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Monday, 31 March 2008

GENERAL ELECTION - DARE TO SPEAK

I AM still in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Personally, I feel that the political situation in the country is rather shaky right now. I hope things get better. Am proud to have learnt from my boss, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok. The lesson: Read the government news agency, Bernama report below.


Dompok: Sabah wants balanced representation in Cabinet


By Tengku Noor Shamsiah Tengku Abdullah

PUTRAJAYA, March 30 (Bernama) -- Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties want balanced representation in the (Federal) Cabinet, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said here Sunday.
The United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (UPKO) party president said that wherever he went, he was questioned on the issue of Sabah BN representation in the Federal Government, especially after the Sabah BN had won 24 of the 25 parliamentary seats in the state in the March 8 general election.
"So, they (federal government) should look at what has been given to Sabah to maintain (the victory for the BN)," he told Bernama here.
He said this was among the issues that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had to clarify during his upcoming meeting with Sabah BN leaders, expected to be held in Kota Kinabalu this week.
Dompok, who is Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, said Sabah and Sarawak, which delivered 54 of the 140 parliamentary seats to the BN, only got five ministerial posts -- three for Sabah and two for Sarawak -- while Johor BN, which delivered 25 seats, got seven ministerial posts, he said.
Dompok said: "It looks like what the people of Sabah have given (to the BN)has been taken for granted.
"They (the federal government) have to look fairly, (in the) case of Sabah and Sarawak, for their splendid performance in the recent general election," he said.
When announcing his cabinet on March 18, Abdullah retained the three posts of minister and raised from two to four the posts of deputy minister for Sabah.
Kimanis MP Datuk Anifah Aman declined to accept the post of deputy minister of transport while Kalabakan MP Datuk Abdul Ghapur Salleh resigned as deputy minister of natural resources and environment on Wednesday.-- BERNAMA

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

GENERAL ELECTION - LESSON

Learning is a life-long process. I am thinking of doing a distance learning programme in future. Who knows....


Datuk Seri Abdullah said the opposition effectively used blogs, news websites and SMS messages to reach out to voters.

THE STRAITS TIMES

WEDNESDAY, 26 March, 2008: BARISAN Nasional's 'biggest mistake' in the disastrous elections was to ignore cyber-campaigning on the Internet, said Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi yesterday in an unusual acknowledgment of the reach of cyberspace.
'We certainly lost the Internet war, the cyber-war,' he said. 'It was a serious misjudgment. We made the biggest mistake in thinking that it was not important.'
Datuk Seri Abdullah credited blogs, news websites and SMS messages as media to which many voters and opposition candidates had turned to, when they felt the mainstream media was not giving them the information they sought.
Malaysia's mainstream media are mostly part-owned by parties in the ruling BN coalition, and what was seen as biased coverage in the run-up to the March 8 vote alienated voters and boosted demand for alternative news sources.
'We thought that the newspapers, the print media, the television were supposed to be important, but the young people were looking at SMS and blogs,' said PM Abdullah.
His comments yesterday are a major about-face for the government, which had vilified bloggers, calling them liars and threatening them with detention without trial under draconian internal security laws.
Also yesterday, the Prime Minister also promised to, among other things, reform the economy, keep fuel prices stable and ease the burden of low-income earners, in an apparent bid to win back support for the ruling coalition after its poor showing at the polls.
In his keynote address at the Invest Malaysia 2008 Conference, he unveiled a three-point plan which includes measures to help poorer households and to mitigate the impact of rising world oil prices.
The government, he said, would hold fuel prices and electricity tariffs at their current levels.
'Whatever the present price, we have to live with it,' he added, while noting that there was a limit to controlling prices.
Yesterday, Second Finance Minister Nor Mohamed Yakcop also said gas prices would be kept stable, adding: 'There is no decision to increase gas price at this point of time.'
PM Abdullah also pledged to push ahead with economic reforms, noting that this was what voters had wanted.
'The result of the election was a strong message that I have not moved fast enough in pushing through with the reforms that I promised to undertake,' he said.
'I thank the Malaysian people for this message: point well made and point taken.' - AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, BERNAMA

GENERAL ELECTION - CRISIS

Happy reading. And come up with your own conclusion. I rest my case.


