invited me to have a look at their work, but I refused and never entered the new house till they handed me the keys," he said.
Neither Al Ka'abi nor Aliba know the number of bedrooms they have in their new home, but they think it has six or seven bedrooms. "The house was prepared, furnished and equipped in a way which makes our life comfortable," said Al Ka'abi. "Foodstuff, vegetables, fruits, and even tissue boxes were in the house, as if Shaikh Mohammad was telling us to just live a comfortable life."
Each room has two split air-conditioning unit and has spacious majlis, an independent huge water tanker with a large pump, he said. "Words fail to express our thanks and gratitude to the generosity of Shaikh Mohammad," said Al Ka'abi.
"Shaikh Mohammad can fulfil anyone's dreams. It just requires only meeting him once, and he looks you in the eye and then looks around you. He can easily find out what you wanted without your asking for it," he said.
One of Al Ka'abi's sons, Saeed, said he was in Abu Dhabi when he got a call that Shaikh Mohammad was visiting his father. "I never expected that it was him, even after I was informed. It was a dream visit," he said.
Al Ka'abi said his homes will never be sold. "Not even for billions of dirhams," he said. "My children after me know this that the houses granted to us by the Al Maktoum family will never be for sale."
President George W Bush hosted Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, for a stay at the Camp David presidential retreat. Mr Bush welcomed Sheikh Mohammed to the rustic wooded retreat in the Maryland mountains yesterday, a return favour for the US president’s stay in Abu Dhabi in January. During that visit, Mr Bush travelled to Sheikh Mohammed’s desert property, where he raises horses and prize falcons.
Sheikh Mohammed’s stay at the Maryland property puts him in an elite class of world leaders who have been awarded visits to locales prized by Mr Bush, including the presidential retreat and his own ranch in Central Texas. As Sheikh Mohammed’s helicopter landed on a large hilltop meadow at Camp David yesterday, the flag of the United Arab Emirates was hoisted alongside the American flag.
Mr Bush greeted Sheikh Mohammed at the white-topped helicopter’s steps and they walked down a double phalanx of Marines and Navy sailors. After chatting and posing for cameras, the two leaders climbed into a golf cart and Mr Bush squired his guest off for a tour of the grounds. They were having a picnic dinner of fried chicken, corn on the cob, deviled eggs, potato salad and slaw.
Their official meetings – all private and closed to any media coverage – were scheduled for this morning, followed by a lunch of hamburgers, french fries, onion rings and ice cream. Sheikh Mohammed was expected to leave Camp David this afternoon.
Another leader who is now in his retirement always says, "I know' for his defence when he is under attacks for his previous life as a leader of the nation.
Read this story of 'I Know' syndrome.
He was an adorable young man - diligent, obedient and well mannered. He had good habits and was honest to the core. Best of all, professionalism was his greatest asset.
I would like to call him TK.
During my active career days, my office had put him under my charge for training purpose. It was because of the unusual combination of his qualities that he had endeared himself to all the colleagues in a very short period. He had become a virtual darling of everyone at work.
The only problem with TK was that he had developed the habit of using 'I know' as a prop to his speech. Whether you are talking to him alone or in a group, he would very frequently interject with his famous 'I know'.
Ask him anything and he would respond with 'I know' with the speed of lightening. It seemed that there was no subject or issue on earth about which TK did not 'know'.
His 'I know' would roll out of him mechanically and effortlessly. It dawned on me that because of this reflex response the only thing that he did not 'know' about was when he would blurt the two words.
As it happened, for quite some time, nobody in the office noticed the excessive and repeated replay of the two words by him. This was because TK's good image had eclipsed the adverse impact that was being created by his penchant for using those two words:'I know'.
But gradually, people started noticing the 'I know' syndrome. It became increasingly irksome and jarring to many ears. This was certainly another thing TK did 'not know' - that by his own habit, slowly yet steadily, his image was taking a severe beating.
During staff meetings when the boss spoke, everybody listened attentively. So would TK. But sometimes he would suddenly blurt out, 'I know'. That would turn all eyes towards him because of the unwarranted interruption.
And we would find young TK's tongue in between his teeth in an expression of being apologetic. It was perhaps because of his boyish looks that TK was silently granted reprieve by all without being told explicitly.
But we all know that old habits die hard. So we did not notice any changes in his behaviour despite realisation by him of the irritating factor. By now, all those who had adored him all this time were feeling disappointed, rather annoyed.
Interestingly, while TK was getting compliments for accomplishing the tasks assigned to him to the satisfaction of his seniors, his 'I know' was becoming unbearable. But there was little they could do about it. So was the case with TK who, too, 'did not know' how to get rid of his 'I know' syndrome.
During one meeting addressed by the boss, a discussion was in progress on the merits and demerits of the old elevators with collapsible doors vis-a-vis today's virtually airtight ones. There had been a mishap a day earlier.
At one stage, the boss observed, 'You never know when the lift might get stuck...'
'I know', interjected TK even before the boss could complete the sentence.
The boss gave him a nasty look. TK lowered his eyes, mumbling, 'Sorry'.
Like others, I was also fed up with the 24 x 6 (excluding one weekly off day) replay of 'I know'. Back in our room, I made TK sit by my side.
I was quite agitated that moment. Yet, very politely, I told him, 'TK, do you know that you have become a wretched pain in the neck of everybody here?'
Instant came the reply, 'I know'. This time, all those present had a hearty laugh. The 'all knowing' young man reached for his ear. He vowed before us to shed the habit at the earliest.
I told him, 'It may not be possible because we know old habits die hard.'
'I know', responded TK with the speed of lightening as he looked at us with a gaping mouth and eyes wide open.