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  1. Star Sunday column Curious Cook by Chris Chan dated 24/9/17 highlighted this:
    – Safe, original soya sauce takes months to produce; much of it comes from Japan and China.
    – Most of the “soya sauce” being sold is HSS (hydrolysed soya sause) produced in a couple of days. It contains 2 very dangerous contaminants, especially capable of destroying the liver.
    – EU strictly monitors the soya sauce it permits.

    Other facts:
    – Bolehland labels do not addess this issue.
    – Some local varieties do not mention soya as an ingredient; if they are mere flavouring and colour, they may be safe even though falsely labelled.
    – A few years ago, USA banned a local brand of “oyster” sauce; it later lifted the ban.

  2. Making money from misery (ill health): Now there is a scare over poisoned eggs in Europe. China rejected our birds nest. Before that, Singapore rejected out veg. Yet, we rarely hear of domestic crackdowns on local or imported food. What about the tainted beef from Brazil. Is US beef any better – free from mad cow disease?

    A few years ago, Bolehland legalised imports of propretary, GMO soya. Despite the resistance of Codex Alimentarius, WHO condemned GMO as a strong carcinogen about a year ago. The dangers include not just the food molecules but unidentified microbes and especially the proprietary herbicide used. It penetrates the edible part of produce, and is unaffected by washing and cooking. The resulting diseases include birth defects, cancer, kidney failure. Even governments that prohibit GM crops overlook the misuse of glyphosate to wither the leaves of crops just before harvest – for wheat, oats, barley, peas, canola, beans, peas, lentils, fruits, sugar cane. It is also used in pastures and gardens.

    A “neighbouring country” exports chicken feed that contains arsenic – a common additive in the industry. Is it banned here?

    What proactive steps have been taken? What are the avenues and benefits for those with entrenched disabilities including the autistic, physically crippled and bed-ridden? There is only cheap talk of a “caring society,” duties of parents/children, etc. The consumer associations except for CAP only issue vague statements from time to time.

    I don’t consider these to be progress: insurance, medical “schemes”, private hospitals, medical tourism, kidney specialists, dialysis centres, exorbitant medicines displacing off-patent ones, government-funded research for the benefit of private business.

  3. The ugly truth of an open immigration policy in Sweden:
    What Is Sweden Trying to Hide?
    Donald Trump recently cited Sweden as an example of the dangers of open borders. While the media did their best to paint him as an idiot and maniac, widespread riots seemed to verify the President’s statement. Sweden repeatedly states that everything is fine internally, but riots and the burning of property don’t usually happen with content populations.

    What is really happening?

    • Germany and Sweden are cold countries – very cold for people from hot countries. Is the mass migration across mulriple seas and borders to these specific destinations accidental or casual? For the last stretch into Sweden from Finland, enterpreneurs even provided bicycles for hire; the immigrants left them at the destination.

      As for the riots, though Sweden followed EU rules in accepting the immigrants, they could only provide minimum help – very expensive in a cold country. Moreover, the later are culturally alien, abrasive and unused to the independent lifestyle. So, just as in Germany, some of them realised they had been misled. Their response was to riot.

  4. FREE ADMISSION! Due to limited seats, registration is encouraged.
    Kindly register your interest at this link.

    Penang In Asia – Affirmative Action & Human Rights
    by Penang Institute

    Thu, March 2, 2017 / 8:00 PM – 10:30 PM MYT
    Penang Institute, Jalan Brown, George Town, Pulau Pinang

    * What are the human rights arguments for and against AA?
    * What are the relevant categories to identify marginalisation and introduce
    * What are the policy scopes suitable for AA?
    * Under what circumstances AA will cease to be effective or viable? What are
    the alternatives?

    Judge Navi Pillay will be joined by three panellists after her lecture for
    further discussion and insights. They are:

    Dr. Muhammed Abdul Khalid (Chief Economist, DM Analytics)
    Mr. Wan Saiful Wan Jan (CEO of IDEAS)
    Tan Sri Simon Sipaun (Former State Secretary of Sabah)

    Moderator: Dr. Wong Chin Huat (Fellow and Head of Political Social Analysis,
    Penang Institute)

  5. China projects to hit Singapore
    CHINA’S current mega belt-road projects in Malaysia, once completed, will alter trade routes in the region and this may divert hundreds of billions worth of trade from Singapore, according to industry players.
    “This is a dream of a lifetime for Malaysia to eventually stop cargoes transiting through Singapore, with the generous inflow of direct investments and expertise from China now. In 10 years or so, Malaysia can say bye-bye to Singapore,” says a veteran port operator and logistics consultant with experience in Malaysia, Singapore and China.

    • Malaysia Focuses on FinTech, Gives Alibaba Founder Jack Ma Important Role

      Jack Ma, the founder of the $239 bln e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba, was appointed by the Malaysian government to mentor companies in the various sectors of its digital economy.

      “We will be in partnership with Jack on the path and route to the future. You can see that China is the place to be. It has 300 million middle-class people, larger than (the) US population. We hope, together with Alibaba, we can make Malaysia and China more prosperous.”

      The appointment of Ma is a part of a larger plan of the Malaysian government to boost the growth of the country’s digital economy. The government believes the emergence of new and innovative technologies will allow the country to be at the forefront of a technological revolution.

      Two of the many industries which Ma specializes in are e-commerce and Fintech. Ma’s Alibaba is the second largest e-commerce company behind Amazon. Alibaba operates a $60 bln Fintech application known as Alipay, which has a market cap four times larger than Bitcoin, due to the vast user base of the Chinese market.

      The Malaysian government hopes to benefit from Ma’s expertise in the fields of Fintech and e-commerce and expects Ma to advise leading companies in establishing efficient business models and establishing both short and long-term growth strategies to compete on a global level.

      Ma’s extensive involvement in the Malaysian digital economy will also aid the development and emergence of unique Fintech service providers looking to overtake the traditional financial industry with cheaper, faster and more robust alternatives.

      Alipay, a financial application developed by Alibaba’s subsidiary company Ant Financial, is currently used by hundreds of millions of Chinese users to settle payments nationwide. Previously, Cointelegraph reported that Alipay is being used by Chinese employees to receive salaries, as the general consumer base prefers to receive payments through a non-bank alternative like Alipay due to low fees and reduced confirmation periods.

      In the next few years, the Malaysian economy will see a significant change in the Fintech industry.

  6. The Australian Federal Police say they are working with international law enforcement agencies to investigate companies linked to Malaysia’s scandal-hit sovereign wealth fund.

    1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), founded by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, is the subject of money laundering investigations in at least six other countries including Switzerland, Singapore and the United States.

    Civil lawsuits filed by the US Department of Justice allege more than $US3.5 billion ($4.76 billion) was misappropriated from the fund.

    The lawsuits seek to seize $US1 billion ($1.36 billion) in assets allegedly siphoned off from 1MDB and diverted into luxury real estate in New York, Beverly Hills and London, valuable paintings, and a private jet.

  7. Faiz’s spellbinding goal lands him FIFA Puskas Award 2016
    Malaysia’s Mohd Faiz Subri has netted the FIFA Puskas Award for the most beautiful goal of 2016, putting his name on the same list as past winners such as famed football stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar.

    The 29-year-old player was handed the award for his spellbinding freekick at a glittering ceremony in Zurich on Monday (early Tuesday in Malaysia) as he brought joy to millions of Malaysians thousands of kilometres away from the wintry conditions of the lakeside Swiss city.

  8. The Hypocrisy of Progressives and Refugee Placement
    In 2016, the Obama administration told Congress it intended to permanently resettle 110,000 refugees in 2017, about half of them coming from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Burma, and other countries that are jihadist hotspots where proper vetting of refugees is virtually impossible.

    To further complicate matters, the Obama administration has reclassified many of the people from Central America who are flooding into the U.S. as refugees. Like those from the Middle East, these immediately qualify to receive federal food stamps, Medicaid, and other federal benefits as well as placing them on a fast-track to full citizenship within five years.

  9. We’ve heard of ghost ships, now there’re ghost jets
    Kim Quek: The Najib family’s 13-day holiday in Australia must have cost taxpayers easily more than RM10 million in flight cost alone, keeping in mind that the rate for Airbus 319 is US$15,000 per hour (at such a chartered rate, the cost would have been 13 x 24 x 15,000 x 4.4 = RM20,600,000).
    Members of parliament should insist on Najib giving a full account of how much his family’s holidays have cost the nation. In addition, Parliament must request that the PM’s family cease to use government ‘air buses’ for their personal travel.
    If families of heads of government of wealthy democracies like the US, Japan, the UK, Canada and Australia are paying for their own personal flight costs, is it sensible for relatively poor Malaysia to indulge its leader’s family with luxurious jet flights on taxpayers’ expense?

    • The Secret History of ISIS

      Please watch this recent documentary by PBS USA.
      Interesting to see that Bush and Obama has indirectly created IS when they ignored the advice from CIA.
      Not surprisingly the Americans voted for Trump after all the mess.

    • CNN: George Michael’s rise to fame also came during one of the most horrific times for the LGBT community: the AIDS crisis. Famously, Ronald Reagan refused to address the AIDS crisis until near the end of his second term, despite the hundreds of thousands of people who were living and dying with the disease.

      Sadly, being gay or queer was equated with AIDS. Therefore, there was no space for a pop star like George Michael to be “out and proud.” He was locked in the music industry’s closet. However, in “Freedom! ’90,” he set fire to his former image of the ass-shaking singer in a leather jacket. Without being explicit, George Michael liberated himself within the lyrics of the hit song: “Think I’m gonna get myself happy/I think there’s something you should know/I think it’s time I told you so/There’s something deep inside of me/There’s someone else I’ve got to be.” George Michael decided to be himself, regardless of the risk.

  10. Trump frames Europe attacks as clash of religion
    It is not a question of clash of civilisation, but a choice of whether to deal with it affirmatively.
    Obama did a lousy-apologetic job & we reap the consequences.
    High time for a change of thinking away from politico-religious bigotry.

  11. Malaysia’s Vulnerability Exposed by Dollar’s Ascent
    Foreign investors are fleeing the country’s stock and bond markets

    Malaysia has been one of Asia’s worst-hit economies amid the continued climb of U.S. interest rates and the dollar.

    Foreign investors sold $5.3 billion of Malaysian stocks and bonds in November, the largest monthly outflow since September 2011, according to ANZ Bank.That is almost a quarter of the $22.1 billion pulled from emerging markets in the region, excluding China..

    The bulk of the selling was in Malaysia’s bond market. The $4.5 billion of bonds sold by foreigners in November, in ringgit terms, marks the biggest monthly debt outflow on record, according to ANZ.

    The ringgit was one of Asia’s worst-performing currencies in the aftermath of the U.S. election, and Malaysia’s central bank has been tapping the country’s already low level of reserves to support it. Last month, Bank Negara clamped down on offshore currency speculators, a worrying echo of its maneuvers to stem capital outflows during the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s.

    Despite the government’s various attempts to support the currency, the ringgit has lost 6.5% of its value against the greenback since the U.S. election, hitting a nearly 19-year low on Nov. 30. On Thursday, the currency weakened 0.9%, following the Federal Reserve’s announcement of its first rate increase in 2016.

    Malaysia’s Achilles’ heel is the high level of foreign ownership of its government bonds. Foreign money is flighty, a factor that can accelerate a liquidity crunch during times of stress. While the latest rash of selling cut the proportion of foreign ownership to 48% in November from 52% a month earlier, the percentage is still very high for an emerging market.

    —Carolyn Cui contributed to this WSJ’s article

  12. Economist: Income gap among Chinese higher than other races
    Some can easily drink BirdNest or Gingseng 247365,
    while some of us can barely afford to sip one cuppa of Kopi-O Cap Tabik per day!
    But does income gap reflect genuine happiness in life?

  13. SHOCKING but TRUE: Eating beef is bad for Earth
    That the greenhouse gas emissions of the meat industry are greater than every plane, train, car, lorry and boat – put together.
    That the cattle industry is a primary driver of rainforest destruction, species extinction, habitat loss and erosion of topsoil – this sector is responsible for 91% of the destruction of the Amazon forests, with the clearing of 550 billion square metres of rainforest.
    It has been calculated that a whopping 3,000 litres of water is used (to grow grain to feed cows among other things) to make just one hamburger. This is equivalent to water used for two months of showering. Similarly, 1,000 litres of water are used to produce one litre of milk.
    In terms of animal waste, Andersen demonstrates how the amount of waste from 2,500 dairy cows is equivalent to the waste generated from a city of 411,000 people.
    “Of all the reasons for tropical deforestation, the foremost is beef. Beef is one of the most inefficient use of resources on the planet. In the USA, 47% of land is used for food production and, of that, the lion’s share is just to grow feed for cattle. The things that we (humans) actually eat – fruit, vegetables, nuts – is just ONE percent.

  14. Dr M has right to attend Agong installation, says law don
    I sincerely believe our Agong is not that petty.
    The Palace should explain with a good reason since our Agong is for all Malaysians,
    & not the exclusive ‘use’ of Naik Jeep & his merry-dedak-men.

  15. China’s economic largesse to Malaysia was back in the spotlight on Wednesday following an apparent renewed effort by Beijing to bail out the Southeast Asian country’s beleaguered 1MDB state investment fund.

    Political observers say such multibillion-dollar favours is likely to continue unabated as China seeks to bring a key Southeast trading partner closer into its strategic orbit and as Prime Minister Najib Razak turns away from the West, where he is accused of running a kleptocracy.

    The Financial Times newspaper in a report on Wednesday said China “had been approached” to help 1MDB – embattled by a long-running money laundering scandal linked to Najib – pay off a US$6.5 billion debt to an Abu Dhabi state investment arm.

    • Worry not for Singapore as the islanders have overcome the odds for 50 years with meritocracy system, aided by the foreign talents imported from Malaysia. Singapore is acknowledging the structural change in its economy, and is proactively diversify its economy be better trained workforce and high quality education. Each adult citizen is given $500 skills credit for upgrading via SkillFuture program yearly. No direct handout like BR1M in order for its people to learn to fish and stay hungry to meet the future challenges.

    • Credit ratings agency Moody’s has stuck with Singapore’s triple-A rating – the agency’s highest rating – and maintained a stable outlook for the country due to its fiscal discipline and financial stability.

      Even though Singapore’s economy faces short-term challenges, its strong institutions, ample reserves and effective government policies will help it stay resilient in the longer term, Moody’s noted. But it warned that Singapore must manage its transition to structurally lower growth smoothly. Otherwise, the rating could come under pressure.

  16. Singapore can now officially lay claim to having the best education system in the world: For the first time since it started participating in the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) in 2009, Singapore students have topped all three categories — science, mathematics and reading — in what has been dubbed the most influential international scorecard for education systems around the world.

    The Republic’s stellar showing in Pisa comes a week after it also topped all the charts in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (Timss), which assessed the math and science abilities of 10-year-olds and 14-year-olds.

    Compared with Timss, Pisa has a greater emphasis on high-order, critical thinking skills including the ability to reason, evaluate pros and cons of different ideas and apply existing knowledge to a new problem.

    The Ministry of Education attributed the good showing to the deliberate curricular shifts made over the years, to move learning beyond classroom content and help students solve real problems.

  17. Tun M memberitahu media semasa siding media:

    “Saya pernah sertai perhimpunan MCA dan sekarang DAP.
    Lagu parti MCA dalam bahasa Cina, lagu DAP dalam bahasa kebangsaan! DAP ada ahli dan pemimpin pelbagai kaum, sekarang saya sedar DAP bukan parti Cina.
    Semangat keMalaysiaan DAP lebih tinggi daripada parti komponen BN seperti MCA.” Pandangan saya terhadap DAP dulu sudah salah.

    • It went into Najib’s AmBank account.
      Those handbags are then bought with credit cards linked to the AmBank account?

    • Won’t be amazed that it will be proclaimed worldwide there are Najib Doppelgänger as well as Rosmah Doppelgänger!!! Bank accounts also got doppelgänger! Now, case closed!!!

  18. Penang budget – a surplus is an alien concept to BN reps
    If concept of budget + spending is too difficult like mind-bending, then they should not be running the country!
    No wonder only one concept is wholly-enlightened: 1-Arabian Night Donation.

      • B’cos majority of Orang Asli are animistic, which are frown upon by the so-called civilised & God-fearing.
        But the Apocalypse days will come when the civilised will come a begging for river water from the Orang Asli when there’s no more drinkable water in the cities.

      • Najib and Hadi led Malays protesting against Myanmar over the Rohingya issue. It is a desperate act by our so-called Islamic leaders to show solidarity when all they are showing is their stupidity. If Hadi is truly an Islamic leader, he would be speaking out against those who spread corruption; those who are bent on denying the truth, those who are oppressing the rakyat with their power abuse and he will talk about equability for all non-Muslims who live peacefully in Malaysia. Theses are the real Quranic values. Both Hadi and Najib are nothing but hypocrites!

  19. Ringgit traders in limbo after Malaysia central bank move
    “If you think the economy is not doing well, then going onshore (to trade) will hardly help, as there is a high possibility the government may slap capital controls to protect its currency or domestic markets. And that would be very painful,” said Nitin Dialdas, chief investment officer at Mandarin Capital Limited.