PM to see King over MB issue

KUALA LUMPUR, Wednesday, 26 March 2008: Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will seek an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, who is also Sultan of Terengganu, to discuss the issue of the state’s Mentri Besar.
“I will certainly be meeting Tuanku on this problem,” Abdullah told reporters after delivering his keynote address at the Invest Malaysia 2008 conference here yesterday.
The Prime Minister was asked to comment on the position of Kijal assemblyman Datuk Ahmad Said, who began his first day of work as Terengganu Mentri Besar at the MB’s office in Wisma Darul Iman yesterday morning.
Abdullah said the issue was one that would have to be addressed quickly.
“I’d like to say that there are ways to overcome this problem. I don’t think the situation cannot be resolved.
“We know that on the ground, people are exploiting this situation for their own objective which is creating a lot of confusion. We have to remain cool and at the same time, not be oblivious to what’s happening.”
Asked whether any disciplinary action would be taken against Ahmad for going against the party leadership in accepting the post, Abdullah said he would leave it to the Umno supreme council.
Abdullah has a scheduled appointment with the King today as the Prime Minister has a regular appointment with the King every Wednesday before the weekly Cabinet meeting.
It is understood that Abdullah will raise the Terengganu issue during his audience with Tuanku Mizan. THE STAR

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

GENERAL ELECTION - NEW CABINET

SO the list is out. My boss, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok is in the new Federal Cabinet composition. He continues his portfolio in the Prime Minister's Department. There are two more full ministers from my home State Sabah, namely, Datuk Shafie Afdal and Datuk Dr Johniti Maximus Ongkili. There are also four Deputy Ministers, namely Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, Datuk Anifah Aman, Datuk Abdul Ghapur Salleh and Loh Wei Keong (The Star used that name but the PM said it was VK Liew from Sabah). The swearing in is tomorrow. As for my job, well, I just have to wait for my boss to make the decision - to retain me or otherwise.

PM announces new Cabinet line-up

PUTRAJAYA: , MYT 12:57:07 PM

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Tuesday a 27-seat Cabinet line-up.

More than half of the ministers are new faces.

They are Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Zaid Ibrahim, Amirsham Aziz, Ismail Sabri, Douglah Unggah, Ong Tee Keat, Ng Yen Yen, Noh Omar, Zin Mohamed, Liow Tiong Lay, Ahmad Shabery Cheek, Shahrir Samad, Muhammad Muhammad Taib, Ong Ka Chuan, and Shaziman Abu Mansor.

The full list:

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak

Ministers in the Prime Minister's Department
Tan Sri Bernard Dompok
Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz
Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
Datuk Mohd Zaid Ibrahim
Datuk Amirsham Abdul Aziz

Deputy Ministers in the Prime Minister's Department
Datuk Johari Baharom
Datuk Dr Mashitah Ibrahim
Datuk K. Devamany
Datuk Hassan Malik

Finance
Minister - Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Second Finance Minister - Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop
Deputies - Datuk Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, Datuk Kong Cho Ha

Defense
Minister - Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak
Deputy - Datuk Wira Abu Seman Yusop

Internal Security and Home Affairs
Minister - Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar
Deputies - Datuk Chor Chee Heong, Senator Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh

Housing and Local Government
Minister -Datuk Ong Ka Chuan
Deputies - Datuk Robert Lau , Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin

Works Minister
Minister - Datuk Mohd Zin Mohamad
Deputy- Datuk Yong Khoon Seng

Energy, Water and Communications
Minister - Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor
Deputy- Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum

Agriculture and Agro-based Industry
Minister - Datuk Mustapa Mohamed
Deputy - Datin Paduka Rohani Abdul Karim

International Trade and Industry
Minister -Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin
Deputies- Loh Wei Keong (VK Liew?), Datuk Jacob Dungau Sagan

