HERE WITH YOU
FOKUS BERANI IKHLAS



Tuesday, 15 December 2009

KINABALU GUINNESS

I HAVE always been fascinated with Mount Kinabalu, the highest peak in the South East Asia region. The picture below is but one of those I really appreciate. It is taken during sunset and it lasted for only a couple of seconds at the most. After getting its World Heritage status some years back, now it entered into the Guinness book. I hope the government will do its utmost best to preserve it. To my people, Kinabalu is sacred. After all, legends have it that our souls will eventually go up Mount Kinabalu. Home of my soul...

KINABALU IN GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s Mount Kinabalu has made it into the Guinness World Records after being certified as having the world’s highest via ferrata or “mountain top trail.”

On Tuesday, Sabah Parks deputy director Dr Jamili Nais was presented with the Guinness World Record certificate by Mountain Torq Sdn Bhd, the company that established the via ferrata trail on Mount Kinabalu.

The Guinness certificate was presented by Mountain Torq executive director Wilfred Tok and witnessed by Sabah Tourism chairman Datuk Tengku Zainal Adlin Tengku Mansor.

Mountain Torq sales and marketing director Quek I-Gek said the highest of Mount Kinabalu’s “via ferrata” or “iron road” in Italian was at an altitude of 3,776m, nearly 500m higher than the second highest track at the Dolomites mountain in Italy.

The via ferrata on Mount Kinabalu is a route using a series of steel rungs, rails and cables embedded in the mountain’s Panar Laban rockface.

Spanning some 1.2km, the via ferrata was opened to public use on Dec 15, 2007 and since then more than 5,000 people have gone through the two tracks that include a 22m foot bridge suspended 3,600m above sea level.

Quek said Guinness World Records officials issued the certification of Mount Kinabalu’s via ferrata in July and it came after a six-month effort that included survey work done by the state Land and Survey Department.

She said though there were more than 300 via ferratas worldwide, the route on Mount Kinabalu was the only one in Asia.

Tengku Adlin said the Guinness certification would further establish Sabah among travellers especially those keen on adventure and eco-tourism.

“We are proud of the fact that Mount Kinabalu was Malaysia’s first World Heritage site.

“Now Malaysians particularly in Sabah will be proud to identify themselves with a Guinness World Record,” he added. THE STAR

BUDGET PASSED, BARELY

ITS a pity I was not in Parliament when this happened. This is the kind of events that journalists would die for. I could almost feel the excitement during those frantic moments. News reports aside, this can only be good for everybody, the BN and PR included. Check and balance. Let us all do what is good for the country. In our own ways... but please do not step on my toes too much...

BN 66-63 PR ON BUDGET 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 15 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s debut Budget 2010 was nearly scuttled by the Pakatan Rakyat late last night when it barely got through by a 66-63 vote margin at the third reading in the Dewan Rakyat.

Najib and Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat saved Barisan Nasional the blushes when they turned up to tilt support to the ruling coalition which lost its customary two-third parliamentary majority in Election 2008.

It is understood that this is the first time that the national budget was approved with such a narrow margin, where a rejection would have a negative implication for the Barisan Nasional government which has been in power since independence in 1957 when it was called the Alliance.

Parliamentary democracy practices consider a rejected budget as a no-confidence move towards a sitting government and indirectly opens the way for the formation of a new government. MORE

Friday, 11 December 2009

DEVELOPED SABAH

GOAL. There is nothing wrong with setting up goal. It will at least helps people to have focus in life, in their day-to-day routines. Like me. I wanted to read law. And am still interested. But the likelihood of me becoming a laywer? Sabah the most developed. Kudos to the Chief Minister. He can count on my support. Of course, it is easier said than done. But we can. Seriously, we can be the best...all we need is tonnes of money, unwavering commitment, unity though in diversity, political will, hard work, vision, honesty and focus, among others. 1Malaysia. That's the recipe. On paper....

