Obama “salutes” Najib? DPM’s post “very lucrative”?

A Bernama report titled ‘Obama congratulates Najib on premiership’ has been given a new headline in the NST: ‘Obama salutes Najib’.

If you read the Bernama report carefully, the language is just one of diplomatic courtesy and niceties. It’s the sort of message – often drafted by an underling – that a national leader would regularly send to a new leader elsewhere. Nothing exceptional in there to give the impression of Obama “saluting” Najib – and that too, one and a half months after the latter assumed the top post.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Anifah Aman let rip into Anwar during a joint press conference with Hillary Clinton in Washington – but in the process, he dropped a clanger. The US State Department reported Anifah as saying:

And also just for the information of the audience here that, you know, he also said that he will form a government on 16 September and he has changed the dates many time. And he was trying to entice the members of parliament. And I was personally offered to jump into the oppositions and offered a very lucrative position, and also to be told it’s like a deputy prime minister. And these are not known to the world at large.



Hill-cutting scars Pulau Jerejak


Pulau Jerejak is not spared the ravages of “development” - Photos by Max


An excavator, a dumptruck, two fuel tanks and a stack of waterpipes

Wonder what they are doing here at Pulau Jerejak. Much of the island is supposed to be a state park, which could be a haven for Penangites wanting to escape from the hustle and bustle of city-life.

Wouldn’t it have been great to have a relatively untouched natural sanctuary so close to Penang Island?



Who was that gagged man?


It’s a lone ranger: A silent, solo protest yesterday by an unidentified man outside the Perak state government complex – Photo courtesy of Kula’s blog, which has the full story here.

It was a day of solo protests yesterday – in Ipoh and Penang. A single-person protest cannot be deemed an ‘illegal assembly’, right?

In Ipoh:

In short notes to (Kula’s) Political Sec in a piece of paper, he wrote “People 1st, Performance Later” and also “I don’t support any party. Just as Perak Citizen, all I want is 4 my state to be at peace. Just make the people who can do something, do it now.”



ntv7 poll: An amazing 99% want fresh Perak elections


The results of the SMS poll over the 8.00pm news on ntv7 yesterday


This evening, the women’s wing of PKR launched a signature campaign to lobby for the dissolution of the Perak State Assembly. They aim to collect a million signatures within a week - Kinta Kid has the story here.

An SMS poll conducted by ntv7 on its 7 Edition (English news) bulletin at 8.00pm yesterday revealed that an astounding 99 per cent of viewers want fresh elections to resolve the political impasse in Perak.

This clearly gives the lie to those who claim that Malaysians are “weary” of elections. If anything, what Malaysians are probably weary of are all those political stunts to avoid holding fresh elections.



Stop work orders – but work proceeds, claim residents


This map is taken from the geotechnical report for the Bolton Surin project along Persiaran Tanjung Bunga (Click to expand)

The Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) clearly states that Bolton Surin can only work on Lot 4189.

The map above shows where Lot 4189 lies in relation to the other neighbouring plots, which have not been approved.

According to one resident, Penang state exco member for the environment Phee Boon Poh informed him on 30 April of stop work orders issued for the unapproved lots (Lots 4165, 4166 and 4188).



1,400 lawyers express outrage over colleagues’ arrests

1817: More than 1,400 lawyers turned up for an Extraordinary Meeting of the  Malaysian Bar in PJ this afternoon. They expressed outrage over the arrests of five of their colleagues who had turned up to defend their clients at the Brickfields Police Station on 7 May.

The lawyers demanded the resignation of the Home Affairs Minister, the IGP, the Brickfields OCPD and the investigating officer.

“The mood at the meeting was one of anger over the arrests and at the same time of pride over the courage displayed by the five lawyers,” said a source present during the meeting.



Don’t ‘sell out’ your soul to corporate greed



Kee Thuan Chye and Lim Teik Leong as the overbearing bosses of FONY Corp in the movie ‘Sell Out!’

‘Sell Out!’ is a movie you might want to check out before it runs its course in local cinemas. It’s a satire about corporate greed and the choices many of us have to make – whether to live out our dreams and ideals or to succumb to the stifling dictates of the corporate value system. It is a movie rich in metaphor with some funny digs at Malaysian life thrown in.

Support Malaysian indie films. Go here for movie times. Check out a few reviews here.



Penang’s highway to nowhere

Citizen journalist Jimmy Leow reports on an abandoned highway project in Balik Pulau (from Teluk Kumbar to Pekan Genting) which many of us may not even be aware of.

The signboard clearly says it is a “Projek Kerajaan Barisan Nasional” undertaken for the Works Ministry, directed by the JKR, contracted out to a private firm. It was supposed to have been completed by September 2008.

Blog reader mamu_tanjung reports:

The project has been abandoned for more than two years. I know – I live close by and travel to Balik Pulau almost every Saturday morning for my regular Kari Kepala Ikan at the Restoran Peladang. The last I heard this federally-funded project has gone “bankrupt”.