Foreign Affairs
Minister -Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim
Deputy- Tunku Azlan Abu Bakar

Education
Minister -Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein
Deputies -Datuk Wee Ka Siong, Datuk Razali Ismail

Higher Education
Minister - Datuk Khaled Nordin
Deputies - Khoo Kok Choong, Datuk Idris Harun

Transport
Datuk Ong Tee Keat
Deputy - Anifah Aman

Human Resources
Datuk S. Subramaniam
Deputy- Datuk Noraini Ahmad

Women, Family and Community Development
Minister-Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen
Deputy- Noriah Kasnon

National Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage
Minister- Datuk Shafie Apdal
Deputy-Datuk Teng Boon Soon

Science, Technology and Innovation
Minister- Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili
Deputy- Fadilah Yusof

Entrepreneurial and Cooperative Development
Minister - Datuk Noh Omar
Deputy- Datuk Saiffuddin Abdullah

Natural Resources and Environment
Minister - Datuk Douglas Unggah Embas
Deputy - Datuk Abu Ghapur Salleh

Rural and Regional Development
Minister - Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib
Deputy- Tan Sri Joseph Kurup

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs
Minister - Datuk Shahrir Samad
Deputy - Jelaing Mersat

Plantation Industries and Commodities
Minister - Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui
Deputy- Senator A. Kohilan

Youth and Sports
Minister - Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaacob
Deputy - Wee Jack Seng

Health
Minister - Datuk Liow Tiong Lai
Deputy- Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad

Information
Minister - Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek
Deputy- Datuk Tan Lian Hoe

Tourism
Minister - Datuk Azalina Othman
Deputy - Datuk Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Abu Taib

Federal Territory
Minister - Datuk Zulhasnan Rafique
Deputy- M. Saravanan


JOKE - GRASS STORY

THE political scenario in the country is rather slow. So, I look for a joke and here it is. Click Joke for more! Happy slow slow slow...

One afternoon, a man was riding in the back of his limousine when he noticed two men eating grass by the road side. He ordered his driver to stop and he got out to investigate. "Why are you eating grass?" he asked one man. "We don't have any money for food," the poor man replied. "Oh, come along with me then." the man from the limousine said excitedly. "But sir, I have a wife with two children!" "Bring them along! And you, come with us too!" he said to the other man. "But sir, I have a wife with six children!" the second man answered. "Bring them as well!" So, they all climbed into the car, which was no easy task, even for a vehicle as large as the limousine. One of the poor fellows expressed his gratitude, "Sir, you are too kind. Thank you for taking all of us with you." The rich man replied, "No, thank you... the grass at my place is about three feet tall and I could use the help!"

Thursday, 13 March 2008

GENERAL ELECTION - FRUITS


IT HAS been a very hectic few days after the general elections.
The result itself was a surprise - to say the least
The political tsunami came and changes happen just like that
I had been flying - with my boss (photo), of course - almost every other day
From Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur
Then from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu
Then from Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur
My two-year-old son almost did not miss me
Because he thought I went to work and back
Still, the fruits of the elections are not seen yet
I will keep you all updated
Tomorrow, the State Cabinet will be sworn in
Tomorrow, my boss will meet the Prime Minister
So... tomorrow it will be clearer
May be tomorrow, I will also know if I am still
A kampung (village) boy in the metropolitan of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya
Who knows what the tides will bring....

Monday, 10 March 2008

GENERAL ELECTION - BADAWI SAYS

MALAYSIAN Premier takes political tsunami in stride. Here's a report from CNN. Happy reading.