SABAH TO BE THE MOST DEVELOPED STATE IN SIX YEARS TIME

The Sabah assembly this week passed its biggest ever budget that speaks of one man’s obsession with wanting the best for his people: Chief minister Musa Aman wants his resource-rich east Malaysian north Borneo island state to be the most developed by 2015. That is six years from now. By then many of his 3.5 million people are expected to be high income earners. So, he isn’t going to waste time debating the merits of his 3.3 billion-ringgit ($970.6m) financial plan. MORE

Thursday, 10 December 2009

TIGER WOODS

BEHIND a man's success is a woman. Or women. My two cents: We are all human. And that is a blessing. But it can very easily becomes a curse. No, it is not something that is "fated". We are free to do as we like. And therein lies the problem. But why live in the past which we cannot undo anyway? I remember reading somewhere: Saints are sinners who keep on trying to be good. Prayer may help...

TIGER WOODS FACTOR - THE BAD AND THE GOOD

"Tiger's presence at a golf tournament and being on the leader board generates significantly increased ratings," said Neal Pilson of consulting firm Pilson Communications and former president of CBS Sports. "When deals are negotiated, the fact Tiger is a member of the tour influences what networks pay."

After the accident, Woods missed a tournament in California he had hosted for the past nine years and he has not discussed when he will return to play.

The business environment was already tough for the PGA Tour as it suffered losses of corporate sponsors over the past year. While this year's numbers are not final, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem has said charitable donations raised at tournaments — a reflection of the sport's revenue — are expected to be down from 2008's record US$124 million (RM421 million), due to the recession.

For many fans, Woods is golf. Almost single-handedly, he has ushered in an era of multimillion-dollar endorsements and lucrative appearance money since turning professional in 1996.

His background and spotless reputation spread golf to millions of new fans, and he became among the world's most marketable athletes. Product endorsements made him, perhaps, the world's richest athlete, with assets estimated at US$1 billion. MORE

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

ITS THE ECONOMY

AM trying to learn, more and more, about the economy. And it is not easy (to this old mind, non-economic head). But it is fascinating. This post is but a reaction, I think, from the government to counter the economic downturn which I read somewhere is on the brink of recovery. I also read somewhere, this seemingly famous catch phrase: It's the economy, stupid....

FURTHER ECONOMIC REFORM IN THE PIPELINE

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 2 — The country will undertake further economic reforms aimed at boosting investment and growth after spending a decade “stagnating” in the wake of the 1998 Asian financial crisis, a top finance official said yesterday.

Malaysia, which has lost ground to neighbours such as Indonesia in the race for foreign investment, needs to rebuild confidence by providing the highest standards of governance, Second Finance Minister Husni Ahmad Hanadzlah told a business conference.

“Our private investment is now half of what it was since (before) the Asian crisis while both manufacturing and service sectors have become less capital intensive,” Husni said.

Ministers rarely criticise the country's economic performance, preferring instead to tout its rejection of advice and money from the International Monetary Fund in 1998 as a role model during the current global economic turmoil.

The most recent Transparency International corruption index saw Malaysia slide nine places to 57th place, and the government has also been hit by a multi-billion ringgit corruption scandal over the construction of a free trade zone in the country's biggest port, an issue that has hurt bondholders.

Malaysia recorded its first net portfolio inflows of RM8.8 billion in the third quarter of 2009 after five consecutive quarters of outflows of portfolio investment totalling RM114.4 billion.

In a bid to revive growth, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak recently introduced economic reforms which included reducing requirements that Malays own 30 per cent of listed companies and opening up financial services.

While the reforms, aimed at enabling Malaysia to compete with fast-growing regional powers such as China and India, have been welcomed, few people have committed new money.

“Real execution remains key,” investment bank Morgan Stanley said in a report issued on Monday after a visit to Malaysia.

Husni hinted that more reforms could come to end protection for the majority Malay population, a potentially politically unpopular move from a government that is still licking its wounds after heavy election losses last year.

“The long-term success of the nation's economy must take precedence over the short-term interests of a few protected groups,” he said.

In some parts of the economy, such as the automotive sector and government procurement, Malays are given preferential treatment for contracts and ownership, a measure that some have criticised for fostering corruption and wasting money.