  20. The local chapter of US pretzel chain Auntie Anne’s confirmed today that it has changed the name of its “pretzel dog” to “pretzel sausage”, after it was reported that they would be denied halal certification if they refused to do so. The company’s executive Farhatul Kamilah Mohamed Sazali said the name was changed to meet the requirements set by the country’s halal authorities.

    Might as well change its name to ‘Makcik Ani’?

  21. Organic farmer now lighting up Borneo interiors
    Ong BK: “We cannot ignore the fact that after 50 years since the formation of Malaysia, they (the rural areas) are not getting enough of those basic services.
    If we were to walk away and say, “You wait for the process to turn its wheels slowly and deliver you the services,” that would be a grave injustice to the people there, who are citizens just like the rest of us.”

  22. M’sia fares worst in reserves to debt deficit – report
    We saw the red flags way back 2013. One Minister even cautioned Malaysia may be bankrupt if nothing’s done.
    Now, the red flags are too many in front of us, but Naik Jeep can still sings ‘Shalala Lala’!
    ‘Shalala Lala, Shalala, there’s no moneeey! Oh, oh, oh, Shalala Lala, Shalala Lala, we go Bankrupt!’

  23. Here’s Superman Motivational Speech:

  24. Al Jazeera had a short report of the sale of babies in Bolehland. The focus was on desperate prostitutes and a seedy part of Kay Hell. The agent said he could provide an Indon, Thai or Vietnamese baby with “no problem.” Such persons cannot be working alone. If you travel here to buy a baby, you would want a safe exit.

    They also spoke to Agile Fernandez, who is still doing welfare for the downtrodden – who cannot help the politicians (a la I-help-you-your-help-me).

  25. Drones detect 40 cases of hill clearing in Penang
    I went to Botak Hill recently. There is no tree planting to rehabilitate the botak-ed area. Run off water flows on track path which should not be the case & a river is filled up with mud! How come?

  26. Obama’s recent speech during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in Peru this year contained a line which has since been talked about by Malaysians on the social media.

    At exactly the 46th minute into his speech, Obama clearly said: “We all have responsibilities… every nation, respecting the dignity and the worth of its citizens and America can’t do it all for everybody else.

    “There are limits to our reach in other countries if they are determined to oppress the people, not provide good education, (pause) or siphon off development funds into Swiss bank accounts because their leaders are corrupt…”

    Although Obama did not mention names of the kleptocrats specifically, and his speech was regarded as respectful to say the least, it shows that he is at least well-informed of the kinds of problems that are plaguing some Third World countries including Malaysia.

    • Everyone seems to need sympathy nowadays when times are bad with falling value of Ringgit and rising food price and cost of living.

  27. DAP rep asks Penang gov’t to review approvals for luxury condos
    A DAP lawmaker yesterday requested the Penang government to review approvals granted to developers to build luxury condominiums, especially near hills.
    Yeoh Soon Hin (DAP-Paya Terubong) said the people did not really need that much development and construction of luxury condominiums.
    Ask Niao Kong directly! Mr Yeoh.

  28. Before you say “I Do” @ the slippery pulpit of any MLM,
    do yourself a big favour of a lifetime. Watch this video:
    Multilevel Marketing: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

    After watching, if it educates you, do send this to your loved ones & friends.

  29. The people of a certain “superpower” have elected an “outside, conservative” candidate – actually backed by billionaires – whom the “free” press has been condemning. The position of the “liberal” (L) and “conservative” (C) condenders on the most important issues affecting the rest of the world is as follows, in increasing order of importance:
    – Economic hegemony: (L) Continue, (C) Undo.
    – Military hegemony, especially in support of finance and economy: (L) To launch immediate war, (C) To undo.
    – Climate change: (L) No comment, (C) Denial.

    2 ot of 3 is not bad for us.

  30. A few years ago, when the “opposition” states Selangor and Penang raised the idea of free access to Internet, the fed. gomen awarded TNB a contract to construct common carrier towers called HS.. something. It was to partly resolve the problem of competing towers and even serve TV trasmission. The amount was big, maybe RM 10 billion or more. That was the last we heard of it. Now, MCMC will supposedly spend RM 1 billion on “3G broadband”. What happens to the existing towers and the existing project?

    • UMNO Malay vocabulary, ‘Donation’ carries two meaning. To UMNO corrupts it means gift! …whereas, to others it is corruption. Is it not obvious to all fair minded Malaysians how Ketuanan UMNO Melayu ‘intellects’ demonstrate their deceiving talents.

    • Najib forgets about Ketuanan Melayu to beg the Chinese of PRC for guidance and participation…. He sought MYR 55 billion for a loan from the Chinese. This MO1 dares to talk about upholding malay dignity… for “their” country that is under ketuanan Melayu. The British definition of a Malay was proven accurate and precise. Jack Ma would ensure that Alibaba will dominate e-business in Malaysia (sorry Mara Digital!). Another step of Najib moving towards China, somehow forgeting Apa Lagi Cina Mahu. Would Jamal Ikan Bakar like to comment?

  31. An open letter by Ashley Greig-Momin now trending on Internet/FB:

    Dear Mr. Najib Razak,
    I’m doing this on behalf of my family, friends and the rest of the rakyat; all of whom have no other way of voicing out pleas that fall on nothing but deaf ears and stone cold hearts.
    Today, you decided on an increase on the price of fuel and cooking oil. Today, you decided on going ahead with your plans of increasing the cost of basic necessities for living. Today, you decided to bring upon suffering to people who are helpless and have nowhere to turn to.
    Today, we woke up to news that our income will need to be stretched further when it’s already on the verge of snapping. Today, we woke up to news that we may need to eat plain porridge and cheap fried anchovies more often, because we simply cannot afford anything else anymore. Today, we woke up to news that we will be falling sick more often and even risk premature death due to heart attacks and strokes because we will be forced to have less rest and work longer hours to make more money to survive on a day-to-day basis.
    It’s easy for you to say that this move is for the future benefit of the people. It’s easy for you to say that this move is for the future enhancement of living status. It’s easy for you to say that this move is for the future progress of the nation.
    However, Mr. Prime Minister. However.
    You speak from the point of view of someone who doesn’t need to starve just so his child could have something to eat. You speak from the point of view of someone who doesn’t need to think if he has enough money to go to work the next day, and the days after. You speak from the point of view of someone who doesn’t need to worry about paying his backdated monthly bills with money he doesn’t even have.
    So don’t lecture us about how we’re being silly or petty about slight changes in price of daily needs. Don’t lecture us about how the GST is improving our economy. Don’t lecture us about how you’re trying hard to bring us to the world stage.
    You’re privileged enough to be able to wear Armani coats and buy your wife Gucci handbags, and never needing to worry about what you are able to afford to have for dinner. Try being in our shoes for once, and perhaps you might see where we’re coming from. Try being human, and understand the pain you’re putting us through every day.
    A despondent, powerless young adult struggling to make ends meet

    • Can this be a curse of Chin Peng when Malaysia didn’t honor the agreement to allow him to return to this country.?.Buying a few properties and setting companies here and there is just the beginning..Chinalising this country.. Presumably, they may start their struggles that Chin Peng didn’t finish here..that is to buy up the whole country… Only 1% of their population is enough to flood the whole country…

  32. Villagers who sold land for development poor again after squandering wealth

    Two decades ago, the Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) took over the Tanjung Pelepas and Tanjung Adang villages for the development of the terminal, acquiring 1,416.4ha of land, which is about the size of 1,700 football fields.

    The two villages comprised of 400 families of 1,500 people. Mostly involved in fishing and farming activities, these families were compensated between RM400,000 and RM600,000.

    Many of them splurged on luxury cars while others spent it on their relatives and friends. A number of them poured their entire funds into get-rich-quick schemes and scratch-and-win scams.

  33. Michelin-starred Hawker Chan’s soya sauce chicken stall to open air-cond restaurant in Singapore’s Chinatown, eyes global expansion

    Hawker Chan is just the first restaurant he will open with Hersing Culinary, the company which owns the franchising rights to Hong Kong’s Michelin-starred dim sum eatery Tim Ho Wan in the Asia Pacific region.

  34. Siri Kassim asked in her FB:
    1) Is the Director of the Forestry of Kelantan also the Director of the Company that have been given the licence to log by the Forestry Department?
    2) Even if this Company is a subsidiary of the Kelantan State Government, do you think it is appropriate a Director from the Forestry Department who is supposed to protect the Forest be involved in a company who’s whole existent is to log?

    The link:

  35. 10 things about: Canopy Meg, pioneer of canopy ecology
    First of all, Malaysia… this is one of the biodiversity hotspots in the planet, this region in general. But there are very few research stations and long term opportunities for scientific research in tropical rainforests. The only really global station is in Panama.
    Penang as a rainforest research station, wonderful. How about linking it to Belum Rainforest?

  36. The Great Escape at Penang City Stadium last night!
    Penang scored on the 89th minute to beat Trengganu 1-0 to avoid relegation from Malaysia Super League.
    Euphoria after match, fans invaded the pitch, even the import player captain wept like a kid!

  37. SINGAPORE — Malaysia has banned Singaporean film, Fundamentally Happy, from cinemas due to cultural sensitivities.

    The film made last year was based on a 2006 play by The Necessary Stage’s Haresh Sharma and Alvin Tan, and it focuses on a friendly reunion between a young Chinese man and an elderly Malay woman that takes a turn after a secret surfaces. Its film-makers, Tan Bee Thiam and Lei Yuan Bin from 13 Little Pictures, have described it as “an unflinching look at the consequences of abuse”.

    • (Some) Malays prefer those mat rempit, mat moto, mat rock and mat cangkul movies, no thanks to the promotion by Finas while the muftis failed to see.

  38. Silly, stupid? No, something sinister in Malaysia’s pretzel dog brouhaha
    By Jahabar Sadiq | 20th October 2016

    The popular perception of silliness and stupidity on the part of Malaysian religious authorities masks something else – that these men who licence what is permissible and what isn’t for the community, have far wider influence and powers than we think possible.

    Jakim’s halal certification does two things.

    One, it allows businesses to expand and sell to the Muslims, who number more than half of Malaysia’s 30 million population. Essentially, Jakim becomes the gatekeeper to the Muslim community and those who want to trade there need their nod, and have to comply with their rules.

    Two, Muslims who patronise businesses without halal certification will be seen as lesser and perhaps not even Muslim among the community. You either conform or you are cast out as an infidel.

    In short, Jakim has become the arbiters of morals, piety and business in Malaysia. And if you don’t play by their rules, you are excluded from doing business with Muslims because the vast majority of Muslims are brought up to respect, obey and trust whatever Jakim says.

    • Malaysia is no longer a moderate Islam nation, but slowly being talibanised.
      The muslim scholars are trained in middle east countries, thus failed or chose to ignore the fact that Malaysia is multi-racial with diverse religious beliefs and practices.

    • Here are 5 other instances where JAKIM may have been involved in an issue but wasn’t made into such a big hoo-ha on social media:

      1. A&W

      Many may be only realising now that A&W had to change the name of their Coney Dog to Chicken Coney and Beef Coney as well as their drinks to RB instead of Root Beer. But how many actually realise that this issue was something that happened a few years ago?

      Back in 2013, in order to get the halal certification and due to the rule of JAKIM saying that the halal logo could not be given to those containing items with the word ‘beer’ in it, the franchise had to switch the names of some of their signature products which led to it being known as what it is now.

      If it wasn’t for this Auntie Anne issue, how many of you would’ve known this?

      2. Marshmallows

      This was something that slipped under the radar for many.

      Back in June of this year, the status of whether or not marshmallows were considered Halal was debatable. It first started from a statement given by Mohd Amri Abdullah, an official from the Halal Hub of Jakim. He questioned the Halal status of a marshmallow on a TV show that aired on 15 June 2016 called Tanyalah Ustaz.

      In his statement, he stated that products based on gelatin taken from animals are known as critical products from a Halal perspective.

      Therefore JAKIM then released a confirmation status that most marshmallow products, especially the ones being imported, are suspected on their status as being Halal or not. The Corporate Halal side of JAKIM has since advised people to ensure themselves that the marshmallows being bought have a Halal logo on them before purchase.

      Considering how often people eat marshmallows as a topping on a drink or even as a snack, I’m surprised this didn’t blow up with netizens more.

      3. Golden Churn Creamery Butter

      Flashback to over 5 years ago to an issue that may have probably been bigger in East Malaysia, but didn’t send as many shockwaves over here in the western peninsular.

      The issue first came up in April 2011 when the Johor State Religious Department (JAJ) circulated a memo within its departments to alert them of the swine DNA findings in Golden Churn Pure Creamery Butter products. This followed the findings of swine DNA at Kluang Rail Coffee in March, where they were reported to have used Golden Churn Pure Creamery Butter to fry coffee beans which resulted in the findings of swine DNA in the coffee.

      On August 2011, JAKIM finally confirmed that the Golden Churn Creamery Butter was certified as Haram as it contained traces of swine DNA, despite the company manufacturing it disputing these claims. The Halal logo was then taken down by JAKIM and it is now officially known as off limits for Muslims.

      The long dispute between both parties should have been made louder on social media yet it seems this was another issue that was just not deemed as ‘viral-worthy’ enough.

      4. LifeBuoy

      If there’s one thing you should be aware of about LifeBuoy is the fact that the logo is changed specifically for its distribution in Malaysia rather than others.

      If you look at the original logo, it depicts the international logo LifeBuoy used which has the shape of a cross surrounding the brand name. This initially left a few people in the Muslim community sceptical on its Halal status so JAKIM requested for the manufacturers to come with a different logo to be used for the Malaysia side.

      5. Munchy’s
      Yes, your favourite biscuits you see around in stores was actually questioned on its Halal status before.

      It all started from an SMS that spread around to some Malaysians regarding JAKIM investigating a Munchy’s factory in Batu Pahat Johor where they found a store room full of alcohol that was apparently used as an ingredient in the biscuits.

      The person who originally sent the SMS claimed to be a JAKIM officer and demanded for the information to be spread to all Muslims. But it turns out JAKIM never actually did any investigation and that Munchy’s have already had the confirmation of Halal status that remains valid until this day.

      So in this case, can’t blame JAKIM for defending themselves from this issue.

      Source: AsiaOne

      • KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 30 — Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria criticised two religious bodies for taking issue with posters and the name of a food item in the recent halal kerfuffle involving two food outlets.

        He said the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) and the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais) should focus on the food content when it comes to determining the halal state instead of scrutinising food name and posters.

        “Yes, they are being extreme with their issue with posters and name of food. They should look at the content… that’s what determines the halalness.

  39. Pas’ Pasir Mas member of parliament Nik Mohamad Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz said he has no problems with food operators using the term “hot dog” to describe sausage-based food products. Nik Abduh said this yesterday following the public outcry over the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia’s (Jakim) directive to pretzel store franchise Auntie Anne’s to change the name of its “Pretzel Dog” to “Pretzel Sausage” in order to receive a halal certification. “The issue here should not be the name of the food. Any name is okay, as long as its contents are halal but food companies cannot intentionally use names that confuse Muslims either,” he told reporters outside the Parliament lobby here today. In his opinion, Nik Abduh said the term “dog” in this context should not be a problem as it has been “widely used for a long time” to describe a cooked sausage dish.

    Read More :

    • Kadar pertumbuhan KDNK per-kapita: Dalam 8 tahun, Kerajaan Pakatan berjaya ubah Pulau Pinang dari negeri tercorot bawah pentadbiran BN pada tahun 2006-2007, kepada juara bagi tahun 2014-2015.
      BN gagal menyatakan bahawa mereka merupakan penyebab kenapa Pulau Pinang merekodkan kadar pertumbuhan terendah bagi KDNK per-kapita iaitu bagi tahun 2006-2007, Pulau Pinang adalah negeri tercorot, merekodkan kadar pertumbuhan KDNK per-kapita pada hanya 5.9%.
      Apabila Kerajaan Negeri Pakatan mengambil alih pada tahun 2008, kita telah berjaya mengatasi cabaran ini seperti yang ditunjukkan angka-angka yang diberikan Jabatan Statistik.
      Pulau Pinang menduduki tempat ketiga seluruh negara bagi pertumbuhan KDNK per-kapita bagi tahun 2012-2013; tempat kedua bagi tahun 2013-2014 dan johan pada tahun 2014-2015.
      Meski kita mengambil masa 8 tahun, kerajaan Pakatan telah berjaya mengubah negeri tercorot dalam negara bagi tahun 2006-2007 menjadi negeri nombor satu dalam pertumbuhan KDNK per-kapita bagi tahun 2014-2015.
      Inilah kemampuan kerajaan Pakatan, menukarkan defisit menjadi lebihan, negeri corot menjadi juara, hutang yang tinggi bertukar rendah. Rahsia kejayaan kerajaan Pakatan Pulau Pinang ialah integriti dan urustadbir bersih. Bezakan Pulau Pinang sebagai negeri paling bersih di Malaysia yang dipuji Transparency International dengan kerajaan persekutuan BN yang diberi gelaran kerajaan paling korup dalam dunia. – LIM GUAN ENG.