Malaysia's PM rejects calls to resign
MARCH 9, 2008: (CNN) -- Malaysia's prime minister took the oath of office for a new five-year term Monday, rejecting calls to resign after an unprecedented electoral setback that has shaken the country's political landscape, the Associated Press reported.
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was sworn in at 11:10 a.m. (0310 GMT) in front of King Mizan Zainal Abidin, the constitutional monarch, and dozens of government dignitaries in the national palace's glittering throne room. The ceremony was telecast live.
"I pledge to carry out my duties honestly and with all my abilities," Abdullah said, reading out the oath. "I pledge to protect and uphold the Constitution."
In a surprise upset, Malaysia's ruling party, which has retained power since the nation declared independence in 1967, fell short of a two-thirds majority Saturday amid rising inflation, crime and ethnic tensions.
The protest vote gave the opposition alliance a third of parliament and control of five states, according to the Associated Press.
"Political tsunami," read the headline of Malaysia's The Star newspaper.
The National Front's loss raised questions about the future of its party leader, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
His predecessor, Mahathir Mohamad, has called for his resignation, The Associated Press reported, a prospect Badawi shot down in a news conference after preliminary results were announced.
"I'm not resigning," said Badawi, who has held his post since November 2003.
His National Front coalition won 137 of the 222 seats at stake, or less than 62 percent, the Election Commission announced in releasing preliminary results, according to state news agency Bernama.
The opposition alliance of the Democratic Action Party, the People's Justice Party and the Islamic Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, or PAS claimed 82 seats, or 37 percent.
By contrast, in 2004, the National Front clinched 199 of 219 seats, or nearly 91 percent.
"Today, at the ballot box, you listened to your heart with a firm conviction that the time for change has arrived," former Deputy Prime Minister and opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said. "The people of Malaysia have spoken. This is a defining moment, unprecedented in our nation's history."
Badawi has been battling demonstrations against alleged vote fraud for weeks and demanded an overhaul of Malaysia's electoral commission before the election. Last fall, more than 30,000 protesters gathered in the streets and faced squads of police with water cannons. - CNN

GENERAL ELECTION - DOMPOK SAYS

MY BOSS, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok survived a "political tsunami" by winning the Penampang Parliamentary seat - his home town - on March 8. I was there when he spoke to the press. I thought he was very articulate in his answers as shown by the report below by Daily Express, a Sabah local paper. Happy reading.

Likely non-Malays sending message to govt: Dompok
By Larry Ralon
Kota Kinabalu: Incumbent Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said the shock verdict by the people on the Barisan Nasional Government warrants a review of how the Government works and carries out its policies.
"Obviously the non-Malay population of this country has something to say to the Government. And I think this is very loud and clearly shown in this election," he said, when asked to comment.
Dompok, who won the Penampang Parliament seat, told reporters this at his residence here:
"I think this is where we must play our part and try to see, as the Prime Minister has promised in the BN manifesto that no race will be sidelined from the mainstream of development," he said. The Upko President who gambled his political future when he moved from his Ranau safe seat to the Kadazan heartland of Penampang was savouring victory like never before Saturday night.
Not only did his gamble - which even his closest aides had been uneasy about - pay off but Upko, which contested six State and four Parliament seats romped home, registering a clean sweep for the Barisan Nasional.
Topping the icing on the cake for Dompok was that the party also managed to win the Kuala Penyu State seat, albeit by a slim majority, which it had lost to an Independent in the 2004 elections.
"A win by any majority is just as good. I think the voters listened to all the pledges made by BN. And we are here to ensure what have been pledged by the BN manifesto is carried out and I think we will participate fully in all the debates and the implementation of what had been promised by the Prime Minister," he said.
His victory also heralded a homecoming of sorts after serving for the last two terms as the MP for Ranau to which he moved after losing the Moyog State seat in 1999 while he was still Chief Minister under the then rotation system.
"A lot of people, including some of my friends in Ranau, asked me to stay back because of the fear that there is a movement in urban and sub-urban areas against the BN Government," he said.
"But I thought this is where I want our leadership to be tested. I am happy we have won in this constituency and able to represent the people in all the work the BN government would like to do for the people in Sabah," he added.
"In fact there has been a big swing against the BN Government in the Chinese and Kadazandusun areas. And of course Penampang is really almost part of Kota Kinabalu. So you can expect a swing against it but we have stood firmly," he said.
"I hope to sit down with the people here, in order to sort out what is the best for the people in this constituency."
He assured that all the Upko elected representatives will work hard for the people in their respective constituency.
Besides Dompok the party secured MP seats through Datuk Wilfred Bumburing (Tuaran), Datuk Dr Marcus Mojigoh (Putatan) and Datuk Siringan Gubat (Ranau). The State seats were won by Donald Mojuntin (Moyog), Justin Guka (Bingkor), John Teo (Kuala Penyu), Masiung bin Banah (Kuamut), Datuk Bobbey Suan (Nabawan), Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin (Paginatan). - cccccDAILY EXPRESS