Husni also touched on possible reforms to massive government-linked companies (GLCs) which make up half of the top 30 companies listed on Bursa Malaysia and whose low levels of free float have caused investors to shun Malaysia's stock market.

“There is a widespread perception that due to the substantial role of GLCs in the marketplace, the true entrepreneur-run private sector, believes he is crowded out,” Husni said.

Husni also said that Malaysia's economy is likely to grow by 5 per cent in 2010, more than official government forecasts of 2-3 per cent.

“We have identified several projects in the pipeline and we will bring them forward for implementation in the first quarter next year,” he said. “We are reasonably confident that a target of 5 per cent (growth) is achievable.”

The government has forecast that Asia's third most trade-dependent country, relative to the size of its economy, will contract by 3 per cent this year before returning to growth in 2010.

Recent data showed that the country's economy shrank far less than expected in the third quarter of this year as the government's fiscal pump priming boosted domestic demand.

Malaysia has to deal with the budget hangover from pump priming measures totalling RM67 billion, and its deficit this year will hit a more-than-20-year high of 7.4 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).

The government plans to reduce the deficit to 5.6 per cent of GDP in 2010, in part by reducing generous fuel subsidy payouts.

Husni said yesterday that a new system of fuel subsidies would be introduced in May 2010 and that annual savings of RM2 billion would be achieved.

Under its 2010 budget plans, total subsidies for fuel and food are targeted to fall by 14.7 per cent to RM20.9 billion.

As well as reducing subsidies, the government will introduce a value added tax in about two years in an effort to diversify its tax base away from its reliance on state oil company Petronas, which currently accounts for nearly half of government revenue. — Reuters

Friday, 27 November 2009

THURSDAYS WITH..

BUDDY: Am I glad that you came back in one piece.
MINNIE: Feeling is the same here.
EEBOT: Thanks. Well, actually, it was not as dangerous as it was made out to be. It was a real adventure, no doubt.
BUDDY: Well, what I heard was such that the wave was quite high considering you were on board a small boat. And overloaded as well.
MINNIE: I was puzzled. How come a dam be getting waves? It is a dam isn't it?
EEBOT: I am not sure how big the Sarawak's Batang Ai Dam is. I know it is several times bigger than our Babagon Dam. It was pouring like nobody's business, the wind blowing and the authorities opened the gates. What really hampered us were the overloaded boat, I think.
BUDDY: I heard the boat was half filled with water....
E
EBOT: No, nothing of that sort. We were going against the current, naturally, we were all wet and since the wind was against us, the boatman decided to go to the nearest shore. To cut the long story short, the 25-minute journey was completed only after an hour later.
BUDDY: I cannot imagine how I would feel or react had you been involved in a worst incident.
MINNIE: Me too...
EEBOT: Hey you two, don't get emotional now. Am alright, what.
BUDDY: This time, the coffee is on me. Only the coffee... :-)

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

FLYING FEAR

I WAS laughing when I read this story. But, then again, I kind of understand the monk feeling. I travel often, twice a week, and I would be lying if I say I never thought about doing such thing myself. Not to worry though, because am not as scared as the monk. Not yet, at least...

MONK OPENS PLANE'S EMERGENCY EXIT

NEW DELHI: A Buddhist monk who opened the emergency exit of an airplane just before take off because he wanted some fresh air forced the plane to delay its flight for almost seven hours at Kolkata airport on Monday morning.

As result of his action, the airport authorities evacuated all the passengers onboard and grounded the plane for nearly seven hours until all the safety drills were completed.

The Hindu newspaper reported that the bizarre incident happened on Air India’s flight IC-727 that was heading to Yangon with 135 passengers on board.

The monk from Myanmar, a 45-year-old Waza Thunga, believed to be a second time flier, was feeling claustrophobic inside the plane, which was still on the runway, and decided to open the emergency exit next to his seat after browsing the plane’s safety manual.

"As soon as he pulled the safety clutch, the emergency window opened and the emergency bells rang.