    • Penang has progressed very well in all aspects under leadership of our Honourable CM and Pakatan’s governence as compared to when PG was under the BN. Remember when our Hon. CM took office he had to gradually clear the mess laid by BN……Very well said, Joe C Crashpad “If you do the work that benefits the people and state, no amount of criticism can stand against real facts and figures” and that my friends is what YB Lim Guan Eng has been doing all along.

      That’s the belief and vision I have that PG will be the most progressive state undrer our YB Lim Guan Eng in times to come and all of us must give him the full suport.

    • Liang Teck Meng, go look at the graphical statistics, with this proof in place, you are … rumor-mongering
      .. Check the states you listed…. Again, another idiot of yours, Jason Loo, who made a fool of himself and is now being sued, he is crying for empathy. Why don’t you lend a hand; he might be needing plenty cash to meet his defamatory punishment cost.

  40. SPAD to study tram services for KL
    The study will focus on actual demands of passengers, economic projections, as well as the financial and technical measures required.


    The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) will conduct a feasibility study on the Kuala Lumpur tram service as an alternative mode of public transport in the capital that is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

    According to the Land Public Transport Transformation Journey (PTPAD) 2010-2015, the study will ensure seamless connectivity to ease traffic congestion in the city centre as the tram was more efficient and environmentally friendly.

  41. Heritage property mismatch
    There are a number of factors which affect heritage building investment + rental returns which the state gomen can help to make it renovation-costs + conversion fee friendlier, both to locals & foreigners.
    As for rental rates, market forces will bring about a realistic rates.
    In the first place, at the willing buyers + willing sellers combi, investors have to take the ‘calculated risks’ & not complain if no takers for rental market.

  42. An international rights group warned Thursday that Malaysia is trying to “emulate” its closest neighbor Singapore in restricting free speech on the Internet by amending a crucial law in the near future.

    Human Rights Watch’s (HRW) deputy director for Asia, Phil Robertson, told a press conference that Malaysia is pursuing some “worrisome” amendments to the country’s Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA) as part of efforts to control the Internet and freedom of speech.

    He cited amendments relating to the registration of blogs and all news portals in the country as examples.

    “The government is trying to put the Internet genie back into the bottle. The proposed changes to the CMA are very worrisome,” Robertson said during the launch of an annual report.

    “They will be looking into forcing websites and political blogs to register under the government. Malaysia wants to try to emulate Singapore in the way that they want to crack down on freedom of speech,” he added.

    Robertson warned that government action to amend the CMA would cause friction between authorities and the people, similar to what he said happened in Singapore.

    “Malaysia should seriously consider abandoning this approach to emulate Singapore’s model and be at loggerheads with the people,” he underlined.

    “If you look at Singapore, they have used a regulatory model to really restrict what goes up there. Aggressive use of those laws in Malaysia will significantly impact online portals,” Robertson added.

    Media reports emerged last year that the government was looking to amend the CMA with new regulations.

    There have also been rumors that the changes will resemble procedures in Singapore, where licenses are given to websites and a review is conducted every two years.

    Meanwhile, in HRW’s annual report, the watchdog group said the Malaysian federal government’s crackdown on dissent had intensified, with more laws allegedly being used to suppress human rights.

    It warned of a marked increase in reported cases of Malaysians being investigated and prosecuted using an array of laws over the public expression of dissent.

    “The Malaysian authorities continue to use the overly broad and vaguely worded criminal laws identified there to harass, arrest, and prosecute those critical of the government or of members of Malaysia’s royal families,” the report read.

    Among the laws it said were being used against politicians, activists and everyday citizens were the Sedition Act 1948, the CMA and the Official Secrets Act 1972.

  43. The new BN-friendly Penang Front Party (PFP) will contest 25 Penang state seats, has planned to build a casino in Penang if they win enough seats to secure state administration. It’s protem chairman Lee Pohkong aid the casino will generate RM3 billion to help state economy (but at what social cost??).

  44. Most costume change illusions in one minute – Guinness World Records

    Malaysian magicians Avery Chin and Sylvia Lim, completed a jaw-dropping 18 changes of 19 costumes, broke the Guinness World Records title for the Most costume change illusions in one minute by an individual, bettering the previous record by two outfits.

  45. Nirvana baby recreates Nevermind cover (after 25 years!)

    Spencer Elden, the baby on the cover of Nirvana’s Nevermind, has recreated his iconic swimming pool shot for the 25th anniversary of the album.

    Released in September 1991, the album made a huge splash with hits like Smells Like Teen Spirit and Come As You Are, and it’s eye-catching cover photo of a newborn swimming underwater chasing a dollar bill on a hook raised a few eyebrows.

    Elden, now 25, has recreated the pose at the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center in Pasadena, California.

    • After such humiliation, DPM should bring back at least English as medium of instruction for maths and science. Malays should know that BN is depriving their children to master English language in order to read alternative foreign media, and not just Utusan and TV3.

  46. GEORGE TOWN: Penang-born singing sensation Lee Pei Ling, 16, is all geared up to perform at the Sing! China competition final on Oct 7.

    The Chung Ling Private High School student told theSun she was not nervous at the prospect of singing in front of a live audience and millions behind the cameras.

    She has more than 55,000 followers on Facebook while her latest post to canvass for support has received more than 123,000 “likes” and more than 25,000 shares while Youtube videos of her performances have been widely circulated.

  47. Our true Malaysian faces

    The faces of Malaysia in China singing Chinese songs and amazing the Chinese worldwide are not Chinese at all. They are the faces of true Malaysians, who do not identify themselves with any race because of what their parents are, what the DNAs are or what their MyKad says.

    Shila Amzah first opened the doors when she won the top prize in the show in Asian Wave in 2012. Now, the ages have gotten younger and even those who do not speak Chinese or not listen to Chinese songs can only be astounded and amazed by the vocal abilities of Lee Pei Ling, 15, and Adinda Tasya Mansor, 11, in singing the songs in Chinese, a language which is not easy to master when singing.

    They sing the Chinese songs so well, that they are winning the Chinese TV reality shows, in a country of 1.4 billion of Chinese people. Now, Lee is of the top six in Sing! China formerly known as 2016 The Voice of China, the unofficial Chinese version of the US hit The Voice.

  48. A dedicated bus lane straddling existing roads is the best bet to alleviate traffic in Penang than the elevated Light Rail Transit (LRT), a transport academic from Australia shared yesterday.

    University of Queensland urban planning lecturer Dr Dorina Pojani said the system, commonly known as Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), was the cheapest and the most effective way to allay traffic woes.

    She said BRTs would cost one-tenth that of LRTs and has seen great take-up and effectiveness in South American countries such as Colombia.

    Pojani said BRTs were a perfect fit for medium-sized townships like George Town and many other parts of Penang.

    She suggested that at-grade (road level) BRTs had seen high success rates in South American nations and were being closely followed by many countries in Europe.

    Transport expert: Bus lanes better than LRTs for Penang
    “Medium-sized cities” such as Penang better-off with bus transit system, as it is cost efficient and implementable, says urban transport expert Dr Dorina Pojani.

  49. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) cited sources as saying that Petronas “is looking to cut several hundred more jobs as it continues to grapple with weak oil prices”. It also cited a Petronas statement on Tuesday as saying the firm will “continually review its business strategies and staffing levels as it adjusts to changes in demand.

  50. Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang claimed voters do not seem so concerned about the 1MDB controversy anymore, amid speculation that the 14th general election will be held in March next year. This, he said, was because he has been receiving less and less complaints about the 1MDB issue than before.

  51. Many switching to cheaper mooncakes
    Well, this is the unsavoury price of up market moon cakes or for that matter any product.
    Not all things cosmopolitanised is worth swallowing.
    “I think it is unacceptable that a plain lotus mooncake costs more than RM10 and other flavours cost almost RM20.”
    “Imagine if a plain lotus mooncake costs RM15 and you slice it into four pieces – one slice would already cost you almost RM4.”
    “Even though the promoters say there are discounts for the mooncakes, I was surprised at how one mooncake can be sold for between RM17 and RM25.

  52. Busy on the hill despite order to stop
    BY K. SUTHAKAR Sunday, 11 September 2016

    GEORGE TOWN: Up in the hill near the Teluk Bahang dam, an excavator is at work. Two pick-up trucks carrying about seven people enter the barricaded area. There is work going on there.

    But there is not supposed to be any work going on at the site.

    The Penang Island City Council had issued a stop work order after The Star ran an exclusive report on May 1 on the hill clearing and quarrying activities.

    Read more and weep at:

    Ravaged land: An aerial view of the bald hillslope in Teluk Bahang.

    • Who will give a damn when there is no Penang Local Plan to enforce the necessary?
      It’s like feeding a Toyol for selfish benefits but then getting bitten once you demand it to behave!

  53. Gift fit for a superstar shuttler
    If LCW is not Anak Pulau Pinang, he’s surely Anak Malaysia, a unifying icon for all!
    “Sure wins are great, championships are great, but there is something so unifying about sport in its purest form.
    “I am extremely grateful for the camaraderie and support by my fellow Malaysians – so much so that it becomes overwhelming. The faith and belief they have in me motivates me and keeps me going. Thank you, Malaysia – I could never have gotten this far without your support!”

    • Penangites can meet Lee Chong Wei, Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying on 1 Sept 2016 (Thurs), 11.15 am @ The Top Atrium, Level 5, KOMTAR.

  54. Bangkok’s disappearing street food

    Yet perhaps the greatest loss the city stands to face if its street food scene gentrifies – or vanishes – is its unique coming together of cultures and classes. The street stall is one of few places where businesspersons can mingle with the people who clean toilets and drive taxis. Sitting on the same plastic stools, everyone slurps the same noodle soups with well-worn chopsticks and bent spoons. But if 100-baht food court meals become the cheapest eats available, then the divide between haves and have-nots seems fated to expand, with blue-collar workers effectively priced out.
    “When foreigners hear ‘Flower Market’, they think of beautiful bright colours and lots of activity,” said Sathaporn Kosachan, who, with his partner Suchanat Pa-obsin, sold khanom jeen (rice noodles with curry) at the Flower Market for 20 years. “But now it’s, ‘What is this? Where is the market?’ They expect to see something different from what they can see in Europe or Japan. They want to see the flowers, the food, the vendors, because it’s exotic, but all the vendors have been separated and now many have left.”

    Note: Same effect of gentrification happening in Pulo Pinang.

  55. “Penang State Government enjoys an annual surplus budget which now stands at RM503 million within a 7-year administration period (2008-2014) as compared to a surplus of RM373 million over a 50 year rule (1957-2007) under the previous State Government. It is abundantly clear that the 7 years of Pakatan Harapan State Government rule in Penang is far more effective than the previous 50 years,” LIM GUAN ENG.

    • LGE should spend the money to improve the welfare of the poor Penangites.
      German vultures are hovering above staring at the money with saliva dripping…

    • I am surprised that Tokong can still going around fooling people with white lies such as this.

  56. High wages flash recession warnings in Singapore
    Almost 42,000 businesses ceased in the first half of this year versus nearly 49,000 in the whole of 2015, government data show.
    Total nominal wages rose 4.6% per year on average over the past decade, compared with a 0.5% average annual growth rate of value-added per worker in that period.
    And recent data showed the unit labour cost index hitting a record high of 116.7 in the second quarter.

  57. Cheng,cheng, cheng, cheng. Cheng, cheng!
    Signs of a MLM scam
    In theses times of financial difficulties & woes, many souls will easily fall victim to scams such as MLM scams.
    When dreams are impossible, careers going down or cut short, & the mortgages unbearable, the rainbow offered by MLM seems a spark of renewed life or born-again baptism to the scammed souls.
    Be careful of every MLM, even the legit ones. I have known one legit (on the registry) that once banked on selling products but now has turned to recruitment as the way to get rich fastest messaged to salivating new recruits! Why the sudden change of business strategy if it is expanding the membership?

  58. The arrest of controversial rapper Namewee by PDRM is another sign of repression in Malaysia against artistes, said Amnesty International deputy director Josef Roy Benedict.

    “Amnesty International calls for Namewee to be released immediately and unconditionally if he is being detained purely for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression. This right is enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and guaranteed in Article 10 of Malaysia’s Constitution,” said Benedict.


    On October 12, 2015, seven children – six girls and a boy between the ages of seven and 11 – were discovered to have died in Malaysia’s northeastern state of Kelantan after being lost for 48 days in the jungle, having run away from their residential school. Two girls survived by eating grass and wild fruits.

    The children were Orang Asli, loosely translated as forest people, the indigenous peoples who were the original inhabitants of the Malay Peninsula before ethnic Malays arrived, mostly from Indonesia. They had run away to escape harsh punishment for bathing in a nearby river in Pos Tohoi in the Gua Musang District. Despite supposedly honoring the Orang Asli as bumiputeras or sons of the soil, in fact the Malaysia government does not treat its indigenous peoples well, instead seeking to force-assimilate them into the Malay-Muslim culture….

    By Dr. Azly Rahman
    – Asia Sentinel

    • Chong Wei missed the Olympic Gold again.
      He should keep in shape to try the fourth time at Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

      • Despite being #1, Datuk Lee Chong Wei has never won any of the ‘Grand Slam’ of badminton: – Asian Games, World Championships and the Olympics.

        On the hindsight, Datuk Lee should have focused on these major tournaments, instead of dispensing his energy in minor tournaments to chalk up points to maintain his #1 ranking.

      • Datuk Lee has taken so many sponsorship. He is obliged to be #1 to his sponsors. He earns more from sponsorship than from tournament prize money. So he has to play all sorts of tournaments to earn points to be #1, so much so that he is burning up and losing focus when it matters most in those key grand slam events.

    • The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) is aghast that the movie promoted Kabali as a philanthropist gangster who does not deal in drugs and prostitution. But the disconcerting fact is that Kabali kept killing in the movie and the message imparted is that criminal activities are alright as long as a person is a philanthropist. CAP is concerned that the lessons taught to our impressionable youths are:

      – It is alright to be a gangster as long as you run philanthropic programmes or disguise them as Corporate Social Responsibility (Kabali supports the Free Life Foundation).
      – Instead of being rejected by the people, you earn respect and live a flamboyant life style. Imagine that when Kabali was released from prison, about 3.5 minutes of the movie time was dedicated to an air of festivities by his gang members and the people to welcome him.
      – That Malaysian police are (allegedly) crooks as the movie suggested.
      – That gangsterism and violence are endorsed by our political leaders and supporters who attended the premier in Kuala Lumpur on 21 July 2016.

  60. To commemorate the coming National Day, this song is dedicated to all athletes who have been striving to glorify Malaysia’s name throughout the years in various sports events.

    Aku Anak Malaysia 2016

  61. Feeling the pinch? It’s not just because of higher cost of living
    Stagnant salaries is one thing.
    For those renting premises for doing businesses, the spiralling rental is also another factor leading to higher consumer price index. Who created this spiral? Greedy developers on greed intoxication are the main cause to the spiral equation. Don’t just blame the market supply&demand > super price of properties. Surreal prices not based on costs of production is one failure of gomen to monitor this greed-induced property industry.

    • Key points in the article:

      Studies have indicated than for every ringgit earned in Malaysia, employees get 35 sen, the company 60 sen and the government five sen. In Singapore, employees get 42 cents, the company 47 cents and government 11 cents.

      While critics often blame employers for the wage squeeze, which is true to a certain extent, analysts believe the income stagnation problem is more structural.

      First, is the continued dependency on low-tech and low-skilled manufacturing and commodity export economy, which usually pays low-to-medium income. The sector’s preference for migrant workers is also distorting the labour market, resulting in the artificial depression of wages, economists have pointed out.

    • Anil,
      I believe you are self-employed as a freelanced writer.
      Are you covered by any retirement scheme?

      KUALA LUMUR: An alarming number of Malaysian workers – well over six million who are self-employed or in the semi-formal sector – are not covered by any retirement scheme due to a lack of a comprehensive social protection system.

      EPF deputy chief executive officer (Strategy) Tunku Alizakri Alias said 10% of the labour force was covered under the pension scheme and 46% under the EPF because this is mandated by law, but another 44% are left out.

  62. Yesterday August 1, 2016, the National Security Council Act came into force. The Najib regime now has some form of “insurance” in place.
    The notorious Internal Security Act of 1960 (ISA) also happened to come into force on August 1, in 1960 (the Act was repealed in 2012). This is regarded as an unfortunate coincidence.
    National Security Council Act (NSC Act) was bulldozed through parliament in 2015, and came into force in 2016 automatically in the absence of Royal Assent.
    In simple terms, Najib could not wait to buy his insurance policy. It would appear that he is prepared to do anything to stay in power, but this also reflect his fear of the unknown.
    History tells us that the collapse of a corrupted regime is just a matter of time, what sort of harm the eventual collapse will cause the people of this country, remains to be seen.

  63. Bersih 2.0 has officially announced the fifth instalment of its rally, this time to push for further actions on the 1MDB case. It’s chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah told a press conference today that not protesting is not an option, following the recent US Department of Justice’s civil suit to seize billions in assets linked to 1MDB.