GENERAL ELECTION - TOK MUN

HERE's a closing(?) story of that super granny. 685 people voted for her... I thought that's an achievement considering many of the winners have less majorities in their victories. Wish her all the best.

Monday March 10, 2008
Tok Mun wants another shot
KUALA TERENGGANU: Maimun Yusof, 89, the oldest candidate in the 12th general election, will not be deterred from contesting again despite losing her deposit.
Tok Mun, as the grandmother is fondly called, said if her health permitted, she would contest to voice out matters that she felt had to be put right.
“If I have enough money and meet all regulations, I will try again,” she said.
Maimun lost her deposit in the contest for the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary seat, polling
only 685 votes in a three-cornered fight.
The seat was won by Barisan Nasional’s Datuk Razali Ismail, who garnered 32,562 votes over PAS vice-president Mohamad Sabu’s 31,934. - THE STAR

Friday, 7 March 2008

GENERAL ELECTION - SUPER GRANNY

HEY, finally a story about that super granny. Who says we cannot teach an old person new tricks? As I said in my previous posting about Maimun Yusuf, if what she is doing is not determination, I don't know what is. All the best to her!
Friday March 7, 2008
Grandma on Facebook and has her own blog
By PAUL CHOO
KUALA TERENGGANU: Maimun Yusuf, the oldest candidate in the general election, has gone “hip” – she has her own Facebook networking profile, a Gmail account, and even her own blog.
Her fresh approach to wooing voters has raised eyebrows in the political scene here, even putting to shame the younger candidates.
The 89-year-old Maimun admitted that everything was new to her, but felt blessed that three good samaritans, all complete strangers, lent a helping hand in making her a star in cyberspace.
On Nomination Day, the grandmother of seven had told pressmen that she would need help, and would accept any form of divine intervention.

Getting help: Maimun being briefed by Ong (left) and Gobi about her posters at her house at Gong Gemia in Kuala Terengganu yesterday as Sim (right) looks on.

“These three men helping me now are definitely angels.
“Saya rasa seronok! (I feel good),” squealed the kain songket trader who is contesting the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary seat.
Tok Mun, as she is fondly known, said she felt intimidated when a large black SUV drove up to her dilapidated kampung house in Gong Gemia here on Wednesday.
Little did she expect 24-year-old Brian Ong, owner of an education consulting firm in Shanghai, to greet her.
Ong, who was accompanied by his two friends M. Gobi, 30, and Sim, 32, (as he wanted to be known), confessed that he was initially worried if Tok Mun would accept his help.
“We got word of Tok Mun when we saw her in the papers and well, we just wanted to help.
“Finding her house was a bit of an adventure though,” said Ong, who lives in Selangor.
The trio got straight to work, creating a blog (maimunbintiyusuf.blogspot.com), a facebook profile and even an e-mail account (maimunbintiyusuf@gmail.com) for her.
“It’s quite the eleventh hour, but we all had various commitments and couldn’t come earlier.
“We truly just want to help her because she is fighting for a good cause,” said Ong. - THE STAR

Thursday, 6 March 2008

GENERAL ELECTION - SMILES


MY boss, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok who is contesting for P 174 Penampang, and Donald Peter Mojuntin (State seat N 20 Moyog) went to visit the open market in Donggongon, Penampang today.
They met people from all walks of life including this elderly lady who claimed to have been selling vegetables there since time immorial.
When my boss asked her, when was the last time she voted, she said calmly:
"I can't remember. I also don't remember who I voted for."
A consolation for my boss, may be. She is registered to vote elsewhere, not in Penampang.
I envy her though.
Wish I could live a long life, like her.
Was told that she is at least 70 years old.
But then again, she could not remember her age....

