Sunday, September 28, 2008

132 products may have melamine

There are now 132 products placed under the Government's list of items suspected of having melamine.

This is up from 53 items on Wednesday.

Health Ministry director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican said the list of suspected dairy products consisted of items that the ministry had sealed during enforcement operations.

'These items will be taken and tested. We expect to have results for a few of the items each day. If it is given the all-clear, it will then be allowed back into the market,? he told a press conference at the ministry here yesterday.

He said the 132 items comprised confectioneries, cereals, breads, chocolates and milk.

He said the value of items sealed by the ministry so far stood at RM18,344.

Ismail also cleared seven items as free of melamine.

The items are: Passion Chocolate Coated Wafer; Kraft Oreo White Chocolate Wafer Stick; Wall's Mini Cornetto Chocomint & Tiramisu Flavoured; Wall's Moo Soft Cookie Sandwich; Dutch Lady 123 Honey milk powder; Dutch Lady strawberry flavoured milk; and Frisolac Infant Formula.

To date, a total of 574 items - in addition to the seven - have been declared safe.

Ismail said the ministry was not able to release the results on all the items at one go because there was a lack of capacity. He said it took 48 hours to get results for one item.

Ismail said the ministry was concerned about pre-mixed tea and coffee and that such items would be analysed as well.

'I also urge all those receiving and packing hampers to check the items in them properly. People also have to be more alert if they are receiving gifts containing Chinese-made food products.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

GEORGE CARLIN


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Isn't it amazing that George Carlin - comedian of the 70's and 80's - could write something so very eloquent...and so very appropriate.

A Message by George Carlin:

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways
, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.


We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete...

Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

Remember, to say, 'I love you' to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER:

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

George Carlin

This is truly amazing!! English language at its best in Malaysia from 'Tun Hussien Onn University '.
Does one laugh or cry? This can only be attributed to be the by product of years upon years of the NEP!!


After reading this masterpiece, it is not surprising that Malaysian Universities did not make the grade in
the rankings of universities. What a sorry state of affairs in the country's institutions of higher learning!!
Was this a literal translation from the Malay language that it was originally written in?? God save Malaysia!!



25 August 2008

My Dear Friends

I am sending you an advertorial that was published in the New Straits Times on 23 August 2008.


The advertorial is about the conferment of an honorary doctoral degree by the University on Raja Zarith Sofia,
a member of the Perak State Royal Family.

Notwithstanding the contents of this advertorial, I am 'EXTREMELY IMPRESSED' with this 'Masterpiece' in English
writing published by the University. It is something I have not read in 53 years. That is why I would like to share this
'Masterpiece' with all of you.

The style of writing is so 'Excellent' that all of us who have been schooled and trained in the traditional forms of the
English language have to UNLEARN and RELEARN the language in order to be able to understand and appreciate the
contents of this advertorial!

In the meantime, may God save our children and grandchildren from the clutches of tertiary educational institutions
such as these.....

Regards,
S. Venkateswaran.


Emacs!


The Malays are 'technically' in power governing the country but it is also this same controlling group that demands the right to correct economic imbalances and disparities for its own race.

What does this say about the 'majority governing' Malay race for the last 50 years?
I dare say that most Malaysians (regardless of race) below the age of 40 would like to
see all opportunities be spread amongst those who deserve it on meritocracy.

We do not need the keris anymore to tell others to be careful of what they say and do
because in the survival of the fittest, the keris is of very little relevance!

If we continue to hide under the 'bumiputera' tempurung as most
Malays have been in the last 50 years or more, the catch-up game will just get harder and the gap wider.

If we continue to expect without earning it, we will never learn how to be a race that succeeds on merit. There is NO substitute for merit. The Malay politicians continue to shout about Malay rights and bumiputera rights because the very nature of our local politics is sadly racially biased.

In this day and age, a great nation is built upon joint success stories, meritocracy and the
combined hard work of its people WITHOUT any fear or favour of racial biased politics governing our daily policies.

I am below 40 and as much as I love the 'idea' that Malaysia is tanah tumpahnya darah orang Melayu, I can't help but also feel that this country is for ALL Malaysians alike including the Chongs, the Kumars, the Xaviers, the Sings & Kaurs etc who were born on the same day in the same
hospital as me here in Malaysia.

If we feel that WE (the Malays) deserve this country more than THEM , then WE (the Malays) should have shown them a long time ago that we deserve the 'control all' status.