  64. Penang Hokkien will be ‘dead’ in 40 years if people stop using it, says language expert

    Just like all things cultural heritage (architecture, food, festivals, fashion, old trades, dialects), we don’t care to preserve them, to keep them alive. Rather we lust for the westernised version of bin-chui slippery cultures of globalisation.
    We should keep our minds clear & not blindly follow others like this explained:
    Catherine Churchman said the only way to keep the language alive is for Penangites to realise the significance of the language and be rid of the misconception that it was merely a “deviation of the true Chinese” or that Mandarin is the “unifying language for Chinese.”

    “In Penang, Mandarin wasn’t the unifying language. Hokkien was the unifying language for all Chinese up to the 1990s and after that, it was the Singaporean idea of schools… people started saying things like Hokkien is just a dialect and Mandarin is the real language and all of these other ones are just a deviation of the true Chinese which isn’t true.

    “That’s not linguistically or historically true… Hokkien didn’t develop from Mandarin. They developed from a common ancestor which no longer exists,” she said.

  65. Dr M slams S’pore for refusing to reveal names in 1MDB scandal
    Something is not right. Suspiciously not right.
    Imagine if a foreign country can hold the “….” of another country’s leader, what do you expect?
    Read the comments in this article & you will get what I mean.

  66. Kong Thai Lai 广泰来 kopitiam will relocate to 38 Leith Street after its eviction from the present Hutton Lane.

    See last night’s NTV7 News report (承载味蕾记忆 槟老顾客不舍广泰来搬迁) featuring the 3rd generation boss speaking about this in Penang Hokkien:

    • It is unfortunate that more Penangites are feeling the loss of McDonald’s at Sunshine Tower rather than this heritage kopitiam. We should continue to support Kong Thai Lai at its new premise to keep alive the old taste of heritage coffee and toast bread.

  67. The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 was the subject of a bombshell report Sunday aired by the Australian edition of legendary news program 60 Minutes – report that charges Malaysia with a cover-up and even indicates that Malaysia government officials may have known that the missing Boeing 777-200’s pilot deliberately flew the plane off course, ditching it, along with all 238 other people on board, into the Indian Ocean.

    60 Minutes: MH370 Special Investigation – part one

    60 Minutes: MH370 Special Investigation – part two

    The Australian 60 Minutes report comes about a week after American reporter Jeff Wise, who has covered the Flight MH370 story from the beginning, published a report in New York Magazine revealing that a previously secret police report showed that Malaysia Airlines pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah used a home flight simulator to plan a bizarre, off-course flight into the Indian Ocean – using a simulated route eerily similar to the one investigators believe that the plane actually took.

  68. Nudist bathers in Germany ‘threatened by men who swam onto beach and shouted Allahu Akbar’
    Before the advent of “Mediterranean-looking men,” at the nudist beach, there was no such shout of disapproval by any god from the blue German sky! How come now?
    My ‘naked’ take: the more you hide this & that, the more you get frustrated, physically & spiritually!

    • Latest Reuter report:

      Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak will get sweeping security powers on Monday amid planned protests calling for his resignation over U.S. allegations that millions of dollars from a state fund wound up in his personal bank account.

      The new National Security Council (NSC) Act, which comes into force on Aug. 1, allows Najib to designate any area as a “security area”, where he can deploy forces to search any individual, vehicle or premise without a warrant. It also allows investigators to dispense with formal inquests into killings by the police or armed forces in those areas.

      Najib’s ruling coalition promoted the law as a means to counter threats to security in predominantly Muslim Malaysia, which has long dealt with a fringe element of radical Islamists.

      But critics say the law’s expansive powers threaten human rights and democracy in the middle-income emerging nation, and could now be used to silence critics of the One Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) fund scandal.

      “The concern among the civil society and others is because the NSC can be used against anything that the government is unhappy with,” said Wan Saiful Wan Jan, chief executive of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs, adding that it could extend to public rallies.

      “It does give the PM a huge amount of power to declare emergency zones…,” he said.


      The law was passed on the last day of the legislation session in December, surprising the opposition, as Najib came under mounting criticism over the multi-billion dollar scandal surrounding the 1MDB fund, which he founded and whose advisory council he chaired until recently.

      The law was enacted without the customary royal assent from Malaysia’s king, who had asked for some changes.

      Pressure on Najib to step down mounted last week after the U.S. Justice Department filed civil lawsuits alleging that over $3.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB. The lawsuits seek to seize more than $1 billion of assets allegedly siphoned from the fund, saying they were part of “an international conspiracy to launder money”.

      The civil lawsuits do not name Najib, but refer to a high-ranking government official who received over $700 million of the misappropriated funds. A source familiar with the investigations told Reuters the official, named as Malaysian Official 1 in the lawsuits, was Najib. [nL4N1A629U]

      Najib, who has denied any wrongdoing, has said Malaysia will cooperate in international investigations of the 1MDB case.

      The ruling party suffered unprecedented losses in the 2008 general elections and then lost the popular vote in 2013 under Najib’s leadership. The next general election must be called by 2018.


      The NSC is coming into force amid growing complaints about assaults on civil liberties in Malaysia.

      Najib has in recent months used the colonial era Sedition Act and other draconian laws to arrest government critics, jail opposition leaders and stifle free speech by suspending media groups and blogs.

      “The likelihood of the NSC being utilized in order to crack down against any act of civil movement is likely to steadily increase as manoeuvring space for the PM decreases,” said Sevan Doraisamy, executive director at Suaram, a human rights NGO.

      Malaysia’s opposition coalition is planning an anti-Najib rally on July 30. Pro-democracy group Bersih, whose street protests last year drew a 200,000-strong crowd, is also planning a separate rally, but has not set a date.

      While rallies can still be organised under the Peaceful Assembly Act, the NSC can declare any area — a building, a street or a city — a “security area”, where protests would be disallowed.

      Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said on Monday he will not allow rallies that demand Najib step down from power.

      “Red Shirt” supporters from Najib’s ruling United Malays National Organisation have vowed to hold a counter-rally. They did so last September and it turned rowdy when participants breached security barricades and clashed with riot police.

      “I think they (the government) are getting nervous about 1MDB and the reaction of the people,” said civil rights activist and lawyer Ambiga Sreenevasan, adding that the public was also “very nervous” about the new security law.

    • Najib is said to be determined to gain sweeping dictatorial powers as part of a desperate move to hold on to power while he is wrapped in the country’s largest corruption scandal, the 1MDB.

      This bill of a new National Security Council Act will allow the government to declare areas including the whole of the country, as a security area, in which he and the authorities could deploy forces to search any individual, vehicle or premise without a warrant, and conduct arrests.

      It also allows investigators to dispense with formal inquiries into killings by the police or armed forces. This new law will surpass the Internal Security Act in catapulting Malaysia back to an authoritarian era not seen in the country since the days of British colonial rule.

  69. Priced out by tourists: the Airbnb effect in Lisbon’s historic centre
    Alfama, one of the oldest and most picturesque areas of Lisbon, is becoming a victim of its own charm.
    Short-term lets to tourists are driving up rents and driving out old residents.
    “They want to throw me out to rent my home to tourists,” complained retired salesman Antonio Melo, 70. His house has changed owners four times over the last year and his new landlord has just told him his lease will not be renewed.
    “Soon there will only be tourists in Alfama,” he said.

    • Already AirBnB has been used widely in Penang (eg. the condo at Penang Times Square) to provide cheaper alternative to hotel stay at those otherwise unoccupied Penang properties.

      • The problems with AirBnB:
        creates noisy environment in residential housing (imagine noisy PRC Chinese tourists)
        no insurance for tourists staying in case of fire or calamities
        open to illegal activities like prostitution or drug transits
        in case of suicides, the affected property & neighbour’s units are not saleable
        lifts break down more often, more rubbish to clear & maintenance fees may go up
        security may be compromised as no control over who is coming in or going out
        what else in AirBnB problematic?

    • There is no interest or passion among the new generation to sustain the old trades at the heritage zone. We must admit that time has change. Now many young people have diploma or degrees, so they prefer to be in the current trend, not be associated with jobs of yesteryears. So kopitiam is making way for coffee joints like Starbucks and OldTown White Coffee.

      • Starbucks & Old Town Cafes don’t attract long-stay tourists who search for authentic cultural x-perience & spend more tourist money than young fleeting tourists or selfie chaps looking for trophy selfie pics. Also many young Y gens working in Armenian Street touristy shops to earn decent living rather than Facebooking which waste precious time & daddy’s money.
        Also, many young people went to x-perience childhood games in recent tourism promotions.
        Go have a life & walk the heritage sites to see for yourself rather than Facebooking away your precious time in Starry-Eyed Bucks!!!

      • You should tell the long-stay tourists to support that kopiitiam that once-frequented-by-BoonSiew-but-now-facing-eviction, for the unique nanyang kopi experience.

    • The SingLanders you mentioned are likely Penangites holding Singapore PR, returning home to snap up Penang properties upon their retirement, bringing back their CPF money and S$ to splurge. So techically they are still Penangites. Envy not.

      • The rows of heritage houses bought by a SingLand corporation which ownership belongs to PR SingLanders + Penangites? Do your homework instead of assumptions, please.

      • Are you referring to The Cantonment (Pulau Tikus) the ideal retirement enclaves for returning Penangites from SingLand?

      • Go to inner city George Town Heritage Zone & look out for those refurbished shop houses in a row with identical wall paint which are most likely bought by SingLanders.
        Nice looking heritage houses with super-high rentals do not necessarily translate into attractive costs of doing business for locals.

      • Worry not about the high rental. Let the market forces of supply vs demand take its course. This is the basic concept in Economics. If those businesses sitting on high rental can survive, then there are ready customers willing to pay for their products and services.

  70. Nice attack: Witnesses describe Bastille Day terror
    “People were disembowelled, stripped naked of their clothes, mothers sprawled on the floor next to their dead children; one person was wrapped up like a Swiss roll with his arms and legs sticking out from his body which was folded back on itself,” he said.

    • Amid signs of growing religious fundamentalism and the Arabisation of Islam in Malaysia, the religious elite in the country has also become more politicised. Recent controversial views expressed by religious scholars on what defines acceptable conduct — such as how Kelantan mufti Shukri Mohamad said non-Muslims should dress conservatively during Ramadan, and Pahang mufti Abdul Rahman Osman slamming the secular opposition Democratic Action Party as non-believers opposed to Islam — indicate this group may be straying from the national policy of religious moderation. Dr Norshahril Saat, a fellow at the Iseas-Yusof Ishak Institute researching Malaysian politics, analyses the trend of exclusivist attitudes towards religious discourse in the South-east Asian nation.

      Recent writings on Malaysia’s religious elite — the muftis (state-appointed persons with religious authority), ulama (religious scholars) and religious bureaucrats — show the group as a whole is becoming more conservative, authoritarian and exclusive.

      For further reading:
      Rising conservatism in M’sian Islam not just from Arabisation

      • The Clash of Civilisation by Samuel P. Huntington is no further from the ugly truth of humanity, that intolerance intoxicated by warped religious interpretations (by popular preachers with personal agendas?) & fired by sectarian religious ego will eventually incinerate the world. People should wake up to the fact that life is not all about whose religion is the best or the truth as there is no evidence of testimonial conduct of religious people on a societal scale any where near the angels.
        Live life according to conscience of what is right from what is truly evil & you will be rewarded accordingly in the hereafter. Mankind is created not to kill but to love every living things including the environment.
        Have you ever wondered why there are multi-cultures practised by a species called Man?

      • Have you actually read Samuel Huntington’s book?
        Kafir harbi is the same as Ayatollah’s degree on some disbelievers or offenders like Salman Rushdie.
        The Clash of Civilisation still applies today as it was first proposed in 1993 whether the writer is still alive or dead. Otherwise all good writings may as well be dysfunctional / non-applicable like Isaac Newton!!! Gosh!

      • Do not take the credit away from Mufti Pahang, who updated … ideology for adaptation to Nusantara.

  71. Nice Attack – terror, horror, carnage by hell’s trucker.
    New Footage Of Truck Driving Into Crowd | MSNBC

    We are living dangerously in a terror-prone world of mindless terrorism brewed on madness.
    It looks like hell is finally let loose as in the days of end times.

    • The British government advised its citizens on Friday (July 15) that there is a “high” threat from terrorism in Malaysia, following the recent grenade attack at a Puchong nightclub linked to the Islamic State (IS). The “high” status is the highest of four levels of terrorist threat used by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), defined as a “high level of known terrorist activity”.

  72. Before you invest, check for possible scams with:
    BNM Financial Consumer Alert

    List of companies and websites which are neither authorised nor approved under the relevant laws and regulations administered by BNM.

    SC Investor Alerts
    IOSCO – Investor Alerts Portal
    List Of Unauthorised Websites / Investment Products / Companies / Individuals
    List Of Unauthorised Websites / Investment Products / Companies As Referred By Foreign Regulators

  73. Fakkah Fuzz is the Singapore malay comedian that has stirred the nerves of Umbo recently. Watch his 2011 stand-up comedic performance here:

  74. John Hanna wrote this on FB:

    Just returned home after braving the absurd Armenian / Victoria St tourist melee.
    Hundreds of people all milling around looking at nothing.
    I sat and watched them, trying to fathom exactly what it was that was attracting them.
    We all know about ‘that’ mural.
    Ok, that’s an icon printed on their travel brochure as a ‘must see’.
    Not sure why – but it just is.
    After that, what are they doing?
    There’s a fake rock band – A Bee Gees tape accompanied by some old guy banging on saucepans. They seem to like that.
    Souvenir Postcards, T-Shirts and Tea Towels sporting the bicycle, so that they can take home a momento of their mindless adventure.
    Countless hire bikes and peddle carts full of families sucking on poison ice blocks.
    They giggle and gasp, seemingly unaware of the murderous impatience of the local drivers.
    Not once did I see anyone actually looking at the buildings.
    You know – the Heritage buildings. The beautiful street-scapes that are still lurking there behind the junk stalls, ice-cream banners and endless trash food outlets. They just blindly walk or ride straight passed the astonishing architecture in search of the next stupid mural or trinket stall.
    So this is what a UNESCO World Heritage site should look like?
    BUT – I have a SOLUTION
    Seeing as how the old buildings, the old town, the historic enclaves, the culture, is all of no consequence to the great unwashed, then why not decentralise the abominable trash circus to a more suitable location and keep the town for people who appreciate its history and for the locals who live and work here?
    The Government and their slutty Developer bed partners are about to reclaim 3 islands.
    Perfect. Want to make some serious money guys out of the moronic tourist masses?
    Turn the islands into Disneylands full of plastic, fake, neon garbage and start raking in the bucks.
    Have a monorail over and connecting the mini Sentosa’s. Maybe even a road to one island, so that the totally car-obsessed can stay in air-conditioned comfort and actually drive right up to each trinket stall and buy their durian infused 3-Island’s cigarette lighter, directly through the car window.
    No cars on the other two islands, just thousands of peddle carts bumping into each other. No need for any buildings, just concrete walls and bitumen paths. They’ll love it.
    It’s time to get professional about exploiting the mindless masses. Much better to set up a fully fledged amusement park and fleece them properly. No one’s really making any serious money in George Town.
    The exponential shift toward cheap, crass tourism is like a child being given a bucket load of money and spending it all on toys. In a few years time they’re left with hundreds of useless toys and no money to buy adult things with. It’s time George Town put a quota on its toys – the bicycles, the murals, the lolly pops, the novelty museums, the endless chain of unprofessional cafes and started promoting its history and unique architecture in a mature way.
    It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site for God’s sake.

    • For how long Penang can attract tourists with those murals?
      More important to attract foreign tourists that could spend big to spur the economy.
      Back packers to Penang for selfie sessions at the murals would not bring in the money.

  75. JPA cancelled, students seek public donation
    Due to JPA overseas scholarship’s cancellation earlier this year, 9 students who managed to get placements in universities abroad hope to raise RM750,000 from the public.
    Ung Lik Teng, the students’ representative mentioned that the amount they were asking was highly minimum, as the students will work part time to cover their cost of living overseas.

      • Some of our top brains are left out in the cold (annually) so as not to upset the status quo of so-so quota-ed competition. No wonder SingLand is always welcoming our top brains with open arms (after the Chinese scholars from PRChina).

  76. What has gone wrong with society?
    Killings every week. Terror unfolds at random moment.
    What is happening in once peaceful, tolerant, multi-cultural Malaysia???
    Time to ponder, to investigate, to act before madness takes over our society.
    Even the Deities are not spared:
    3 statues of Hindu deities vandalised at Penang temple

  77. Retirees shouldn’t have to suffer after financing children’s education
    It would be morally wrong if parents have to endure hardship in their twilight years just because they spent all their money on their children’s education, says Benedict Lopez.
    A pragmatic decision should be made based on the financial considerations of the parents. If the parents cannot afford it, then children have to try and find alternative sources of financing for their education. It would be morally wrong if parents have to endure hardship in their twilight years just because they spent all their money on their children’s education.