GENERAL ELECTION - GOOD FEELING

TODAY is the second last day for campaigning.
I accompanied my boss to Kuala Penyu, a place 122km from Kota Kinabalu.
We had to use a ferry to get across one of the rivers
So I took the opportunity to immortalise the experience
But since somebody else took the picture
The ferry itself was not too evident
At least my face is
Together with my boss entourage
Especially his security people seen here with me
My feeling about the election?
Good feeling actually
That Barisan Nasional through my boss party Upko
Will win in four Parliamentary and six State Assembly seats
We'll see.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

GENERAL ELECTION - NO INK

I WAS actually excited thinking about getting a free nail polish. Then the EC made a turn around. So no ink. No new experience...

Ink washout
BY RAPHAEL WONG
PUTRAJAYA: The use of indelible ink on polling day has been scrapped after police received reports of a plan to “sabotage” the election process in Perlis, Kedah and Kelantan.
Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman said police investigations revealed that people had smuggled the ink in and had planned to go to rural and remote areas to trick village folk into believing that their fingernails had to be marked before they can go to vote.
“They are out to create confusion and suspicion by persuading those not familiar with the procedure to have the ink applied (to a voter’s forefinger or nail) before polling day.
“The EC views these issues seriously as the election process and public order and security cannot be compromised,” he said during a press conference here yesterday.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan and Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail were also present.
The use of indelible ink was first proposed last June to safeguard against multiple or phantom voting. Abdul Rashid then said the system would be subject to amendments to the Election (Conduct of Election) Regulation 1981.
Police yesterday said they were investigating four reports of the sabotage plan – two from Perlis and one each from Kedah and Kelantan – and have classified the cases as attempted cheating.
Abdul Rashid said the EC deeply regretted its decision but was obliged to make a firm and final decision yesterday to ensure the smooth conduct of the polls.
He denied that political pressure had been exerted on the EC to cancel the use of the ink
When asked whether a proper study was done before introducing the ink, Abdul Rashid said a study was done on how it was used in other countries.
“In the beginning, we thought it was just an ordinary process that we could just introduce but then we realised, after getting all the necessary advice from the legal experts, that we would have to take a look at the (Federal) Constitution,” he said.
He added that the EC had to examine the other laws and regulations first.
He said Article 119 of the Federal Constitution guaranteed the right of a registered elector to vote and laws providing otherwise should be ultra vires the Constitution.
Abdul Rashid said he was disappointed as he had wanted to continue with the use of the indelible ink.
“There are many things that need to be done which we cannot do.
So do not accuse the EC of not doing anything.
“We know that there is no cheating but still people insist it exists. I have never found any proof of this,” he said.
Abdul Rashid said the EC would be informing the political parties accordingly and urged them to accept the decision with an open heart and mind.
Abdul Gani said for the ink to be used, amendments must be made to Article 119 of the Federal Constitution, which protected a person’s right to vote, as well as provisions relating to the Election Act and the regulations relating to the conduct of the elections. - THE STAR

Monday, 3 March 2008

ME - ONE DAY AT A TIME

THIS general election is very stressful. So when I opened my email this morning, I saw an email from one of my friends. It somewhat cools me down. Happy reading one and all. Let us face each day, one day at a time.

The Daffodil Principle


Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, "Mother, you must come to see the daffodils before they are over.''

I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead
.
"I will come next Tuesday
", I promised a little reluctantly on her third call.

Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and reluctantly I drove there.
When I finally walked into Carolyn's house
, I was welcomed by the joyful sounds of happy children. I delightedly hugged and greeted my grandchildren.c
"Forget the daffodils, Carolyn!
The road is invisible in these clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to see badly enough to drive another inch!"

My daughter smiled calmly and said, " We drive in this all the time, Mother."


"W ell, you won't get me back on the road until it clears, and then I'm heading for home!" I assured her.