"The occurrence of such a situation is rare but what can you do to prevent such a thing? How can we control it if a passenger sets off an alarm by mistake?" the airline’s spokesman Pulok Mukherjee told the newspaper.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

THURSDAYS WITH...

MINNIE: I think we, Malaysians, or rather 1Malaysia as they say it now, are lucky to be in a country which is relatively peaceful and equipped with the basic infrastructure.
BUDDY: I agree with you to a certain extent. We are in deed better off than our neighbours. But it does not mean we now have what is our due.
MINNIE: Our roads are acceptable, we have schools, universities, hospitals, industrial and agricultural development and the likes. We should be happy.
EEBOT: That is the magic words, Minnie. We should be happy. Are we happy?
BUDDY: You mean, am I happy like Buddy. But what happiness are you referring to, my friend?
EEBOT: Let me answer it this way. We are hungry. Therefore we eat whatever is available at that moment in time, and it is maggie noodle. Our stomach is full. We are happy, right?
MINNIE: Yes, we should be happy because we are not hungry anymore.
BUDDY: Roger that, Minnie.
EEBOT: But what happen if I were to say that while maggie is served, actually, there is also a full set of meal readily available? Should we be happy with just eating instant noodle?
MINNIE: Well, I like noodle soup.
BUDDY: Coffee will complete the meal, whether it's noodle or a full meal.
EEBOT: Should we be stuck with coffee or we should now progress and take expresso or capucino instead?
BUDDY: Stick to coffee -lah
MINNIE: But... but....

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

OIL IS STATES' RIGHT

OIL and gas. Is not this a favourite topic, especially during elections? Sabah, Sarawak and Terengganu should get more than the five percent royalty accorded to them by Petronas. This latest statement, from a seasoned politician, may not count for anything, but am sure it will provoke some thinking at least at the kedai kopi... am one who is very hopeful of the slogan 1Malaysia... bla bla bla.

KU LI: ALL STATES HAVE A RIGHT TO OIL ROYALTY

(The Star) - Former Finance Minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has weighed in on the oil royalty debate, saying that all oil-producing states including Kelantan had a right to oil royalty.

Razaleigh’s view clearly opposed that of Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, who had insisted on Tuesday that Kelantan had no right to ask for oil royalty as no petroleum was produced in the state’s waters within three nautical miles of the coastal line.

“It is a constitutional right of the people, whether is it found on shore or off shore. I think the agreement that was signed between the states and Petronas assures that the states where oil is found, whether on shore or off shore, will benefit from such a find,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby on Wednesday.

The Federal Government had labelled the oil payout to Kelantan as a “goodwill payment,” which the Opposition objected to, saying that money was a right and not a goodwill payment.

“There is no such thing as wang ehsan (goodwill payment) because oil is the right of the people and it’s not for the Federal Government to distribute as a largess.

“The Government can distribute such funds from the revenue collected from taxes and that is its prerogative; but when it comes to this, it is the right of the people.

“That’s why I feel inclined to say my piece because I was involved from the beginning and I know the intention of why we had the agreement with the states,” he said.

Razaleigh, who was Finance Minister and Petronas chairman when the Petroleum Development Act 1974 came into force, held a short discussion with Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, PAS vice-president Salahuddin Ayub, PKR strategic director Tian Chua and election director Saifuddin Nasution on the issue at the MPs’ lounge.

Razaleigh said they wanted to form a caucus on the matter and wanted him to lead it, to which he said he would consider it.

”I will be following the development to see if I can contribute, because after all I was involved in the oil business, starting with formation of Petronas and negotiation with the states and the drafting of the laws,” he noted. THE STAR

HATE

HATE. I hate it when we promote bad elements. Why can't we concentrate on doing what is good? Is not life precious? So why manipulate things, at the expense of others' happiness, just so that we can have our ways? C'mon man. Whether the lawmakers claim is right or wrong, that's besides the point. Life is too short to be lived in hate.....