    • Forbes: Malaysia, A Center Of Moderate Islam, Braces For More ISIS Attacks

      Malaysian police announced this month their country’s first confirmed attack by the violent Islamic State. Someone in Syria gave orders to bomb the Movida night club in the Malaysian town of Puchong June 28, injuring eight people, according to local media reports. Now some worry that the night club incident will lead a string of Islamic State (ISIS) attacks in Malaysia. The hardcore ISIS resents Malaysia’s moderate Islam and the government’s condemnation of its violent approach to making believers more puritan. The violent group also sees chances to convert disgruntled low-income Malaysians into future attack planners in the generally well-off country.

      “In terms of why Malaysia is a target, struggles over the specific nature and extent of Islamization are keen in Malaysia,” says Meredith Weiss, associate political science professor with The State University of New York at Albany.

      About 61% of the 30 million Malaysians believe in Islam and you see ornate mosques throughout the country. Alcohol and pork, both prohibited by the religion, can be hard to find in small towns and women commonly wear burkas. However, per the constitution Malaysia is a secular state and a lot of people, such as the large ethnic Chinese minority, are unlikely to follow Islam. Malaysian officials have been among the world’s most vocal against ISIS and back U.S. efforts to squelch it. Malaysian police have already foiled other would-be violence, such as an attempt in March 2015 to attack two embassies in the capital Kuala Lumpur.

      “Malaysia is naturally viewed as a thorn in IS’s worldview and ideology,” says Phuong Nguyen, associate fellow at the Southeast Asia Program of U.S. think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies. ISIS has decided to attack now Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand because its supporters in Southeast Asia took a “cue” from its call to target “so-called non-believers” during a Muslim holy month, Nguyen says. The same group has beheaded Westerners near its base in Syria and claimed attacks from Turkey through Europe to the United States.

      Among those supporters in Malaysia may be people who feel “alienated” on the poor side of a wealth gap, says Oh Ei Sun, international studies teacher at Singapore Nanyang University. About 1% of Malaysians live in poverty, according to government statistics from 2014. Easily swayed by religion, some of the poor can be turned into recruits for IS. “Where Muslims are a majority, there’s an effort to make it more puritanical,” Oh adds.

      Like the night club attack, future attempts at violence may target police and the government at large, Weiss says. Police evidently know that as they have stepped up counter-terrorism work over the past year. The extent of Islam in Malaysia “has perhaps fed aggravation with the state and police, at least among those already inclined to be disgruntled and short-fused,” Weiss says.

    • Malaysia: Clear and present danger from the Islamic State

      The use of political Islam is a deliberate move by a group of committed Islamists hidden in the highest level of the Malaysian state and bureaucracy to create a Malay-Islamic state, not a mere theocratic state. This ideology is unique and separate from the caliphate project pursued by IS.

      In the Malaysian version of the Malay-Islamic state, Sunni Islam’s supremacy is indivisible from ethnicity, i.e. the Malay race. In other words, the unique Malaysian brand of Sunni Islamic supremacy is fused with intolerant Malay nationalism. This highly committed group is trying to build the world’s only Islamic state where Islam and one particular ethnic group are one and the same.

  78. Penang mulls reviving rent control
    The Penangites living in the heritage zone & doing business esp traditional trades are the living heritage as part of UNESCO heritage recognition. Rising rentals going sky-high are never part of the heritage value & humanity.
    We should prevent this ugly greed of landlords from killing our heritage assets, even if it means bidding goodbye to the SingLanders who came here to create chaos in the rental business in George Town.
    It is more than gentrification. It is social engineering which is unacceptable in the civilised sense.

  79. Malaysia risks turning into a hardline religious state, where adulterers are stoned to death and thieves have their hands chopped off.

    The grim warning from former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, comes as current premier Najib Razak courts Islamists to shore up support for his scandal-tainted UMNO party.

    “What is happening now is that Umno feels itself isolated because of what Najib has done. So in search of alliance, Umno is actually trying to win over PAS,” Mahathir said in an exclusive interview with South China Morning Post.

    PAS wants to introduce the strict sharia penal code hudud, which punishes thieves by chopping off their hands. There’s a chance this could happen, according to Mahathir.

    “To win over PAS, they support hudud. That is why hudud has been brought up in parliament. It was actually Umno which helped this movement to increase the power of the sharia court.”

    The tiny neighbouring sultanate of Brunei began implementing hudud penalties in 2014, fanning fears in Malaysia of accelerated Islamisation.

    According to Mahathir, PAS first mooted introducing hudud during his term in office but he told the party it is not possible as Malaysia has a multi-religious population and it would cause problems.

    “In the Koran, it is written that God doesn’t like people who cause trouble. Of course a lot of Malays are not happy with my stand but I go by the Koran.”

    • MCA leader Liow Tiong Lai deserves a … on the ‘kafir harbi’ issue and this shameless AG deserves … for being so biased in arresting LGE, and not Jho Low and Mufti Pahang!

  80. In Taman Tun, hundreds protest planned Bukit Kiara development

    Nearly 500 Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) residents gathered at the Bukit Kiara Rimba Park today to object to a new project they say will cause over-development of their neighbourhood.
    Residents ranging from the elderly to toddlers gathered from 11am and held signs that read “Save Taman Rimba Kiara. Say no to development” and “Hands Off Taman Rimba Kiara.”
    Apart from damage to the park, which has been gazetted as a forest reserve, residents are also concerned that the new project could see the neighbourhood’s per-acre density spike more than 13 times, from just 74 people per acre to possibly 979 people

  81. Pahang mufti Abdul Rahman Osman has confirmed stating DAP is against the implementation of Islamic principles, and therefore falls under the category of kafir harbi.

    It is an Islamic belief that kafir harbi refers to non-believers who can be slain for waging war against Islam.

    However, Abdul Rahman told Malaysiakini that his statement was not only directed at DAP, but all those who opposed Islam.

    “Not DAP only. Whoever is kafir (infidel) and against Islam.

    “As long as DAP is against this, then this is the way (being labelled as kafir harbi),” he said.

    Abdul Rahman was responding to an article in Utusan Malaysia, which quoted him as labelling DAP as kafir harbi .

    He was also quoted as warning that it is a cardinal sin for Muslims to collaborate with DAP, which has been vocal against the implementation of Islamic laws.

    The mufti’s remarks were in relation to he PAS-led effort to introduce amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdictions) Act 1965, also known as Act 355, that would enable the implementation of the party’s adaptation of the Islamic penal code (hudud) in Kelantan.

    Meanwhile, an Islamic lecturer called for caution and reflection from religious leaders and all quarters before proclaiming any group as kafir harbi as such a declaration carried serious ramifications and consequences that can lead to loss of life.

    “All religious leaders must be fully aware and cautious in issuing any fatwa (religious edict) with regard to blood and life.

    “They are advised to read (Islamic scholar) Yusuf al-Qaradawi’s piece called ‘Fiqh a-Jihad’ on the labelling of kafir harbi on any group or individual,” said Universiti Islam Antarabangsa (UIA) fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) lecturer Maszlee Malik in a statement.

    He noted that the term kafir harbi connoted that persons or groups are legitimised to be killed by Muslims due to their infidelity and aggression towards Muslims, as discussed by scholars from all Islamic schools of thoughts (mazhab).

    Maszlee also reminded that Muslim MPs from BN in Sarawak have also rejected the PAS-proposed amendments.

    “Are these Muslim MPs to be killed as well?” he asked.

    DAP, which is a predominantly-Chinese party, has often been accused of attempting to undermine Islam and the position of the Malays.

    Its leaders have repeatedly denied this charge, and blame their political rivals for the negative perception.

    Source: Malaysiakini

    • this mufti demonstrates to me that his brand of islam is not a religion of peace.
      look at what has happened at the turkey airport.
      how can you kill human beings in the name of religion?
      wake up! my fellow malaysians, enough of bn rhetorics!
      do not give your votes to corrupted najib and racist bn!

  82. Sia Boey redevelopment to make way for LRT hub; planned Art Museum to be moved to Macallum St. instead.

    Why not the other way round? Sia Boey is a historical place to Penang folks- it should be preserved and the LRT hub should be moved to Macallum instead!

    Source: Buletin Mutiara Facebook Page

    • Good point. If we had trams instead of elevated LRT, we wouldnt need such a large hub, just a small tram station.

    • RM12 million Ransom Fiasco:
      DPM said the RM12 million was given away as donations to charitable Islamic organisations; the IGP upped the ante by saying there is no RM12 million to give away in the first place. So where is the RM12 million now?

    • A host of Hollywood stars, including Joaquin Phoenix and Minnie Driver, have recorded a video to protest the torture and killing of 10,000 dogs in China:


    Press Statement by YB Jagdeep Singh Deo, Penang State EXCO for Housing and Town & Country Planning on 4th June 2016 (Saturday) in George Town, Penang:

    Since the promulgation of Perumahan Rakyat1 Malaysia (PR1MA) Act 2012, the Penang State Government had been pushing the Federal Government to deliver affordable housing of PR1MA to Penang. Towards this end, I have written numerous letters to various Federal Agencies, including PR1MA, the Housing Ministry and even the Prime Minister’s Department. For almost 3 whole years, there was deafening silent on their end, and only at the end of last year, namely December, 2015, PR1MA submitted several applications for affordable housing in Penang.
    Amongst the applications which had been received are in Batu Feringghi (1,520 units); Jalan Jarak Tengah, Northern Seberang Perai (2,387 units); Bukit Gelugor (1,337 units) and the latest for Balik Pulau for a total sum of 9,904 units.
    It is very unfortunate however to note that the Federal Agencies have not complied with the affordable housing guideline that prevail in Penang. They should clearly take note of the existing guidelines, which is the first of its kind to be introduced in the country, to ensure affordable housing, in particular the pricing and sizing of such units, and at the same time, they should also be aware of the requirements of rezoning, allowable density and plot ratio, the restriction of development land above 76 meters (250 feet) from sea level, and height controls in several areas in the State.
    I have to point this out as some of the applications received by PR1MA for such affordable housing projects clearly had not taken these factors into consideration. Whereby in relation to the project in Batu Feringghi, the question of pricing has yet to be reconcile with the Penang State Affordable Housing Guideline. Where this project is concerned, negotiations are still on going and it is hoped to be finalised soon.
    What is more shocking however, is the latest submission by PR1MA, in a mega affordable housing project in Kuala Sungai Pinang, Balik Pulau for the total of 9,904 units, which will be situated in 29 blocks which go up as high as 27 storeys, and which are priced up to RM510,000.00. It is clear not only are they not sensitive to the price control set by the Penang State Government, whereby we have recently reduced the price ceiling for affordable housing on the island to RM300,000.00, at the request of the Federal Government when they priced their units up to RM510,000.00 in the rural area in Balik Pulau, which clearly is seriously unaffordable.
    Further, they are also not sensitive to the Penang State Government’s restriction on height of buildings in Balik Pulau, whereby the maximum allowable, even then in special cases is only up to 16 storeys. Upon the receipt of their said application, the State Planning Technical Committee headed by me postponed the deliberation of their application on 15 April 2016 And directed that they review their specification of the proposed development at Balik Pulau.
    In fact, the concerns that I raised were shared by UMNO Assemblyman of Pulau Betong, YB Sr. Hj. Muhamad Farid Bin Haji Saad. In this regard it should be noted that the letter dated 12 May 2016 By PR1MA to the Town and Country Planning Department of Penang (Jabatan Perancang Bandar dan Desa Pulau Pinang – JPBD), they in fact withdrew their application.
    Having regard to the massive size of the proposed project in Balik Pulau, which is in a land comprising of 207.57 acres, it is suggested Balik Pulau being a green area, PR1MA should consider building landed affordable housing as there is enough land to do so in that particular area which has no high-rises and is a green lung in Balik Pulau. Profit should not be foremost in the minds of the Federal Government affordable housing agencies such as PR1MA as clearly can be seen by their submission for the said mega project in Balik Pulau, for nearly 10,000 units of apartments which in any event are not within the affordable pricing range.
    It is hoped that they will review their specification of their development and resubmit to the Penang State Government for consideration. Apart from PR1MA, my advice to all other prospective applications under other various federal affordable housing agencies, including but not limited to Perumahan Penjawat Awam 1 Malaysia (PPA1M), should take into account, be sensitive and comply with all the prevailing guidelines and policies for the development of affordable housing in Penang.

  84. 50 Dead, Dozens Injured at Florida Gay Club Shooting, Gunman Dead
    A gunman killed 50 people at a packed gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida on Sunday in the worst mass shooting in U.S. history which authorities described as a possible act of terrorism.
    Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on a congressional intelligence committee, noted that the shooting took place during Ramadan, and that ISIS leaders in Syria have urged attacks during this time.
    “The target was an LGBT nightclub during Pride, and – if accurate – that according to local law enforcement the shooter declared his allegiance to ISIS, (that) indicates an ISIS-inspired act of terrorism,” Schiff said in a statement.
    If confirmed as an act of terrorism, it would stand as the deadliest such attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001, when al Qaeda-trained hijackers crashed jetliners into New York’s World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania, killing some 3,000 people.

    • This would not have happened if our Ringgit is on par in value with SingDollar.

      You should ask why our Ringgit is dropping in value since we kicked out Singapore in 1965.

      • Don’t play the blame game.
        SingLander Invasion – It is a form of economic colonialism that can happen anywhere.
        Have you been to George Town & ask some of the local businessmen who spoke about the surreal rise in rentals regardless of who the owners are? The spiral effect of rental rise actually started with these ‘property colonialism’ by rich foreigners who have no qualms but to profit from the situation.
        Go do your homework instead of spewing the same Komtar saliva!

      • Do not forget many talented Malaysians have been invading Singapore job market, taking jobs away from local Singaporeans. Also taking up Singapore university places at the expense of Singaporeans.

        Is this not another form of economic colonialism, when Singaporeans have to report to Malaysian superiors in Singapore firms? Think about this.

      • This is nothing for free. SingLand gets talents who have to fulfil certain conditions to contribute & serve the country. How can you say that is economic colonisation which is taking ownership of assets, resources & future earnings. Think about it with common sense.
        The buying of properties in heritage zone Penang is something else which is a form of taking ownership of assets & causing spiral inflation & hardship. Go learn some pure economics.

    • After the ugly facts of Cosmopolitan Penang Frenzies, here comes the Timely Hero to the rescue!!!
      To the discerning heritage cultural tourists looking for the authentic in Penang, this is unthinkable!
      A similar comparison to the New Villages (of ethnic herding during the Emergencies of communist era) of Malaya.
      Such is the Cosmopolitan Penang morphing for the rich & famous & SingLanders.

    • Langkawi MP Nawawi Ahmad said: “The salaries of MPs are not paid by the people but the government and the government’s money is not the people’s money.”

      Where does the government get its money? Saudi donation?

      • Umno wants you to believe that your tax contribution belongs to Regime Najib for use in 1MDB(?)

  85. The Singdollar has risen above RM3 for the first time since March 15, Bloomberg data showed on Wednesday (June 1).

    Since the start of trading on Wednesday, the Singdollar has risen by 0.58% against the ringgit, Bloomberg data showed.

    The Malaysian Ringgit have slumped 5.2 per cent against the US dollar as of May 31 on stocks outflows and persistent concerns about troubled state fund 1MDB. This was the largest monthly loss for the ringgit since August last year when a graft scandal linked to Prime Minister Najib Razak and 1MDB intensified.

    From March 15 to May 31, the strongest the ringgit had been against the Singdollar was on April 14 when S$1 was trading at RM2.8526.

  86. Lavish living making more grads bankrupt
    The Bin-Chui Factor is a double-edged knife of superficial self-esteem of materialism.
    Lack of self discipline in financial matters is the main cause of many youth getting bankrupt or in debts & who are bombarded by advertisements & peer pressure in a social media, selfie-loaded & covetous society. The other factors are easy credit financing & instant borrowed money from credit cards, no thanks to greedy banks that take risks to lend but don’t give a damn.
    The materialistic society spending mantra seems like “Spend first, pok kai later”

  87. P. Ramlee – ‘A man ahead of his time’
    It was during the era of the 50s & 60s that Malaysia was a blessed nation of truly 1Malaysia.
    P. Ramlee thro’ his talents endeared him to many Malaysians regardless of race, religion or social status.
    His songs alone could bring a smile in a Chinese man face whether he understood the lyrics or not. Such is the magic of P. Ramlee’s truly 1Malaysia.
    Will we have another P. Ramlee?

      • To all those millionaire customers (who happened to read this blog), ask yourself WHY?
        Giving back to society is a way to appreciate what you have enjoyed/utilised on your way to wealth.

  88. China’s Transit Elevated Bus Debuts at Beijing Intel High Tech Expo
    CCTV+ Published on May 22, 2016
    A model of a Transit Elevated Bus (TEB) debuted at the ongoing 19th China Beijing International High-Tech Expo.
    China’s Transit Elevated Bus Debuts at Beijing Intel High Tech Expo

    A model of a new elevated bus (pictured) has been unveiled at a tech expo in China, which will allegedly carry over 1,000 passengers over the top of cars, to allow traffic to pass underneath it.