We have to earn it.
The policies FAILED because the very concept of Malay rights or the NEP/DEB is like a double-edged sword. On one hand, it aims to eradicate wealth disparity but on the other, it has made the Malays oblivious of what reality is. Our (Malays) success is only reflected in the 'perceived' political power which today can collapse in a matter of minutes. I would also like to see my children succeed in their country, Malaysia, for reasons that true success should be based upon, which are merit and hard work and NOT because they are Malays or bumiputeras. For as long as the Malays don't see this, there is very little point in fighting for Malay rights.

It just makes us look
more ridiculous. We have taken this notion of being privileged a bit too literally in that it now simply means we want this country and its fruits all for ourselves without accepting the responsibilities that come with it. I blame the MALAY politicians for this because we want to only fight the cause without strategising for the true substance and need of the cause. We have been given fish all the while without being taught how to fish.

It's funny how two different generations can be so diverse in their thinking and the recent elections proved
just that. We are no longer concerned with racial problems but more so the never-ending Malay agenda issues. The rakyat has spoken and the landscape has drastically changed. Is this change welcomed? Is it good?

The answer is 'NO'. Because we,the Malays, have been caught with our pants down - we are
not ready to compete on any level playing field
(we can't even compete on advantageous grounds!). Even with three or five more continuing policies for Malay rights or bumiputera privileges over the next 50 years, we will still be in exactly the same position as we are in today.

The truth hurts and the truth will always prevail. And the truth of what's to come will NOT go away. I am cynical perhaps because I feel that Malay rights is NOT relevant anymore.
The right to be safe, to be treated fairly, to have a world-class healthcare and education, to enjoy equal prosperity, to have good governance, to live in a clean environment and to be war-free is what I want for my Malaysia. NOT for MY race to be artificially powerful.

If we want the Malays to fail, then by all means continue the fight for Malay rights. Go and polish your keris.

Shaik Rizal Sulaiman

Posted by Malaysian
Unplug @ Link to This Post

ps
In recent months
we have seen the Syariah Courts allowing quite a few Malays to exercise their rights to a third or fourth wife. Fair, the guy may be able to provide for the financial & conjugal needs of his wives. However, question here is when he has a dozen kids, will he be able to provide a decent education and life to his kids or will he demand for his 'Rights' for subsidy and aid and be a burden to the govt and society.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Food for thought

From John Berthelsen: Malaysia 's legal pursuit of Anwar Ibrahim is destroying the country's reputation source: Asia Sentinel Consulting
by John Berthelsen
July 21, 2008

It is about time for Malaysia to drop the charade. Attempting to convict opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim of forcible sodomy is an embarrassment in contrast with the completely ignored and much more serious allegations linking the deputy prime minister to the execution-style murder of his reputed former girlfriend.

As has been reported widely, two sworn declarations have been filed that raise reasonable suspicions that the October 2006 murder of Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu is tied directly to Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and his wife, Rosmah Mansor. Yet instead of this high profile politician being in the dock to explain himself, one of those who filed a sworn declaration about his actions is about to go on trial for criminal libel. The other was dragooned into recanting his statement before he fled the country.

The courts and the legal system have deliberately overlooked allegations of Najib's complicity in the Mongolian woman's murder, and considerable related evidence of massive corruption on his part in the purchase of three French submarines for the Malaysian military - a purchase that Altantuya apparently participated in as a translator. This has been pushed under the carpet repeatedly and now the nation is being distracted by accusations of Anwar's peccadilloes, real or fabricated.

Mahathir Mohammad, the long-serving prime minister who quit in 2002, had a single ambition - to reach developed-nation status by 2020. But you cannot be a first-world country with a legal system whose main characteristics are shared by the likes of Zimbabwe , Burma and North Korea . Mahathir, of course, bears a major part of the blame for the legal system, starting from his destruction of the judiciary in the 1980s. But what is going on now, six years after he was succeeded by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, is nothing more than the United Malays National Organisation's manipulation of the system a la Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe. This has nothing to do with ideology but with the dubious necessity of maintaining a political party in power.

When the legendary American bank robber Willie Sutton once was asked why he robbed banks, he famously replied: 'That's where the money is.' Government in Malaysia is where the money is, and that is where UMNO intends to stay despite its disastrous March 8 election results, which cost the national ruling coalition the two-thirds hold on parliament it has enjoyed for half a century. There is no better example of this than the submarine and its ties to the murder of Altantuya.