YOUNG LAWMAKERS SLAM BTN PROGRAMME
SHAH ALAM, Nov 18 — A group of young Pakatan Pakyat (PR) elected representatives urged the Selangor government today to stop allowing students to be sent for what they called “brainwashing propaganda” programmes conducted by Biro Tata Negara (BTN) under the Prime Minister’s Department.

According to the group of seven PR lawmakers, BTN courses — compulsory for local university students and civil servants — taught students to hate and was contrary to its original purpose as well as the Constitution.

Speaking from his own experience as a student made to attend BTN, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said they were taught that PKR members were Jewish agents, that DAP was a Singaporean Party, while PAS was labelled a deviant movement.

“There is no room for debate, and there were Chinese students in attendance during one of the programmes and I can only imagine the fear they would have felt,” said the Seri Setia assemblyman.

Teratai lawmaker Jenice Lee questioned why BTN programmes are being held in secrecy and called for the “brainwashing” to stop.

“If they have nothing to hide they should open up the programmes so the public can see for themselves.”

PKR’s Amirudin Shari said they were aware that BTN courses taught those who attended that PR were enemies of the state or foreign agents.

“From the feedback we received from those who attended BTN, a big part of the programme has nothing to do with nation building or education but is an Umno and BN race-based programme,” said the Batu Caves lawmaker.

“Participants are indoctrinated with propaganda about ‘Ketuanan Melayu’ and outside threats. There is no room to challenge what’s being said.”

He said they will urge the state government to stop sending students from Selangor-owned institutions of higher learning, including Universiti Industri Selangor (Unisel), Kolej Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Selangor and Inpens Selangor, from attending BTN. THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER

Monday, 9 November 2009

WE IN ARENA

UPDATED: THE FULL SPEECH HERE

NAJIB RESPONSE HERE

IT IS not the critic who counts,

not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled,

or where the doer of deeds could have done better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena;

whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood;

who strives valiantly;

who errs and comes short again and again;

who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause;

who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement,

and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly;

so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.

YAB, we are with you in the arena.


(THIS is a poem, attributed to Theodore Roosevelt, the American President from

1901-1909, that was quoted by my boss, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, to conclude his

welcoming speech at the Upko National Convention 2009 which was officiated

by Prime Minister, Dato Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak in Sabah Cultural Centre, Penampang, on Sunday, 8 November 2009.

The more than 4,000 people received the poem, and the speech as a whole

very very well. Am sure, Upko will continue to sing this line for a long

time to come.... I pray, in the arena)


Thursday, 5 November 2009

THURSDAYS WITH...

EEBOT: Waiting is very tiring.
BUDDY: I agree. I very agree.
MINNIE: For once I agree with you, Buddy.
BUDDY: Well, actually you have been very supportive dear Minnie.
It is not as if I did not noticed your goodness. And I appreciate it, you know.
MINNIE: Hey, what are you up to? You want an extra coffee?
EEBOT: Waiting is very tiring. But ....
BUDDY: Wait, wait, wait.....
@#$%&*####@

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

WHY WHY WHY

I THOUGHT we Malaysians, or rather 1Malaysians, had matured beyond doing silly things like what the CFM was referring to here. I remember a saying, if one cannot be trusted in small things, what more on bigger thing.... or something like that. Then I remember another saying, this is akin to the pain of growing up. Yes. And No. We should do only what is right. This does not mean we are always right. But at least we try....


CHRISTIAN FEDERATION OF MALAYSIA

(PERSEKUTUAN KRISTIAN MALAYSIA)

Address: 10, Jalan 11/9 Sec. 11, 46200 Petaling Jaya,

Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

Telephone: (03) 7957 1278, (03) 7957 1463, Fax: (03) 7957 1457

Email: cfmsia@yahoo.co.uk

CFM media statement on 15,000 Bahasa Malaysia Bibles held by authorities

CFM CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF 15,000 BIBLES

The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) calls for the immediate release of the 15,000 Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia currently being withheld by the authorities.

To withhold the use of the Bahasa Malaysia Bibles is an infringement of Article 11 of the Federal Constitution which gives every Malaysian the right to profess his/ her faith as well as to practice it.