    Full article at:
    China unveils elevated bus that drives over the TOP of other cars

    • Malay pupils make up 11.7% of the enrolment in Chinese primary schools in the country. This means that one out of every 10 pupil studying in Sekolah Jenis Kebangssan Cina (SJKC) is a Malay.

      United Chinese Schools Teachers’ Association (Jiao Zong) chairman Ong Chiow Chuen said the number of Malay pupils in SJKC throughout the country increased from 55,978 in 2010 to 66,647 in 2014.

      He said that the number of Malay pupils in SJKC increased by 10,671 in the last four years. In Kuala Lumpur alone, the number of non-Chinese pupils rose from 2,599 in 2003 to 3,902 in 2015. In this 12 years, the number of non-Chinese pupils in Kuala Lumpur’s SJKC increased by 1,303.

  89. Singapore’s regulators have shut down a private bank implicated in investigations of Malaysia’s troubled development fund 1MDB, with prosecutors in the city-state and Switzerland weighing criminal charges.

    The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said Switzerland-based BSI Bank would lose its status as a merchant bank in Singapore due to “serious breaches of anti-money laundering requirements, poor management oversight of the bank’s operations, and gross misconduct by some of the bank’s staff.”

    Former employees at BSI in Singapore have been named in various reports as having handled transactions for 1MDB, and although the Singaporean regulator did not refer directly to 1MDB in its statement, BSI Bank in Switzerland issued a statement in which it said it had ooperated with both Swiss and Singapore regulators in their investigations into the troubled wealth fund.

  90. Penang, a medical tourism destination, needs more space
    READ This:
    State Local Government Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow has earmarked two new islands in the south being planned for reclamation.
    Measuring 930ha and 566ha when reclaimed, these two islands will be used to fund the Penang Transport Master Plan – new roads and public transportation modes to cater to the state’s growth for the next 50 years and beyond.
    To give an indication, those islands together are equal to 1,863 Fifa World Cup football fields, space that Penang desperately needs to stay on top of its game.
    “The islands create opportunities for more holistic and integrated medical tourism development,” Chow said. He described hospitals with inbuilt medical and wellness suites for recuperating patients and family members.
    “To stay competitive globally, we must also strengthen our offering as a world-class medical destination and we can designate a portion of the reclaimed islands as a dedicated medical tourism hub,” Chow said.
    (Well, Cosmopolitan Penang is truly for the rich, famous & not-well!)

  91. Azmin orders ‘PKR Five’ to toe the line
    “But certainly they are allowed to raise their concerns and if their concerns are legitimate, the best forum for them to share and discuss them is the dewan (state assembly),”
    Amin, be frank to the 5.
    You think the state assembly is democratic to raised issues?
    Btw, toeing whose line? Stay polices, DAP or Niao Kong???

    • An MCA leader has taken a swipe at Penang opposition leader Jahara Hamid’s reported call for a Taoist shrine to be removed from a public park on grounds that some Muslims could be confused.

      MCA religious harmony bureau chief Ti Lian Ker said he hoped to see less of such leaders in the future, in order to move Malaysia out of any race, religion or cultural trappings.

    • It is impossible that Muslims would be confused by the presence of the shrine there or anywhere else in the country. There are thousands of such religious structures and houses of worship throughout the country.

      They have never caused any confusion so far. The existence of houses of worships of different religion near to each other shows the acceptance of different beliefs in the country.

      Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling in Penang has five different houses of worship — Masjid Kapitan Keling, Kuan Yin Temple, Sri Mahamariamman Temple , St. George’s Church and Cathedral of Assumption. They are housed along the same road over a century, and that has never been an issue.

      There is certainly no confusion over which house of worship you should attend. No one was bewildered and none was led astray by the existence of these places of worship.

      • Muslim in Malaysia can be less confused if they use ‘Salam Browser’ – a new web browser developed in Malaysia that claims to filter out content that does not adhere to Islamic restrictions. According to the website, it “enables web browsing that helps maintain purity of your heart and benefits your values.” The Salam Browser gives users a warning when arriving at a site that contains potentially offensive content, and blocks other content entirely.

    • Professor Hoo Ke Ping predicted recession in Malaysia in 2018, and said for those looking to buy a home, the next two-and-half years might be the best time to own a medium to high end property,

      This is because the property market had started to show signs of slowing down six months ago after market speculators failed to get bank loans or buyers or tenants for their properties.

      He said some of the houses were going for almost RM100,000 cheaper. For instance, he said, a condominium unit that was going for RM500,000 in 2012 was now being sold for RM420,000.

      He said property prices had shot up after Bank Negara’s delay in curbing greedy market speculators from buying and selling properties under the Developer Interest Bearing Scheme which exercises the “willing buyer willing seller” concept.

      Bank Negara finally imposed stricter regulations on market speculators in 2012. However, he said the delay had caused a property bubble with property prices artificially increased.

      Hoo said the “fake demand” had caused more houses to be built. He predicted that about 6,000 houses in the Klang Valley, 3,000 in Johor Bahru and 1,000 in Penang would lie vacant.

      To overcome the “fake demand”, he said, Bank Negara should tighten bank loans for developers, forcing them to sell completed properties at a cheaper price. “Most of them built the properties in 2013, when the prices were still inflated. Even if they sell the remainder of their unsold units at a cheaper price, they will still make money.”

      Source: FMT

    • I suggest you listen to this BBC’s Hardtalk podcast (4 May 2016)

      Human Rights Activist – Raheel Raza
      In recent years there has been plenty of often heated debate about the relationship between Islam and extremism. Much of the fiercest commentary has come from outside the faith, but increasingly there are calls for change from within the Muslim community. Hardtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to one of the most controversial voices in that internal debate. Raheel Raza is a Pakistani born Canadian human rights activist who co-founded the Muslim Reform Movement. How many Muslims are ready to talk her language.

  92. 10 things about: Lee Beng Chuan, the joss stick maker
    “Since you make joss sticks, you must make good joss sticks and give it to people so that they can use it for blessings, to give them good, happy and long lives.” After hearing that, it touched me. So I give out a lot of my joss sticks to people. I give it to old people, to students, to my neighbour, a lot of people. It’s a promise I made to my wife. Not everything is about money.

  93. Pre-war shophouse tenants, including operator of 90-year-old coffee mill, seeking compensation
    Invasion of SingLanders: A welcoming delights of CAT & Chow Chow
    Misfortunes for locals & heritage assets
    “George Town is the heart of Penang and if the property there is sold to foreigners, then maybe someday Penang will be sold to foreigners too. A Singaporean group that bought over the pre-war shophouses in Lebuh Katz are believed to also own about 200 other pre-war shophouses in George Town.

  94. ‘Nonsense’, Azmin says of formal request to extend stay in Sarawak
    “I wish to remind Adenan not to make enemies of me, and don’t make enemies of the people.
    “You make enemies with the corrupt and robbers. Why allow them to enter Sarawak? I am not a corrupt,” he said, adding that his visit to the hornbill state was to help PKR win public support for the Sarawak election.

    Right on, Azmin. This bo-hoot Adenan is trying to play a “beg my …” to humiliate the Opposition leaders.
    Don’t fall for his false sense of ego maniac.

  95. Penangites aware deforestation has been going on for years
    “The problem lies with the local authorities and enforcement offi­cers who do not leave their air-conditioned offices and do some field work.”
    Panel to meet over report on land clearing on Penang Hill
    A former Penang municipal councillor said he was angry and sad after reading the report, adding that there had been no action since he e-mailed similar pictures to the state leaders a few years ago.
    “They can take action if they want to since they have the powers to do so. But if they do not want to do anything, then it will be on their conscience forever.

  96. Taiwan angers China by releasing 20 telecoms fraud suspects deported from Malaysia
    Welcome to Taiwan – a haven for Taiwan born fraudsters with impunity!
    And to Malaysian authorities, all your hard work has gone to nothing. A Taiwan slap in the face?
    The next time these Taiwanese are caught, just send them quietly straight to Beijing.

  97. Reclamation dumping mud in their rice bowl
    Woi! What are the authorities @ Komtar doing?
    Reclamation for maxi-profiting but dumping the waste somewhere else without responsibility?
    Where is the enforcement? Competency? Accountability?
    After the fact of bulldozing development projects @ Gurney Drive.
    Money Talks But also Money Blinds (to developers’ recalcitrants). This is the reality of Penang CAT!

  98. Massive water crisis threatens nation
    Government should rethink the model of development which hinges on population growth.
    Concretised development overtaking nature is an overdue & misused option more for enriching the developers than building a better & greener life for the people.
    In Penang case, the limited land should be prioritised for balanced urbanisation & nature conservation.
    We don’t have to wait for a discount-minister to too-late to call for water rationing which the average cannot afford but the rich can afford to buy SingLand water online.

      • Why waste so much money to buy artificial water technology when nature itself is giving us free water if only we are careful to nourish, conserve & maintain Nature in abundance in Malaya Nusantara?
        Not everything water much pursue hi-tech unless one is living in the Sahara desert.

      • Global warming has risen the temperature of sea water, causing disruption in the hydrological pattern of rainfall i.e. Rain not occurring at desired places where the dams are located. Human beings are burning fossil fuels causing carbon emission and are creating havoc to the natural cycle of things. Already Kerian area is not receiving rainfall, blame the nature or El Niño?

        So when you mess with nature, free water would not come by easily.
        No wrong to assume that Nusantara government has to buy Newater technology from Singapore or Desalination technology from Israel in the future.

      • Anil
        I recommend this BBC podcast on WATER:

        As climate change threatens to play havoc with the rain, could we instead draw our water directly from the ocean?

        In his second gulp of H2O, presenter Justin Rowlatt hears from climatologist Raymond Pierrehumbert about how global warming is causing drastic but often unpredictable disruption to our natural supplies of freshwater.

        Yet as Israel enters its third year of dought, few of the country’s citizens are aware of any water shortages. The BBC’s Shira Gemer reports on the technological breakthroughs that have made this possible – from the gigantic Sorek desalination plant, to the drip irrigation pioneered by Netafim in the Negev desert. We also hear from desalination expert Raphael Semiat of Technion University how much the rest of the world can emulate Israel’s success.


    Proton, 1MDB and Rayani Air are some of best instances of how things can go very wrong.

    Former prime minister Tun Mahathir made the decision to venture into automobile manufacturing in the 1980s and the mistake was committed right from the very beginning.

    For a small country with less than 20 million then and lacking sophisticated production technology, it was impossible for us to compete heads-on with established automakers in Japan and the West.

    As a result, Proton could only rely on government protection and subsidies for survival.

    Without its own national car project, neighboring Singapore has eventually evolved into a high-income country because it understands its own core values and has given itself to continuously boost its national competitiveness instead of mobilizing its limited resources to assist non-performing companies.

    Mahathir insisted on developing the heavy industries because of his stubborn belief that Malaysia and the Malays “boleh”. Unfortunately we did not have the infrastructure and management expertise to support such an immense industry. Instead, we have opened up the way for opportunists to scoop handsome benefits at the expense of the rakyat.

    Take Perwaja Steel for example, the company was suffering a tremendous loss of RM10 billion, and despite the fact the prosecutors had collected evidences from places as far as Japan, Switzerland and Hong Kong, the court ruled that former managing director Eric Chia was not guilty of CBT charges.

    As for Proton, the government had pumped in RM13.9 billion into the company but the company wanted more help shortly after Mahathir quit as the chairman.

    The Proton and Perwaja Steel experiences tell us we don’t actually need to develop our automobile and steel industries even though we need them because of the tremendous risks associated with them.

    Even if Proton has been sold to a private company, the government still cannot shed this burden and is compelled to extend more loans to the carmaking company simply because it has some 12,000 on its payroll with another 50,000 working for Proton suppliers. 60,000 out of jobs is a too tacky a political issue for the Malaysian government to handle.

    Proton has grown to such a proportion that the government can no longer afford to let it fall. Even though the government will set up a task force led by Pemandu CEO Idris Jala to help transform Proton, the government may not be able to continuously provide the protective shield or lower the car tariff against the backdrop of a sluggish national economy and dampened auto sale. In the end, the Malaysian public will have to take the brunt.

    The country also needs to pay a very heavy price for 1MDB’s flop, with its RM50 billion debts. When there is no more asset to dispose of, it is very likely that the government will need to pump in more money to keep it afloat.

    Still very much in the dark over its own positioning, 1MDB acquired independent power producers at exorbitant rates and had plans to develop ambitious commercial and residential projects in the likes of Bandar Malaysia and TRX. There have been many other companies in these sectors but 1MDB chose to go into them and did it on much grander scales although these projects might not benefit the country much.

    Thanks to poor management, excessive loans and lack of transparency, 1MDB’s economic failure has since snowballed into a precarious political crisis.

    And since we have had a vision to become la fully developed country, 1MDB should have positioned itself as a highly efficient fund right from the very beginning, bringing in foreign partners for value-added and high-tech investments.

    As for Rayani Air, the termination of its business merely four months into operation has now become an international laughing stock. Sticking to its halal principles, the airline has failed to see this as a selling point and competitive edge.

    The failures of above-mentioned companies illustrate the fact that government protection, subsidies and assistance will not last forever. These companies must still go back to the basics: improve on their management and competitiveness.

    For so many years our precious resources have been squandered on these highly inefficient entities. As if that is not enough, we find it impossible to let them fall.

    Source: Mysinchew

  100. Teresa Kok: Phang prompted by bad feng shui to sell bungalow
    Yeah? A good friend would do that (sell a bad feng shui house) to another good friend?
    If I want to sell such a house, I would never sell it to a leader whom I have high hope to lead the state. More so if he is my good friend whose wellbeing is of utmost importance. You wouldn’t want your beloved leader to fall into bad luck, curse, etc.
    Teresa, get excitingly creative.
    What about a Tiger spirit roaming in that property? Tiger & Cat are compatible feng shui.

  101. Don’t rely on PR1MA if you want to blame Putrajaya, Rahman tells Guan Eng
    Abdul Rahman said the Penang government was not obligated to follow PR1MA’s pricing and could set any price for the affordable homes it commissioned.
    “If he indeed wants to help the rakyat, don’t be busybody in wanting to use the federal government’s project as standard.
    “And then when questioned, accuses and blames the federal government without basis,” he said in a statement tonight.

  102. KL, Penang homes ‘severely unaffordable’, says central bank
    An urban worker in Kuala Lumpur and Penang will need to work for five years – and then spend on nothing at all – to be able to afford a home, Bank Negara Malaysia found.
    House prices are beyond the reach of workers in key states in Malaysia while commercial properties are oversupplied, the central bank said.
    “House prices are severely unaffordable in Kuala Lumpur and Penang.

  103. Why are we paying more per square foot in Penang compared to Guan Eng, asks Gerakan

    “We wonder how Lim could buy his bungalow at such a cheap price while the people have to pay two to three times more in terms of price per sq ft for an affordable home unit.
    “Instead of paying less than RM200,000, which is more affordable for many youngsters, they need to fork out RM400,000 now to buy an affordable home unit at the size of 650 sq ft with only two bedrooms.
    “Is this fair to our youngsters?”

  104. The Youth and Sports Ministry has landed in the spotlight after it was revealed that one of its senior officials allegedly masterminded misappropriation of funds amounting to RM100 million.

    “The official led a lavish lifestyle and bought branded watches, with one that cost up to RM400,000. There was also jewellery worth RM600,000, bedding material costing RM300,000 as well as paintings and dozens of handbags,” said MACC investigations division director Datuk Azam Baki.
    “He also travelled overseas frequently, with his family flying first-class at RM80,000 each,” he added.

  105. Consumer-interest groups want lower price for affordable homes

    You can afford a ridiculously (below market value) priced mansion, but we can only afford a LC & LMC affordable homes.
    Pls have a human heart – UBAH the ceiling price of affordable homes in Penang.

  106. Natural beauty of Gertak Sanggul to be showcased in art festival
    Gertak Sanggul is a tranquil beach for family outings, fishing & camping.
    Since the controversial proposed islands development for the rich & famous facing this site, the communities of this vicinity have expressed concerns. Support this art festival with an environmental cause.
    The beach may never be the same again should it share the same fate as Gurney Drive.

  107. Rahman Dahlan rubbishes LGE housing claims
    Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s accusations towards the federal government on the capping the maximum price of affordable housing at RM400,000 is untrue says Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan.
    “The Chief Minister’s accusation is a lie to exonerate himself from the responsibility towards the very policy that was set by the Penang state government,” he said in a statement on Thursday.
    “The price limit for affordable housing in Malaysia has never been determined by the federal government instead it is in the absolute jurisdiction of the state governments,” he added.

  108. Penang need not pay land compensation with appeals board nod, chief says

    So, who is lying thro’ the teeth?
    Chow Chow & Niao Kong should go back to Tutorial Class to update their knowledge on compensation law instead of playing-the-fool with laws that protect the interest of locals. Engaging 2 prominent lawyers don’t make the fear of compensation any legit to play-the-fool.

  109. Once a Penangite…

    Tis a quickie socio-political understanding of Penangites which I suggest Niao Kong, Chow Chow & the band of merry men + minions take some short breathes to digest. Also a better understanding for those not from Penang but simply Z-slash other Penangites & NGOs with imaginables & fantasies & 308 parables.