"But first we're going to see the daffodils. It's just a few blocks," Carolyn said. "I'll drive. I'm used to this."

"Carolyn," I said sternly, "Please turn around."


"It's all right, Mother, I promise. You will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience."


After about twenty minutes, we turned onto a small gravel road and I saw a small church. On the far side of the church, I saw a hand lettered sign with an arrow that read, "Daffodil Garden."

W e got out of the car, each took a child's hand, and I followed Carolyn down the path. Then, as we turned a corner, I looked up and gasped. Before me lay the most glorious sight.

It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it over the mountain peak and its surrounding slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns, great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, creamy white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, saffron and butter yellow. Each different-colored variety was planted in large groups so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue. There were five acres of flowers.c

"Who did this?" I asked Carolyn.


"Just one woman," Carolyn answered. "She lives on the property. That's her home." Carolyn pointed to a well-kept A-frame house, small and modestly sitting in the midst of all that glory. W e walked up to the house.

On the patio, we saw a poster. "Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking", was the headline.

The first answer was a simple one. "50,000 bulbs," it read.

The second answer was, "One at a time, by one woman. Two hands, two feet, and one brain."

The third answer was, "Began in 1958."

For me, that moment was a life-changing experience. I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more than forty years before, had begun, one bulb at a time, to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountaintop. Planting one bulb at a time, year after year, this unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived.

One day at a time, she had created something of extraordinary magnificence, beauty, and inspiration. The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration.

That is, learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time, often just one baby-step at a time and learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time. When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world …

"It makes me sad in a way," I admitted to Carolyn. " What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal thirty five or forty years ago and had worked away at it 'one bulb at a time' through all those years? "Just think what I might have been able to achieve!"

My daughter summed up the message of the day in her usual direct way. "Start tomorrow," she said.

She was right. It's so pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterdays. The way to make learning a lesson of celebration instead of a cause for regret is to only ask, "How can I put this to use today?"

Use the Daffodil Principle. Stop waiting.....

Until your car or home is paid off
Until you get a new car or home
Until your kids leave the house
Until you go back to school
Until you finish school
Until you clean the house
Until you organize the garage
Until you clean off your desk
Until you lose 10 lbs.
Until you gain 10 lbs.
Until you get married
Until you get a divorce
Until you have kids
Until the kids go to school
Until you retire
Until summer
Until spring
Until winter
Until fall
Until you die...


There is no better time than right now to be happy. Happiness is a journey, not a destination. So work like you don't need money. Love like you've never been hurt, and dance like no one's watching.

Wishing you a beautiful, daffodil day!
Don't be afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

GENERAL ELECTION - TRUE LEADER

Bumburing is my uncle in law. Madius is my friend. Both are Upko leaders. I take my hat off to Madius. Like him, I hope Tuaran folks will support Bumburing. Politics. The art of the impossible.

Support Bumburing, Tangau urges Tuaran folks
Tuaran, Sunday, March 2: United Pasok Momogun, Kadazandusun and Murut Organisation (Upko) Secretary-General, Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau, called on the people to rally behind the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Datuk Wilfred Bumburing for the Tuaran Parliamentary seat in the March 8 election.
He said it was pointless to vote for the opposition as it could not bring development to the people in the constituency.
Wilfred, who did not seek re-election to make way for the Upko Deputy President, said the BN government, on the other hand, had brought about rapid development in Tuaran.
"I believe the people want continuity in terms of development, especially on infrastructure. That's why the BN government should be retained for the good of everybody," he said here Saturday.
Asked on the BN chances of retaining the parliamentary seat, Wilfred, who is the director of operations for the Tuaran parliamentary seat, said it was "very good".
Bumburing, who is a former State Cabinet Minister, is involved in a three-cornered fight against Sabah Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) chief Ansari Abdullah and an independent candidate, Ajin @ Hazin Gagah. In the 2004 election, Wilfred won the seat with a majority of 9,167 votes.
He said the level of cooperation among the BN component parties was good and hoped it would help Bumburing secure a thumping victory.
Asked on the progress of the BN campaign, Wilfred said the first phase was a little bit shaky after the nomination because the incumbent had to make way for the new candidate.
"That was a small problem that we had faced. But now we have settled down, and we are in the process of checking all feedback including issues raised by the opposition.
Wilfred hoped the voters in Tuaran would come out in full force on polling day and vote the BN for the common good.-Bernama

Saturday, 1 March 2008

GENERAL ELECTION - CHURCH IN POLITICS?