As Asia Sentinel has repeated frequently, according to testimony in the trial of Altantuya's accused murderer Abdul Razak Baginda, her then-lover and one of the three men accused of killing her, the murdered woman accompanied him to Paris at a time when Malaysia's defense ministry, headed by Najib, was negotiating through a Malaysian company, Perimekar Sdn Bhd, to buy two Scorpene submarines and a used Agosta submarine produced by the French government under a French-Spanish joint venture, Armaris. Perimekar at the time was owned by a company called Ombak Laut, which was wholly owned by Abdul Razak.

The contract was not competitive. The Malaysian ministry of defense paid €1 billion (RM4.5 billion) to Amaris for the three submarines, for which Perimekar received a commission of €114 million (RM510 million). Deputy Defense Minister Zainal Abdidin Zin told the Dewan Rakyat, Malaysia 's parliament, that the money was paid for 'coordination and support services' although the fee amounted to a whopping 11 percent of the sales price for the submarines.

Altantuya, by her own admission in the last letter she wrote before her murder, had been blackmailing Razak, pressuring him for US$500,000. She did not say how she was blackmailing him, leaving open lots of questions.

Myriad questions have been raised by the year-long trial of Razak and two of Najib's bodyguards for Altantuya's murder. At every turn, those questions could have been answered by calling Najib to the stand. How could Razak, a civilian and Najib's closest friend, get the two bodyguards to kill Altantuya without Najib's knowledge? Najib could answer. How could the record of the victim being in the country disappear completely from Immigration Department records, as was sworn in court? Najib could answer. How could the murderers get their hands on the plastic explosives available only to the military used to blow up her body? Najib could answer. Why did neither the prosecution nor the defense push to investigate a statement made by Altantuya's cousin on the stand that she had seen a picture of Najib, Razak and Altantuya together at a dinner? Najib could answer.

The statutory declaration of P Balasubramaniam, the private detective hired by Razak to keep Altantuya away from him after their relationship had ended, is so closely detailed that it beggars disbelief that it was fabricated. It makes Najib an integral part of the case, something most of Malaysia 's top government and judicial officials have been seeking to avoid ever since the trial began.

Balsasubramaniam released his sworn statement in the company of his lawyer, which makes it difficult to believe he was coerced. But immediately afterward he was summoned to a meeting with an assistant superintendant of police in Jalan Brickfields, where he was convinced - outside the presence of his lawyer that his memory was faulty. He then signed a statement that his original one had been compelled, and left the country.

In the original declaration Balasubramaniam said Razak told him he had been introduced to Altantuya 'by a VIP…who asked him to look after her financially.' Najib, the declaration said, had introduced Razak to Altantuya at a diamond exhibition in Singapore and that Najib had had a sexual relationship with her in the past. Razak was to look after the woman because Najib 'did not want her to harass him since he was now the Deputy Prime Minister.'

Is that true? Najib could answer.

Interestingly, according to the document, Razak told Balasubramaniam that Altantuya liked anal sex, which is illegal in Malaysia whether performed with men or women. Anwar might like to make that point to the authorities.

Balasubramaniam also detailed cell phone calls between Najib and Razak in the period after Altantuya's murder. Did the police check Razak's phone? Najib could answer.

Raja Petra Kamaruddin, the influential internet journalist, is expected to go on trial for criminal defamation for saying that Najib's wife was present at the murder. Rather than bringing in Najib and Rosmah to answer questions, they have gone after Raja Petra , who has threatened his own time bombs during his trial. Asked by Asia Sentinel what those revelations might be, he said he would prefer to save them for testimony under oath.

The one truly sad dupe in all this is the prime minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who in all of his sorry reign as prime minister has largely preserved his reputation for integrity despite his fecklessness. Badawi has defended his deputy's reputation in the face of the fact that virtually all of Kuala Lumpur 's chattering classes have long since become convinced of the couple's complicity. Unleashing two thoroughly corrupt law enforcement officials to go after Anwar - Abdul Ghani Patail, the head of the anti-corruption agency, and Musa Hassan, the head of the police, who plainly fabricated evidence in Anwar's 10-year-old conviction on the same offense, is particularly egregious.

This isn't to say Anwar is innocent. The jury, to use a newly valid cliché, is still out. But compare the two. What kind of priorities does this government have in going after a 61-year-old opposition leader with a bad back who presumably would have had a hard time chasing down a mobile 23-year-old aide, when there is the possibility of finding the true perpetrators of an execution murder of a defenseless 28-year-old mother? This is the behavior of a despotic system with an eye only to its own preservation. The Malaysian people deserve better.