    • Don’t be fooled…this writer kowtows to the party that owns that paper.
      Now he is just playing up these issues to appease his bosses. It would be naive to think he is doing it for Penangites

      • Some elements of truth are bitter pills to swallow by CAT & minions.
        Pls get politically matured in the face of contentious issues that will affect the future of Penangites.
        No politician or party is indispensable or should I put it succinctly be worshipped beyond reasonable doubts. The groundswell of dissatisfaction are being voiced weeks after weeks.
        WAKE UP.

      • And name-calling others is politically mature?
        Allowing people to easily divide/categorise us into Penangites/Non-Penangites just for political mileage is mature?
        Are Penangites suppose to be xenophobic now?

        Need to wake up to people who are just using you and stoking your emotions by playing up these issues for their own agenda.

      • I am not influenced by any of your far-fetched imagined foes in your feeble mind.
        We Penangites have individual brains to decide what’s good for us. If someone is not performing to our expectation or playing-the-fool with laws, we expect a CHANGE.
        Nothing emotional or knee-jerk reaction like some of you jerks.

        Btw, your Venerable Niao Kong did call a lady “Grandmother” & an elderly gentleman “Old Man”. Is that a politically matured statesman trying to impressed the impressionable young ones???


  110. Go watch ‘Zootopia’ – Zootopia is a children’s movie for adults, as it is packed with themes of social justice and activism (2 themes that Anil is championing):

    This film tasks itself with teaching kids early on about the harm of stereotypes and prejudice, using animals (prey vs. predators) as a stand-in for all sorts of bias. Though kids probably won’t grasp its real-life influences, they’ll get the gist.

    • Zahid Hamidi berkata, dengan kuasa beli terhad penjawat awam, maka beliau setuju sudah sampai masanya untuk kerajaan campur tangan dalam menentukan harga rumah di Malaysia.

  111. Jho Low, Well Connected in Malaysia, Has an Appetite for New York

    Mr. Low, 33, is a skillful, and more than occasionally flamboyant, iteration of the sort of operative essential to the economy of the global superrich. Just as many of the wealthy use shell companies to keep the movement of money opaque, they also use people like Mr. Low. Whether shopping for new business opportunities or real estate, he has often done so on behalf of investors or, as he likes to say, friends. Whether the money belongs to others or is his own, the lines are frequently blurry, the identity of the buyer elusive.

  112. Millennials avoiding property market, rather spend elsewhere, experts say
    Bin chui lifestyle, low salaries & ridiculous super prices of property are deterring property investment & home ownership. Mismatching of supply @ wrong pricing is going to deal a blow to developers still dreaming of billionaire status.
    Mass marketing or niche marketing (to the rich & famous)? Housing is mostly a social need, not a want.
    Think about it before selling Star Hill, Star That.

    • BN will gradually remove all subsidies and rakyat will suffer.
      Already there are at least 200K jobless graduates, while 1.5million Banglas are making their way here in the next 3 yrs.
      People in Sarawak must must give BN the mandate to cause sufferings to rakyat.

  113. The Operations Review Panel has advised the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commisision (MACC) to re-submit two investigation papers on SRC International to the attorney-general (A-G), saying there is credible evidence to frame charges against Mr Najib Razak, a panel member said.

    Speaking on condition of anonymity, the member said the panel was influential as members could review investigation papers classified as “delayed” and “no further action”.

  114. Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Bhd recorded a pre-tax loss of RM17.49 million for the financial year ended December 31, 2015, compared with a pre-tax loss of RM83.65 million in 2014. Revenue fell to RM248.38 million versus RM291.20 million previously.

  115. Gurney Wharf, Penang’s new waterfront park-in-the-city
    Death to Gurney Drive iconic seafront – a place to relax the soul, take in the sea breeze & reflect on life’s journey.
    Instead of spending money dredging the mud of CoastMudPolitan Penang, the cement-brains @ Komtar Tower has no greater ideas than to concretise the stretch of seafront “for the benefit of the people of Penang” as claimed by Tokong but more so for the prelude launch of another of its Satu Lagi Projek CAT – the controversial sea tunnel. All these in the name of swap-deals for quickie money to black ink the balance sheet of CAT.
    The Wharf – a place for CAT minions to barter the souls of Penang.
    The sea current off Gurney Drive as we know is not forgiving. Any change to the sensitive coastline will bring more wrath in the form of mud deposits further down the seafront. Perhaps, with more mud flats, all the more CAT excuses to cement up the mud flats for the perennial excuse to land reclamation (exactly for whom?)

  116. Tg Bungah hillslopes stripped for projects
    “Have we forgotten how the residents there were affected by mud floods on Sept 6, 2008, after nearby hills were stripped by two developers?
    “It was the first time the neighbourhood was flooded in four decades.
    “Can we be sure that when it rains, mud water from the construction site will not flow downhill and flood the houses at the bottom? The bald patch at the hill is visible.”
    Teh lamented how the skyline from Tanjung Bungah to Batu Ferringhi had changed.
    He said there were no fewer than 50 high-rise buildings in the stretch with nearly 10 projects pending approval.

  117. Bangladesh is to send 1.5 million workers to Malaysia as part of the new agreement between the two nations. The formal agreement, which awaits the final nod from Malaysia, is to be signed before March 2016.

    “Before this, Bangladeshis could only work in plantation sector in Malaysia. But after this recognition, they can work in the service, manufacturing and construction sectors,” Bangladesh’s Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam told reporters.

    • Yes, scrap BTN (best way to recalibrate the budget) and make it compulsory screening of Ola Bola to civil servants and all students instead. RTM can stop repeating Bukit Kepong now we have a truly Muhibbah movie to unite the nation.

    • Corruption and racism have undermined Malaysia’s nation-building efforts, says Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, after watching the well-reviewed movie “Ola Bola”. In a post on photo-sharing platform Instagram, Nazir said the movie brought back memories of the good old days when Malaysia was a better place. “Brought back memories of being at Merdeka Stadium on that glorious night. More importantly, it was a powerful reminder of a better Malaysia back then.

      Ola Bola tiup kembali semangat muhibah

  118. Perlis bars non-Muslims from placing prayer items along flats’ corridor
    In the Year of the Monkey, should it be wiser to practise like the monkeys:
    See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil.
    In such an endeavour, religious-cultural intolerance is considered a total itchy bane to a truly multiracial country which was once touted sky-high by our leaders as the most tolerant multicultural country in the world until yesterdays.
    We still have a lot of coconut trees, but now we have not learnt to climb up … to enjoy the coconuts (fruits) of our centuries endowed legacy as a multicultural Malaya Nusantara.

    • Relentless Islamisation effort by BN has made the Muslim lose their empathy towards other faiths.
      Like the Animal Farm by George Orwell, (some) are more equal than other(s).

    • The rise and rise of Muslim politics in Malaysia:

      Combined together, the two trends of growing religious consciousness (more Malays identify themselves as Muslims first) and the demographic shift (Malays will have bigger share of population, while non-Malays’ share will decrease) will result in the diminishing influence of non-Muslim/non-Malay voters both in terms of quantity and quality.

      That non-Malay/non-Muslim votes will decrease in quantity is self-explanatory. As their share of the population decreases, so are the number of Chinese-majority seats and mixed seats. Note that these seats are usually where non-Malay/non-Muslim candidates have contested elections and won.

      That their votes will decrease in quality is worth explaining. Basically, the value of their votes is less when they no longer play an important role in deciding the victor. A political party or coalition will of course lose all non-Muslim votes if they play the hudud card (which calls for strict punishments under Islamic law). But in an election where most eligible voters are Muslims and the most endearing issue to them is Islamic law, then it is perfectly rational to risk all non-Muslim votes in favour of a guaranteed electoral victory.

      • “No Pork” incident can be an issue here. Why the authority could doubt the judgement of Muslim consumers here is in making decision when come to eating?


      This is not about race or religion. The ensuing debate over this article would probably still be venomous and filled with diatribes that have blinded and prevented us from achieving our true potential as a cohesive nation.

      Let’s be objective. Singapore was our poor cousins when we split in 1965. From an economic backwater with zero natural resources, this tiny nation has grown to be the third richest in the world with gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of US$84,821 (RM369,086) in 2015.

      Malaysia’s GDP per capita in 2015 is US$25,833 (RM112,462), putting our country at 45th in the list of richest countries in the world, above Thailand at No. 80 and Indonesia at No. 103.

      Singapore’s solid economic framework and large current surplus are sustaining an economy that is battling high household debt. It is affected by a fragile global economy. These two factors along with high leverage and falling oil prices are giving Malaysia a dim economic outlook currently.

      The island nation’s GDP grew at 6.8 per cent in the past 40 years. It averaged 4.84 per cent from 2007 until 2015, reaching an all time high of 36.40 per cent in the first quarter of 2010 and a record low of -13 per cent in the third quarter of 2010.

      Why can Singapore punch above its weight? It may not be as squeaky clean as it portrays itself to be. However, what it doesn’t have are crippling financial scandals such as 1MDB, Perwaja Steel, Mamico, Bank Bumi and the forex debacle.

      Malaysia’s GDP annual growth rate averaged 4.77 per cent from 2000 until 2015, reaching an all time high of 10.30 per cent in the first quarter of 2010 and a record low of -6.20 per cent in the first quarter of 2009.

      Penang’s figures taken in isolation show a five-year growth of 5.96 per cent, which is higher than the national average for the same period. One of the recognitions the state won is being named the eighth most liveable city in Asia by ECA International for two consecutive years (2011 and 2012). It was also listed in The Guardian as the world’s top 10 cities to visit.

      When the state fell to the opposition in 2008, all eyes were on the state government, scrutinising its every move to see if it could do better than the previous Gerakan-led government. Seven years later, it was proven that we Malaysians really “boleh”. What was missing was just the political will to do the right things.

      “It would surprise you to learn that this industry grew from basically nothing in 2008 to a RM1.2 billion industry seven years later,” Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has said about fish farming in the state.

      “Much as I would love to claim credit, this amazing transformation was done without spending a single penny but merely dependant on reinventing government. The previous government benefitted its cronies with one or two chosen individuals being given thousands of hectares of sea, which they then sub-let to genuine operators under the classic rentier system. This is described by some as predatory capitalism. We stopped this crony capitalistic practice.”

      The political structure of the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition is entrenched in money politics. Even Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has publicly moaned the errant ways of Umno, saying the term “money politics” once used to describe vote buying for party positions.

      Now, the whole party is about money, projects and contracts, said the former Umno president. He added that under its current leadership, the party was filled with rent-seeking leaders loyal only to money.

      “The ones who receive posts receive money,” Mahathir said in a video interview with blogger Din Turtle in April 2015.

      We know what ails our system. Yet, we choose to believe in race rhetoric and have the wool pulled over our eyes with religious issues.

  119. The success story of NEP: Dr Vida who sponsored Kelantan FA RM20 million.

    Hasmiza, owner of Vida Beauty, is so rich that she owns 17 bungalows and a fleet of 20 luxury cars that includes a Bentley, a Lamborghini and a customised Vellfire with a massage chair and a fridge to help ease her daily Ipoh-KL commute.

    She has just bought a RM22mil mansion in Meru Heights Ipoh, and she’s the proud owner of a huge collection of tiaras that range in price between RM5,000 and RM300,000.

      • She should provide food to those starving undergraduates as part of corporate social responsibility, given her wealth.

  120. How China’s big investments in Malaysia buy it leverage, too
    – South China Morning Post

    China’s investment forays into Southeast Asia, even as it presses on with its South China Sea reclamation works are well-known. But recent acquisitions in Malaysia have taken on an unusually high profile in a country with race relations in a delicate state, and where the Chinese are a significant minority.

    The investments, analysts said, have geopolitical implications – specifically, regarding territorial disputes in the South China Sea where Malaysia has an overlapping claim with China. “Najib’s, and Malaysia’s, ability to manoeuvre, vis-à-vis China, is going to be limited after this deal. How far we [Malaysia] will be able to pursue an independent foreign policy after this, is going to be one of the key questions,” said Dennis Ignatius, a former Malaysian diplomat who has served in Beijing, Washington and London.

    Najib chairs the advisory board of 1MDB which racked up RM42 billion (US$9.6 billion) in debts in less than five years and almost defaulted on a loan. For months, 1MDB’s troubles weighed on Malaysia’s sovereign credit rating.

    Najib’s, and Malaysia’s, ability to manoeuvre, vis-à-vis China, is going to be limited after this deal

    Dennis Ignatius, former Malaysian diplomat

    It led to calls for Najib’s resignation from former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and opposition parties, who accused Najib of mismanagement and corruption. 1MDB is currently under investigation by five domestic agencies and authorities in Switzerland. Najib has denied any wrongdoing.

    “China’s successful bid for 1MDB’s power assets and property projects have helped 1MDB decrease its debt burden and resolve 1MDB indebtedness,” said Yeah Kim Leng, Dean of the School of Business at the Malaysia University of Science and Technology.

    “The assets were sold to the highest bidder. 1MDB got a good price,” Yeah added.

    In his 2016 New Year’s Day address, Najib said 1MDB’s debts have now been reduced by RM40.4 billion following the rationalisation of its assets.

    China General Nuclear Power Corp, a Chinese state-owned enterprise, paid US$2.3 billion to acquire 1MDB’s Edra Global Energy Bhd last November.

    Edra is the country’s second largest power producer, giving China a major foothold into the energy sector.

    In December, China Railway Construction Corp teamed up with Malaysian Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn (IWH) to buy a 60 per cent stake in 1MDB’s property project known as Bandar Malaysia for US$1.7 billion in a 40:60 joint venture.

    Bandar Malaysia is a mixed-property project on a 196.7-hectare site. The development will also host terminals for a planned Singapore-Kuala Lumpur high-speed rail link.

    Analysts said China was now in pole position to win the construction tender for the rail link, one of the country’s largest pending infrastructure projects, with an estimated cost of RM70 billion.

    China rejects any form of extremism and racism, and will not stand by if Chinese interests are at stake

    Chinese ambassador Huang Huikang

    The 1MDB acquisitions made China Malaysia’s largest foreign investor in 2015, leapfrogging the US, Japan, EU and Singapore.

    Ironically, China’s acquisitions come at a time when Najib’s ruling Umno party has ratcheted up anti-Chinese rhetoric, accusing the ethnic minority of trying to usurp political power from the Malay majority. The rhetoric surged after a rally for good governance last August drew tens of thousands of people, among whom the majority were Chinese.

    UMNO supporters responded by holding an overtly anti-Chinese “red-shirt” protest that drew 35,000 people.

    In a sign of its growing influence and confidence in its ability to withstand any blowback on bilateral relations, China’s ambassador to Kuala Lumpur, Huang Huikang waded into the controversy during a visit to the capital’s Chinatown after the red shirt rally. “China rejects any form of extremism and racism, and will not stand by if Chinese interests are at stake,” he said at the height of the tensions, in remarks that raised eyebrows in diplomatic circles.

    UMNO’s youth division accused Huang of interfering in Malaysia’s domestic affairs, and Huang was summoned by the Malaysian Foreign Ministry to explain his remarks.

    Given this backdrop, the response from the Malay majority to China’s purchase of the country’s strategic assets has been surprisingly muted.

    “His [Najib’s] supporters hardly pay attention to geopolitical issues because that is too complicated for them. That is why China’s advances into this region hardly register in their radar and no one asks about the impacts of China’s investment into the country’s strategic assets,” said Wan Saiful Wan Jan, chief executive of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs.

    According to Wan Saiful, the anti-Chinese rhetoric from Umno has been getting stronger lately as Najib feels compelled to shore up support from his core Malay voters.

    “So he dangles the racial card and he does not care the repercussion to the country’s harmony. The more divided Malaysia is, the more likely that Najib will remain in power because Umno has always benefitted from a divide-and-rule strategy,” said Wan Saiful.

    Ignatius, the former Malaysian diplomat, said China’s behaviour needed to be watched as its investments increased in the country.

    “Malaysia is….very open to foreign investment so there’s no intrinsic problem with foreign investment, whether from China or elsewhere. Problems could arise, however, when countries seek to use their investments to exert undue influence over the direction of the country’s affairs,” Ignatius said.

    Ignatius said it was also important for China to be mindful of race relations in Malaysia.

    “Given Malaysia’s ethnic mix, China will also have to be wary not to get drawn into the whole complex and contentious area of race relations. If China is perceived as showing favouritism to Malaysian Chinese, it would certainly create resentment among the Malays. It would, therefore, have to carefully balance its relations with both communities,” said Ignatius.

    “As well…if China is seen to be using its economic and political clout to buttress a government that is increasingly unpopular, which it now seems to be doing for its own reasons, that also won’t go down well with those of us who want to see more democratic space in Malaysia,” Ignatius said.

    China’s investments reflected Malaysia’s importance as a linkage point for China’s One Road, One Belt (Obor) initiative, according to Alexious Lee, Head of Industrial Research, China, CLSA Ltd.

    “When we talk about Obor, we usually look at two regions, Southeast Asia and Central Asia,” said Lee.

    “Southeast Asia is more important for commercially inclined projects. And within them, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia are three of the most important markets.”