This constitutional right is rendered illusory if Christians in Malaysia are denied access to Bibles in a language with which they are familiar.

This action of withholding the Bahasa Malaysia Bibles deprives Christians in Sabah, Sarawak , and in Semenanjung, a large majority of whom use Bahasa Malaysia, the right to use the Holy Scriptures in Bahasa Malaysia, to practice and profess their faith and, to nourish themselves spiritually.

It is baseless to withhold the Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia on the ground that they are “prejudicial to public order”. Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia have been used since before the independence of our country and has never been the cause of any public disorder.

Since the 1970s and in consonance with the government’s policies in education and the national language, Christians in Malaysia have received their education in Bahasa Malaysia. To deny the same Christians in Malaysia the right to read and study the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia is thus ridiculous and offensive. In fact, it is this action by the authorities themselves which is an affront to good public order.

We call on the relevant government officials who have neither the authority nor the right to act in this unconscionable manner to explain their action to the church leaders and to the public.

Church leaders and the Executive Committee of the CFM in “An Affirmation to the Churches in Malaysia” (6-8 Sept 1989, the Kuching consultation) and then later in “A Declaration to Churches in Malaysia” (30 January 2008) have stood on their commitment to Bahasa Malaysia as our national language and have used and continue to use Bahasa Malaysia in the life and witness of our Churches and Christian organizations.

The government and CFM have exchanged letters on this matter previously and we have a written agreement in December 2005 that Bahasa Malaysia Bibles can be distributed so long as the symbol of the cross and the words “A Christian publication” are printed on the front page.

We call on the government to walk the talk of its 1Malaysia policy and vision and not to curtail or impose conditions on the freedom of citizens to worship, pray and read the Holy Scriptures in Bahasa Malaysia. How can the first pillar of the Rukunegara i.e. Belief In God, be made a living reality in the lives of Malaysians if the government imposes restrictions and conditions on the constitutional and fundamental right of citizens to freedom of religion?

We ask that the relevant authorities resolve this matter promptly and release these Bibles for the use of Christians without any further delay or excuse.

signed

__________________

Bishop Ng Moon Hing,

Chairman and the Executive Committee,

The Christian Federation of Malaysia

OIL MONEY

I COULD already hear what my friends will point out to me in the context of this posting. But that will make oil and gas talks more interesting. Such goodwill payment or royalty or whatever is due, had hogged the political scene as long as I could remember. Well, in this case, Kelantan will get something. That perhaps is the beginning to better things to come....

KELANTAN TO GET GOODWILL OIL MONEY

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 4 — The Barisan Nasional federal government will pay Kelantan “goodwill payment” for oil extracted in its waters but PAS lawmakers are disputing it, saying it is akin to receiving alms instead of rightful oil royalty.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak told Parliament that Kelantan has no right to claim for royalties from national oil company Petronas since oil was extracted beyond the state’s waters, similar to the situation in Terengganu

“We have decided to give goodwill payment to Kelantan. This decision is made considering the need to develop Kelantan in line with the federal development programme,” he told the Dewan Rakyat, adding that the state will be receiving the allocation beginning next year.

But Najib’s statement immediately sparked an uproar, with Kubang Kerian MP Salahuddin Ayub saying the Kelantanese are not expecting goodwill payment but what is rightfully theirs.

“So all this while, Terengganu have been receiving goodwill payment and not royalties? Under Section 144 of the National Petroleum Act, Terengganu is receiving royalty and not courtesy payment, so how is this possible?” blasted Salahuddin.

“We are not beggars. We are demanding for what is ours,” the PAS vice-president said.

Najib, visibly annoyed by Salahuddin’s attack gave a smirk and merely replied, “You’re trying to politicise the issue. Tak habis-habis dengan politik (never-ending politics).”

However, the prime minister’s statement contradicts the Statistics Department’s State/District Data Bank which lists Kelantan as one of the four oil and gas producing states. The other three are Sabah, Sarawak and Terengganu.

The federal government has argued that oil and gas extraction activities are located about 150km off Kelantan’s shores and is jointly developed with Thailand, and thus beyond the legal limit of state/national boundaries. Also, the territory is being disputed by Thailand and Malaysia.

At a press conference later, Salahuddin said Najib was deliberately trying to mislead the House with his reply that Kelantan does not have rights to claim for oil royalty.

“Under the Act, it is clearly stated that oil producing states must receive 50 per cent of the revenues and it was clear that Najib lied when he said that Terengganu is receiving goodwill payment and not royalties,” he said.

He added that he will refer the prime minister to the privileges committee for misleading the House.

Meanwhile, Najib told reporters later that the goodwill payment will benefit the Kelantan government.

He also promised that talks about the payment, with the amount dependent on oil production and calculated according to the mechanism used in other oil producing states, will be done with transparency.

Kelantan, ruled by PAS since 1990, began seeking the oil royalty recently although the Cakerawala gas field began production in January 2005.

The entire 7,250-sq-km area in the Gulf of Thailand, in the oil-rich South China Sea, is called the Malaysia-Thailand Joint Development Area (JDA).

The JDA was created as an interim measure to exploit the natural resources in the seabed or continental shelf claimed by the two countries, with the proceeds shared equally.

The arrangement does not extinguish the legal right to claims by both countries over the area. This is one of the first applications of the joint development principle in territorial disputes in the world.

The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on February 21, 1979 in Chiang Mai for joint development and later on May 30, 1990 in Kuala Lumpur to constitute the joint development authority.

As of the end of 2007, approximately 8.5 trillion standard cubic feet of gas reserves (proved and probable) from twenty two fields in the area have been discovered. THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER

Friday, 30 October 2009

THURSDAYS WITH..

MINNIE: My heart goes to the families, relatives and friends of the suspension tragedy victims in Perak a few days ago. I am still shocked despite me knowing about it only through the papers.
EEBOT: I too feel so sad about the tragedy. And also because someone I know well in my village passed away three days ago. She was laid to rest today.
MINNIE: Who is she? Your relative? What did she died of?
BUDDY: Why is it that when somebody passed away, we want to know the how, where, when, what, who of things? Somebody had passed on, that's it.
MINNIE: It is wrong to ask?
EEBOT: Its ok Buddy, Minnie. We are only human. By nature we are inquisitive. Well, she was a very close friend of my late beloved mother. She was a friend, relative, family, all rolled into one. I feel bad I could not pay my last respect. I did whisper a prayer for her, and the family.
MINNIE: Death is a sad topic. Can we talk about something else?
BUDDY: Its you who started it.
MINNIE: What happened to you today, Buddy? So moody?
BUDDY: Am I not always like this?
EEBOT: There are some things in life which we cannot but face them head on. No matter how painful it is, even if it feels it is the end of the world, we just have to move on and live with it. It is easier said than done, though.
BUDDY: Better drink our coffee-lah. At least it is hot, think, black and with a unique aroma....

Thursday, 29 October 2009

PKR CRISIS

THIS is not news. It is old news. But I still post this here, not only because I like the way it is written, but more so because it is not usual for political leaders to admit something is wrong with their party. That is news... and am learning (that is also news?)

AZIZAH: NOT ALL IS WELL WITH PKR

29 Oct 2009: RECENT changes to the leadership in Keadilan have caused confusion and consternation among some. I recognize that not everyone will be pleased with decisions made by the party’s leadership and not everyone will appreciate the difficulty we face in seeking to accommodate all views, including those of the divisions and branches which make up the backbone of the party, while striving to guide our party towards achieving its goals.

As our party grows in number and transforms into a national organization we have struggled at times to identify right strategy and mix of leadership that will carry us to the next level. Along the way we have encountered great challenges and have also uncovered promising new talent. Our task remains a work in progress and the announcements made this week are based on consensus and consultation within the party to work towards a better future.

Keadilan was established with a mission to be a unifying force for Malaysians of all races and religions and restore the integrity of the principles enshrined in the Federal Constitution. This mission carries unprecedented import and its pursuit confronts us with unparalleled challenges.