AM back. Briefly. I stumbled upon this article. Food for thoughts. Happy reading.

Malaysian churches enter untested waters, encourage political debate

Posted by Raja Petra Friday, 29 February 2008

http://www.malaysia-today.net/2008/content/view/3578/84/

Malaysian churches are opening their doors to politicians from both camps in an unprecedented way as they strive to explore their political voice, perhaps for the first time in Malaysian history.

Traditionally apolitical here, the churches have so far generally still stopped short of endorsing any party or camp, perhaps for fear of being perceived as seeking to be a political power block in this religiously sensitive country.

But they are encouraging political debate, which itself is unusual.

For example, at the Loyola Hall at Saint Francis Xavier Church in Petaling Jaya, 300 parishioners gathered a couple of nights ago to hear the incumbent Gerakan state assemblyman for Bukit Gasing Dr Lim Thuang Seng and another Barisan National representative face off with Mr Edward Lee from the Opposition DAP.

The toughest words came from the floor when the panellists took questions.

Many issues were brought up, most of them reflecting secular concerns, from overpriced land assessment fees and concern over corruption and other rising criminal activities to oil subsidies and the brain drain from Malaysia .

The parishioners did not mince their words when it came to sharing their opinions.

“In the last five years, I find that my religious and fundamental rights have been encroached and eroded. Are you recommending that I vote for Barisan Nasional so that my rights can be further eroded over the next five years?” asked a Chinese man in his 30s, stumping the two Barisan Nasional representatives.

The highlight of the evening remained a rather more secular concern from Mr Victor Oorjitham, Maxwell Towers PA chairman, who requested the two BN men to make a pledge "to support that no development on Bukit Gasing takes place".

Mr Oorjitham has been campaigning for the past three years to preserve the green lung.

He received a standing ovation.

Despite the tide against him, Datuk Dr Lim was firm: "I'm not going to sign this pledge... because I don't want to make empty promises. God has put me here to serve you, and serve you well.”

Another parishioner Mr Martin, 57, declared himself unconvinced.

“Pretty much what I expected. The incumbent politicians will never give direct answers and the Opposition will always give promises. I have already decided whom I will vote for. The talk didn't change my mind. I hope to deny the ruling govt the two-thirds majority. It's a wake up call – time for change,’’ Martin told The Malaysian Insider.

Driving the churches to discover even a limited political role in encouraging such debate is a widespread sense of disillusionment over the way the Government has managed religious interests in past years, say analysts and political observers.

The response at a higher level is mild, but still clear.

The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism issued a statement this week asking their followers to pray for candidates that live up to common religious values and who strive for greater national unity.

On the ground, there appears to be tide of desire to register a point.

But one long-time political observer, who requested anonymity, pointed out that this could backfire as the demographics were against the church – Christians make up fewer than 10% of the population.

“Any move that is perceived as building a power block will draw a negative reaction from the Muslim majority so they will have to think through what they’re doing,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

A noted political commentator Professor Shamsul Amri Baharuddin echoes that view, saying that if the largely urban non-Muslim population choose to sent a negative signal to the ruling Barisan National, it could lead to polarisation of the Malaysian electorate. “On the one hand, a predominantly Malay rural population will support BN and a growing urban non-Muslim population will support the Opposition. This cannot be good for the country.’’

But he adds he still believes the emotion that is driving some of the anti-establishment feeling will be replaced by reason and pragmatism by March 8, polling day.

“The defining question is whether non-Muslims believe that a vote for the Opposition will bring a solution to all their concerns. Deep down they know the answer is no.’’ - THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER