Monday, October 06, 2008

Bertemu dengan Lim Guan Eng di Dubai


Antara MB/KM baru dari PR yang paling menonjol ialah Lim Guan Eng (LGE), KM Pulau Pinang. Barangkali juga satu-satunya KM dari DAP ini juga memberikan imej baru kepada corak pemerintahan peringkat negeri.

Bukan sahaja kerana LGE masih muda, tetapi rekod beliau boleh dianggap cemerlang dalam memperjuangkan hak asasi manusia dalam kes rogol yang membabitkan seorang gadis Melayu bawah umur dengan seorang ahli politik UMNO. LGE juga pernah ditahan dibawah ISA sewaktu Tun Mahathir berkuasa.

Pertemuan dengan LGE dan ahli rombongan kerajaan PP di vila Sdra Ariffin di Arabian Ranches membawa peluang buat ramai penyokong tegar PR bersemuka dengan LGE dam YB Jeff Ooi. Kalau tidak kerana hari bekerja, tentunya lebih ramai yang akan hadir.

Dengan membawa slogan CAT (competency, accountability and transparency), LGE mahu membawa PP ke satu peringkat yang lebih baik dari apa yang telah dilakukan oleh kerajaan BN sebelumnya. Saya percaya yang usaha ini tidak mudah tetapi tidak mustahil. Mendengar misi dan visi beliau, tentunya jalan masih berliku.

Sesi yang dibuat secara santai dan interaktif memberi peluang bukan sahaja berkenalan, malah bertanya mengenai situasi politik semasa. Terutama mengenai peralihan kuasa dalam UMNO dari perspektif DAP. LGE memang mempunyai karisma dan sentuhan sebagai pemidato yang baik.

Saya sempat mencelah beberapa kali, salah satu membetulkan perkataan 'clean' yang digunakan apabila membandingkan Pak Lah dengan Najib. Bagi saya perkataan yang betul ialah 'less corrupt' sebab kesemua pemimpin UMNO tidak 'clean'.

Apa yang paling menarik buat saya ialah prioriti untuk menghapuskan kemiskinan tegar di PP, yang menurut LGE, 90% adalah terdiri dari orang Melayu.

Setelah 51 tahun di bawah UMNO, termasuk Perdana Menteri sekarang dan mantan Timbalan PM sendiri berasal dari Pulau Pinang, kemiskinan tegar masih menjadi sebahagian dari warisan 'cemerlang, gemilang, terbilang' yang ternyata kronik.

Secara peribadi, saya melihat LGE sebagai seorang pemimpin yang boleh dipercayai. Sesuatu yang janggal setelah bertahun minda dipengaruhi oleh dakyah UMNO/BN terhadap musuh-musuh politik. Begitu berhasilnya jarum-jarum propaganda yang menanam suntikan prasangka dan persepsi perkauman yang terlalu buruk dan hodoh.

Berbanding dengan ramai pemimpin UMNO yang korup walau mengakui sebagai orang Islam, LGE masih belum tercemar.

Untuk Malaysia yang lebih baik dan cemerlang, gemilang, terbilang, semestinya ruang lingkup minda mesti dianjak untuk melihat sesuatu melalui ruang yang lebih bebas, terbuka dan adil. Dengan itu, perubahan bukan sesuatu untuk datang bergolek, kita mesti berani untuk menilai dan mengambil langkah yang positif.

Lebih 50% pengundi di semenanjung telah bersuara untuk perubahan, tentunya kita mengharapkan pemimpin seperti LGE, juga Khalid, Nizar, Azizan, selain TG Nik Aziz akan menjadi pemangkin dan contoh. Kita sudah muak, jelak dan menyampah dengan barisan pemimpin UMNO yang walau apapun wajah baru, masih sahaja sama acuan dan warna perjuangan perut mereka.

Kalau tiada peralihan kuasa dari BN ke PR melalui lompatan dalam waktu terdekat, tentunya pilihanraya akan datang rakyat menjadi hakim untuk perubahan yang lebih besar di peringkat nasional. PR boleh menunaikan janji dan tanggungjawab yang diharapkan rakyat.

Kesimpulannya, pertemuan dengan LGE memberikan kami maklumat berguna mengenai kepimpinan PR/DAP di PP dan LGE sebagai individu secara peribadi.

World's largest real estate investment event opens in Dubai


I was trying to reach Cityscape show after zuhur prayer but few kms on Sheikh Zayed Road, there was already massive traffic jam.


I de-toured through Al-Khail expressway to enter through the back side but still huge traffic jam leading to the venue and I had to slog through a closed slip road to return to Al Khail. No luck today as the crowd would be worse after hours!




Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, on Monday opened the biggest Cityscape at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Cityscape Dubai is the world's largest business-to-business real estate investment and development event.


Now in its seventh year and bigger than ever, Cityscape Dubai has been extended over four days until Thursday, October 9.The exhibition and its associated conferences are expected to break all previous records with more than 60,000 participants from over 150 countries.


Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, 42, is the latest celebrity to enter the UAE's real estate market with a property development off Ras Al Khaimah.
Shah Rukh Khan Boulevard will be an Dh8-billion project on Dana Island off Ras Al Khaimah coast which, he said, "will extend his home to others".


Listen to what Sarah Palin is saying – and then be afraid

I am following up the USA presidential race with anticipation of the first black to be in the WHITE house. Race is still a major issue in USA politics and is still predominantly white-centric, therefore, perhaps as we speak, it will still a long way to have a black in the WHITE house.

The recent vice presidential debate was nothing much to gauge except Sarah Palin is one of the dumbest candidates, not because of she is a woman. Hillary Clinton is much better in terms of charisma, experience and intellectual capacity, hence a Presidential candidate material.

Then again, this is USA and the election would spring a surprise and Sarah could be the first female VP of the USA and even the first female president of the USA, if in the event of the death of McCain while in the WHITE house.....
Read this article from The National (Abu Dhabi's english newspaper):

Media commentators were breathless in anticipation of the Vice Presidential debate between the Democrat Joe Biden and the Republican Sarah Palin. Given Mrs Palin’s repeated gaffes in television interviews, there was an expectation that she might self-destruct in this nationally televised event.
This did not occur. Instead, Mrs Palin followed a disciplined debate strategy. She did not answer most of the questions asked (at one point she announced: “I’m not going to answer the questions the way the moderator or my opponent would like me to”) but delivered a series of prepared mini-speeches.
Palin was friendly and folksy, if somewhat disturbingly flirtatious (with winks etc). She sprinkled her answers with colloquialisms (“doggone”, “you betcha”). But because her speeches had been prepared in advance, she didn’t stumble into gibberish, as she had in her earlier interviews, and appeared to be competent enough to please her supporters. I had expected as much.
I had noted before the debate that in watching and evaluating Sarah Palin’s debate performance, it would be important not to focus exclusively on what she doesn’t know about critical foreign policy issues. More useful, I believed, would be filtering out what she does know. She began this process with a largely blank slate on foreign policy.
One could dismiss her claims of having learnt about international affairs by living, as she does, between two foreign countries. The geography is undeniable; but living across the Bering Strait from the frozen wastes of Russia’s Siberia, or across a land border from Canada’s Yukon, provides more a sense of isolation than it does foreign policy experience.
Similarly, Mrs Palin’s sole foreign trip, last year, to US military installations in Germany and Kuwait (and a quarter of a mile into Iraq) to visit members of Alaska’s National Guard may have helped the Governor to better understand the needs of her constituents deployed abroad, but would not have left her better informed about Kuwait or Iraq. And it is questionable how much useful information she culled from her speed-dating exercise with world leaders in Manhattan (other than the sorry fact that some of them could be fawning or embarrassingly sexist).


In selecting Mrs Palin, McCain’s operatives understood her obvious assets: solid “Christian” conservative credentials, unlimited ambition, effective stage presence and, yes, that she is a woman. But recognising her equally obvious weaknesses (primarily a lack of policy, especially foreign policy, credentials), the McCain team sequestered their number two in an effort to give her a crash course in world affairs. Led by the arch neo-conservative and lobbyist Randy Scheunemann (who was an ever-present chaperone during Mrs Palin’s New York adventure), the team drilled their “quick study” in the ways of the world.


In the interviews that marked brief breaks in her sequestration, the fruits of their labour have been on display; much could be learnt from her answers. Some were nearly unintelligible, to be sure, but sifting through the jumbled syntax and incoherent babble revealed her “talking points”. These answers deserve scrutiny, as do the prepared lines she delivered during the debate, because they provide a guide to the world view of her handlers, which they hope to advance through her.
Having no independently developed experience-based foreign affairs knowledge of her own through which to sift this “received knowledge”, Mrs Palin’s recitation of her lessons revealed a raw and unfiltered neo-conservative view of the world. It is, at times, banal and oversimplified; but it is also, in many ways, perfectly clear.It is absolutist and Manichean. There is good (“us”) and evil (“them”). “We” stand for democracy and the “spirit of freedom that is found in every human heart”.
Since the clash between good and evil is both desirable and inevitable, “our” role is to bring “our values” to a waiting world and defeat evil. And, in this conflict, “our” victory is preordained. Compromise with evil is unthinkable and so traditional forms of diplomacy are to be rejected as a sign of weakness and surrender. In this world view, diplomacy means working with those who agree with us, not finding ways to bridge differences with those with whom we disagree.


Simple? Yes, but also dangerous. This was the world-view embraced by the current administration, especially during its first term. (It is the consequences of this disastrous course that the Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, has worked diligently, if unsuccessfully, to correct.) And, despite its many failures, it appears that this hard-line neocon course is embraced by Governor Palin’s running mate and his advisers.
Now, Mrs Palin is no mere pawn. In many ways her Christian fundamentalism has prepared her for her role – since neo-conservatism is but a secularised version of her faith’s absolutism. But while the theology provides a fit, it is the language and its application to complex world affairs that is new. And so, while the basic framework (good vs evil, etc) makes sense in Mrs Palin’s mind, she is not yet comfortable with the new phrases that have been written on the previously near-blank slate. This is why I say that it is important to listen to what she does say, not how badly she says it. And don’t make fun: be afraid.

Dr James J Zogby is president of the Arab American Institute.

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1 km high- Islamic Designed Tower in Dubai!


My employer, Nakheel is building the tallest tower in the world soon. The announcement is not unexpected since the rumour has been circling around since Emaar, our competitor started to construct Burj Dubai, the current tallest tower in the world at 688 meter.
I saw the original model of the tower in 2003 while taking Yusuf Islam to meet up with our chairman in his office and it was supposed to be at the Palm Jumeirah, later Waterfront and now somewhere at Ibn Batutta Mall area.

Nakheel on Sunday announced plans to build the world's tallest tower, at over a dizzying one kilometre high, joining the ranks of companies in the region furiously trying to achieve the same feat.

Nakheel Harbour and Tower will be a 270 hectare development, stretching between phase two of Ibn Battuta shopping mall and the 75-kilometre Arabian Canal.
The one-kilometre-high tower will be the centre-piece of the area.
The tower will have more than 200 floors and will take an estimated 500,000 cubic metres of concrete to construct. Reinforcing bars used in the tower's construction could stretch from Dubai to New York, if laid end-to-end.
The building is so tall that it will experience five different microclimatic conditions from top to bottom.


"From our perspective, we're building a tower over one-kilometre high. It's the tallest by current comparisons," Chris O'Donnell, chief executive of Nakheel, told international media at a briefing yesterday.
This new development adds to the list of Nakheel's "earth-shattering projects", which are adding a combined total of 1,000 kilometres of coastline to Dubai, O'Donnell said.
The development would house the world's first inner city harbour.

Four-in-one structure
The tower will be made up of four towers within one single structure.
The tower will be surrounded by approximately 40 other towers ranging in height from 20 floors to 90 floors.
Other developers are vying to build similar towers.
Saudi Arabia had ambitious plans to build a mile high tower, four times the size of the Empire State Building in New York, with a development value of £5 billion.
However, it has had to scale back its plans due to difficulties in transporting materials to such a height.
Local developer Meraas is also rumoured to be planning an even more head-spinning 2.4 kilometre high tower as the centerpiece of their flagship Jumeirah Garden City project. However, this has neither been confirmed nor denied by Meraas officials.
Nakheel Harbour and Tower will have around 19,000 residential units to accommodate an estimated population of 55,000 people. A further 45,000 people are expected to work in the area.
The development will have 250,000 square metres of hotel and hospitality space and 950,000 square metres of retail space.
There will also be eight hectares of canal, 800 metres of continuous indoor walkways, over 10 kilometres of promenade and a bridge.
O'Donnell also said the development will have around 3,400 hotel rooms, including one "super-luxury" 100-room hotel at the top of the tower.
The development will be split into four sections, including Harbour Bridges, Canals, Harbour Gardens and Harbour Promenade.

Islamic design
The development is based on Islamic design and inspiration has been drawn from the gardens of Alhambra in Spain, the harbour of Alexandria in Egypt, the promenade of Tangier in Morocco and the bridges of Esfahan in Iran.
The project value is not being disclosed to "keep the media interested", O'Donnell said.
He added that the development will take 10 years or more to complete, although certain phases will come online earlier.

O'Donnell said the time was right in Dubai for such a project as the impact of recent global financial misery here has been relatively small.
"The world is experiencing a negative market movement. But this is just part of a normal economic cycle," O'Donnell said.


Beraya dengan Lim Guan Eng di Dubai! Malaysiakini

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Arabian Ranches, Dubai
6 October 2008
7.30 pm