Over the years many have poured scorn on our aspirations for a brighter future and have derided our belief in an end to racial politics and rampant corruption. And yet we, with our partners in the Pakatan Rakyat, made historic progress towards restoring democracy, freedom and the Rule of Law. We have done so despite a hostile media and the relentless attacks on us by the institutions of the government and the unlimited resources of the UMNO-led BN coalition.

I acknowledge the setbacks that we have faced since the March elections. Political parties are complex organisms and political coalitions are neither crystallized overnight nor even in a fortnight. The frustrations which have been expressed by some colleagues within the party and by some supporters are valid and I remain open to engaging all parties on the principle of mutual respect, understanding and an unrelenting commitment to the principles of justice and fairness.

The future of the nation does not lie in the hands of any one individual nor does our party nor does this coalition. I continue to ask the ongoing faith and patience of the people in supporting the mission of Keadilan and of Pakatan Rakyat.

WAN AZIZAH WAN ISMAIL
President

Parti Keadilan Rakyat

OBAMA NUMBERS

The truth is that when Obama has played it tough, it has usually been in ways almost designed to infuriate the conservatives who call him lily-livered. He fired the CEO of General Motors earlier his year before bailing the company out and, just last week, his administration took extraordinary steps to force banks and lending institutions to scale back previously outrageous pay deals for their executives. Both things were bold and in-your-face. But they also represent severe cases of interfering in the private market, which the right abhors.

Obama knows he is still on probation. In his speech in Hackensack, he asked the crowd "to cast aside the cynics and the sceptics and prove to all Americans that leaders who do what's right and who do what's hard will be rewarded and not rejected". It was meant as an appeal to Jersey voters to show mercy to Corzine and give him back his job. But, with the Nov 3 polls being seen by some as the first verdict on Obama's infant presidency, he might too have been asking for a little understanding for himself. MUCH MORE

OBAMA. Yes, he is the man. Change. Yes, we can. One year on, and that is but an opinion about the Number One in the most powerful nation on earth. And yet, he was named Nobel Prize winner this year. Life indeed, is strange. Let us live it well, to the maximum...

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

SABAH FOREIGNERS

6:1 POPULATION RATIO

KOTA KINABALU: One out of every six people in Sabah is a foreigner.

Disclosing the latest statistics yesterday, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hi­­shammuddin Tun Hussein said foreigners comprised 610,104 of Sabah’s 3.4 million population.

He said the largest number comprised 317,837 undocumented migrant workers and their dependants while 230,000 more are working in the state legally. MORE

MY FIRST reaction when I read this about ten days ago was: Rubbish.
I could be totally wrong. But that was how I felt. And am entitled to how I feel.
Then I saw this ARTICLE and I said: Rubbish. But with more anger.
Real Sabahans will know how cronic the problem is.
And I and Upko will fight this problem as long as it takes...

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

WE PRAY

I FIRST received this piece of information on my handphone early this morning. And my heart cries. I sincerely pray that the affected families will find comfort. I also sincerely hope that those in authorities - in this case teachers - will be extra careful when taking care of our younger generation. We pray...

'PUPILS WERE JUMPING, PLAYING ON BRIDGE'

2009/10/27

KAMPAR, Tues: Between 30 and 50 pupils were on a newly built suspension bridge (photo) when it collapsed last night into the swift-flowing Kampar River at Sekolah Kebangsaan Kuala Dipang near here, causing one pupil to drown and two more are still missing.

A pupil, K. Mathivanan, 12, who held onto a rope and saved himself, said the bridge collapsed all of a sudden, about 10.30pm.

He said some of the pupils were crossing the bridge towards the school for their dinner, while others were returning to the campsite.

He said the bridge had swayed a lot before it collapsed as several of the pupils were jumping about and playing with one another.

"All of a sudden, we found ourselves thrown into the river. I managed to hold on to a rope. The current was swift but I managed to drag myself out of the water," he said.

Mathivanan said joy turned to panic as many of the pupils started screaming for help while others just cried. MORE