    According to Lee, Malaysia was important as a point which connects Thailand with Singapore, given its position between the two countries.

    The current volatility in China, amid wild swings in the stock market and an economic slowdown, only serves to accelerate the country’s overseas investments.

    “The domestic business volatility could in fact accelerate the Chinese government’s focus to develop their overseas partnerships…building foundations for overseas investments to grow in the next five to 10 years,” said Lee

    “And Malaysia is one of the overseas countries.”

  121. Malaysiakini: How can Malaysia have a starving university population?
    I refer to the news that many of my countryman students at varsities are not able to eat and can’t express enough of my utter shock and horror at such poverty in the midst of our prosperous Malaysia, where Budget 2016 was touted to be an inclusive and welfare budget for people of all levels in the country.

    What have we become when future leaders of this country are not able to eat here and now at university? How can they concentrate on educating themselves? I salute the efforts of Muslim Volunteer Malaysia Association (MVM) in bringing this to the public’s attention, as well as helping these poor starving souls.

    The note – purported to be left by someone who borrowed a few dollars from the surau (if indeed this is true) – is a timely reminder of how bad things have become for some people.

    I know of many who worked – and some still working – in my office that pursued their studies with National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loans, and even then could not meet all their expenses. Worse still, when they graduate it is another never-ending cycle of trying to make ends meet while attempting to pay back these loans.

    Personally, I believe that primary to tertiary education should be free for all citizens. Malaysia can afford it, but we need to engineer our spending so that wasteful and needless expenses are eliminated, and funds are made available for education and health costs.

    Maybe for a start, we can abolish the National Civics Bureau (BTN), the National Service Training Programme (NS), and the Special Affairs Department (Jasa), then channel the saved funds for our children’s education.

    It is also my opinion that taxpayers’ money should not be used to fund/give scholarships for overseas education, as one overseas scholarship can probably fund more than 10 students locally.

    Those who want to study overseas should use their own money, whereas funding and free education should only be provided if they study locally.

    Pay and bring good lecturers here, this way our best and brightest will be with us in Malaysia and their intelligence will rub off on the rest of the students.

    Needless Masters and PhDs

    Right now we send all our clever children overseas, then complain that our local graduates are no good – and then spend another fortune in setting up various outfits to convince these students we sent overseas to come back and serve the country. Isn’t it easier if we don’t use taxpayers’ funds and send them out in the first place?

    More funds can also be saved if government agencies and statutory bodies don’t keep sending their employees for needless Masters and PhDs locally and overseas.

    Taxpayers’ money should be first used for free education until the tertiary level, and only if we have loose change after should we mess about with Masters and PhDs. Since we don’t have enough, let’s use all our funds on the university students’ tertiary education first.

    The surplus funds of government agencies, statutory bodies and government-linked companies (GLCs) are not meant for individual outfits to spend as they wish; it should be passed over to the government’s consolidated funds so that the whole country can benefit.

    We can start with free education first, and stop starving the university population with the extra funds. This problem should have never happened in Malaysia – it is embarrassing and ridiculous.

    • High unemployment among the local university graduates could be due to oversupply (quantity) of graduates studying courses not relevant to market needs) or low quality (poor proficiency in English communication skills). Unemployment has added burden when these graduates could not pay up the PTPTN loans, depriving new applicants.

      Moving forward more emphasis should be on vocational skills training (leading to Diploma) iike technicians, mechanics, pastry chef etc as there are ready jobs in these sectors (less reliant on foreign workers). Diploma may be less glamorous than Degree but realistically it could feed your family. Those that are no academically good could obtain qualifications that meet industry needs.

      Look at Singapore’s Institute of Technical Education (ITE) is a success story in this aspect. Many ITE graduates went on to pursue Diploma as local polytechnics.

  122. Just attended Forum Talk in today’s Penang Property Summit at SPICE.
    Moderator Dato Dr Goh Ban Lee (present The Sun columnist who was partly involved drating Penang Local Plan in 80s) in closing remarks urging authorities/developers not to deprive locals to have free access to coastal beach and hill with exclusive developments. Also urge local authorities (YB Chow KY & YB Jagdeep Singh present) to improve pedestrian walks without infringement by motor vehicles!
    If Anil wants his readers to hear his rather sacastic remarks, i can upload his speech. Otherwise if i spend my effort upload it Anil may not want to publish.
    Have nice weekend waiting for Penang Property to crash to reasonably affordable pricing 🙂

  123. Three out of four varsity students too broke to eat
    Very heartbreaking.
    And we see diners at restaurants wasting away food which could have nourished our students who will be our future leaders. I see a similarity to Apple’s Steve Jobs’ varsity days.

    • Heartbreaking for you to witness the failure of NEP here?
      Do you know that NEP enables elite Malays to study in overseas universities, with living expenses fully paid, even visits by family members are paid for!

      • Whether these varsity students in local unis are Malays, Chinese or Indians, to me I empathise with them.
        Why should YOU be so racist to treat this matter?
        I have seen with my own eyes how some Malay students from USM came to my shop asking for part-time work b’cos they are short of money. I have heard from my own daughter how easily hungry it is to daily walk from hostel to lecture hall, to tutorial hall, to Sg Dua food court, etc. I told her to eat enough.
        You see, whether a student is given NEP privilege or otherwise, he or she should not go hungry. As a parent, I sympathise with them, Malays or otherwise, some of whom parents may never know their suffering.

      • How can I be racist when I merely mention the inequality in NEP?
        Previously I had a malay engineer employee who took 2-week leave for a UK trip with travel and meal expenses paid for to see his wife studying Master degree in UK on government scholarship.

        The students can opt for the affordable Menu Rakyat 1Malaysia, or take up part-time job at fast food joints eg. KFC that provides free meal.

      • What has NEP to do with these hungry students?
        Don’t be an opportunist to shoot without knowing the reasons.
        Malay students are also human like you & me.
        Unless you prefer to live in Hua Hee Tai.

  124. Malays now opting for SJKC?

    Bagi Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina (SJKC) Kuo Hua, Kuala Nerang Kedah murid bukan Cina menjadi majoriti jumlah kemasukan ke darjah 1 untuk sesi persekolahan tahun ini, lapor Utusan Malaysia.

    Menurut Guru Besar SJKC Kou Hua Ooi Poh Heng, sekolah yang berusia hampir 90 tahun itu hanya menerima seorang pelajar darjah 1 kaum Cina manakala selebihnya terdiri daripada kaum Siam dan Melayu. SJKC Kou Hua kini mempunyai 75 murid tahun 1 hingga tahun 6 dengan pecahan 37 Siam, 25 Melayu dan 13 Cina.

    • My two children studied in Chinese schools, despite early difficulties, they could cope eventually as the teachers are more dedicated and caring. It is better for Malays to learn Mandarin to gain competitive edge in the work place.

  125. A lesson in dizzy property development & the fundamentals for failures from unbridled greed in China:
    China challenge: Getting poor migrant workers to buy vacant homes
    Are we heading towards a U.S. subprime like crisis?
    We seem never to learn a thing or two from the past mistakes of property busts (1976, 1988, 1997…) no thanks to property gurus.

  126. KFC Malaysia increased the price of its menu from yesterday.

    Expect the hawkers to follow suit soon, now that the subsidy of cooking oil could be removed in 2016?

  127. Happy New Year 2016 to all.

    Four issues to shape 2016, according to YB Liew Chin Tong:

    Oil price, GST, commodity prices and currency, are the four major factors that will shape Malaysian politics in 2016.
    First, the era of high oil prices since the Iraq war in 2003 (punctured briefly in 2008 by the Global Financial Crisis and resumed as US Fed loosened monetary policies in 2009) is now officially over. When Budget 2015 was presented in October 2014, Brent (reference oil price) was estimated to be at USD 105 per barrel. The Government had to adjust the budget in January 2015 to bring the estimate Brent price to USD 55. The 2016 budget estimated that Brent would be about USD 48, which many think is too optimistic.
    Prime Minister Najib Razak started his budget speech on 23rd October 2015 by acknowledging that petroleum revenue amounted to RM62 billion in 2014, and is expected to be RM 44 billion in 2015 and RM 31.7 billion in 2016.
    The sharp decline of oil revenue constrained the Government’s ability to distribute largesse to the UMNO construction and contractors lobby, which at some point will breed revolt against the leadership internally. To the ordinary citizens, the collapse of oil revenue for the Government means less government services and more taxes.
    Second, troubles linked to GST. When outlining the oil revenue troubles, Najib – in the same breath – said that the collection from GST has helped to cover a major portion of the shortfall.
    “In 2016 based on the Government’s calculation, if GST was not implemented and we had to rely on Sales Tax and Service Tax (SST), as previously, Government revenue would be lower by RM 21 billion. If SST was retained, collection would have been only RM 18 billion compared with GST revenue of RM39 billion.”
    In other words, Malaysians are now taxed RM 21 billion more which effectively means less disposable income for families and inevitably less consumption from them. This in turn would mean declining domestic economic activities and potentially less corporate taxes for the Government to collect – a “kill the golden goose” situation.
    More than 60 percent of families are classified as low income and receiving BR1M handouts. They are now forced to pay tax for the first time in their lives. There will be huge political consequence.
    Third, commodity prices are low. It is not an exaggeration to suggest that palm oil prices are more tied to UMNO’s electoral fortunes than that of oil.
    UMNO won 88 parliamentary seats in the 2013 general election, of which 73 are in the peninsula. 35 of these seats, especially those in semi-urban districts of the west coast states, are marginal.
    A swing of 10 percent would wipe them all and thus UMNO’s power. Palm oil is an integral part of the economy in these marginal seats. Palm oil is also a crucial political commodity in the remaining UMNO strongholds as they are fortified by FELDA Schemes.
    Palm oil and other commodity prices were high during the 2004, 2008 and 2013 general elections, guaranteeing semi-urban and rural support for UMNO. This is no longer the case.
    Fourth, currency devaluation. The ringgit has fallen by nearly a quarter against the greenback in the last year. If the US economy improves further, there may be some positive impact on Malaysian exports. But Malaysia is but one among many exporting nations competing to export to the US, and competing to devalue their currencies. Further, the potential increase in exports will not make up for the shortfall in expected depreciation of the Ringgit.
    The impending US rate hike is likely to mean the US dollar appreciating against currencies of emerging markets like Malaysia’s. Imported inflation is probably the least of the problems, although ordinary folks would be hurt while costs increase for corporations. The government, government-linked corporations, private enterprises and households with high debts are at risk.
    The tightening of global liquidity is certainly going to dampen further property speculation. Federal Government, state governments, local authorities, GLCs and GLICs that had grown used to dependence on tax and income from property development may face a financial crunch sooner than expected, not to mention individuals who own multiple units of properties for speculative purposes.
    The Government seems very weak as a result of the political economic factors outlined above, as well as Najib’s personal scandal and issues arising from the 1MDB scandal. The Prime Minister has neither the political will nor the political capital to initial deep and meaningful structural reforms. The next year is likely to see things getting worse before they get better.

    • GROs and Nigerian scammers can enter the country via Student Visa, so nothing new here.

      Zahid Hamidi has claimed that a foreigner Datuk Seriis behind the trafficking of illegal workers aka PATI, but why no action taken when our police has proven to be super efficient in nabbing the activists?

  128. Umno Youth exco Armand Azha Abu Hanifah has urged the boycott of both the Low Yat Plaza and Kota Raya shopping complexes and suggested that consumers should instead opt for Mara Digital in buying electronic goods.

    Could the brawl at Kota Raya be engineered to promote Mara Digital?

    • Watch this Al Jazeera’s report on the plight of our orang asli:

      In August 2015, seven indigenous children mysteriously disappeared from their remote boarding school in Malaysia.

      After almost 50 days only two were found alive in the jungle. Their friends had already died from injury and starvation.

      The tragedy devastated the close-knit Orang Asli community and many families blamed the boarding school for their children’s deaths.

      Allegations of mistreatment were levelled against teachers as the tribe galvanised to stand up against what they say is generations of neglect and abuse by authorities.

      101 East enters the world of Malaysia’s indigenous Orang Asli tribe to learn about their decades-long struggle for survival.

  129. Media statement by MP for Kluang Liew Chin Tong on 17th December 2015:

    Is the proposed Malacca Gateway Port potentially a military base for China?
    According to Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, the Federal Government has agreed in principle to the Chinese initiative in developing a deep-sea port and Ocean Industrial Park at Malacca Gateway as part of its backing for the “One Belt, One Road” vision by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
    Malacca Gateway is a project by KAJ Development Sdn Bhd which plans to reclaim three islands with a gross development value of RM40 billion.
    Liow and the Federal Government should answer the following concerns of Malaysians:
    First, has the concession to operate a port already been issued, and to whom? Will the concession be granted to a Malaysian-owned company or a China-owned company? To what extent will China interest be involved ?
    Second, what is the impact of Malacca Gateway Port on other ports, particularly the Port of Tanjung Pelepas and Port Klang, given their proximity?
    Third, what would be the impact on MMC’s Tanjong Bruas plan? Or has the Tanjong Bruas plan been scrapped?
    Fourth, what is the business plan for Malacca Gateway Port? Where are the cargo coming from? Will the project end up as a White Elephant like Sri Lanka Hambantota Port which has limited cargos coming its way and a huge debt owing to China that the Sri Lankan Government finds it difficult to repay?
    Fifth, can the Government guarantee that the Port will never be used to further China’s military interests?
    I hereby await Liow’s reply

  130. Secret admirer soothes Muhyiddin’s battle wounds
    “Dear YB Tan Sri Muhyiddin,
    Thank you very much for standing up for all of us when no one dares to do it.
    We are all for you and we are praying that your struggle is not in vain.
    May God bless you and our country.”
    May I add: May Kuan Kong fight alongside & protect you & your family.

  131. BBC’s “Malaysia’s Runaway Children” podcast here:

    The deaths of five school children in Malaysia have provoked an anguished debate about education and what it means to be Malay. The children ran away from their boarding school in Kelantan State and died of starvation in the jungle. They were afraid of harsh punishment from their teachers. Two girls survived eating grass and wild fruits but were found emaciated and close to death 47 days later. The children came from the Orang Asli community, one of the poorest and most marginalised in the country. For Crossing Continents, Lucy Ash travels to the remote region where the children came from and talks to their bereaved parents. Many families are now refusing to send their children to school and campaigners accuse the government of not doing enough to protect rights of the Orang Asli community.

    • MIC cannot even help the Indians to promote tosai, how to talk about IT?

      6-month free rental for Malay traders to operate at Mara Digital – so at least they could survive for 6 months.
      Ismail Sabri wanted to set up Mara Digital at every state because there are plenty of unutilised Mara building spaces. He should also get the Usahawan Melayu to set up goreng pisang or nasi lemak stalls at Mara-owned buildings in Australia, rental free.

  132. Namewee’s Banglasia movie, banned in Malaysia, but is screened at Singapore International Film Festival:

    Harris, a poor Bangladeshi worker in Malaysia, simply wants to return to his hometown to marry the love of his life. However, his leave is denied when his ruthless boss decides to confiscate his passport. Enter Hangouren, a pro-Malaysian activist who preaches to his fellow countrymen to regain their home in its natural state without immigrants. And then there is Rina, the idealistic daughter of the boss who falls for Harris at first sight, as the trio gets embroiled in an energetic comedy of errors.

    Banglasia is a riot of a film which references the Western film genre, fluffy romances, musicals and even, action-adventures, filled with zany, colourful characters who are never one-dimensional. Expounding on issues of nationalism, racism, corruption and bureaucracy, director Namewee brings together a delightful ensemble cast, including himself, in this no-holds-barred comedy which dabbles in serious topics with just enough sarcasm, mischief and wit.

  133. Tonight 10pm on TV2: P. Ramlee’s ‘Madu Tiga’ movie.
    See how the malay ladies dressed in those days.

  134. Protest posters appear around Penang as state DAP convention starts
    Well, Penangites’ action speaks volume for Niao Kong.
    Either ‘it’ UBAH SIKAP Keangkuhan Tokong or we ship ‘it’ back to Melaka.
    BUT: Chow Kon Yeow declares support for Lim Guan Eng
    Chow is too polite compared to Mr Green YB of Tanjung Bungah. Chow, are you declaring from your own conscience???

  135. The Sultan of Johor says vaping is a question of health and its effects on young people after ordering the closure of vape shops by 2016.

    “This is a question of health and its effects on young people. It has nothing to do with businesses and for sure, it has nothing to do with race. I am greatly disappointed that some people (Ismail Sabri?) are bringing up racial threats and political threats,” the sultan was quoted as saying.

  136. Tun Mahathir bidas Barack Obama(Presiden Amerika) apabila Obama mengatakan Malaysia tidak akan maju kalau mengamalkan ketidaksamarataan antara kaum. Tun M Kata dia datang Malaysia Sebab nak Najib Razak 1MDB sign TPPA je, sebab tu dia buat baik…

  137. Najib’s Election Option – Analysis
    By Murray Hunter
    Eurasia Review
    November 23, 2015

    With the 1MDB and RM2.6 billion ‘political donation’ crises looming and anti-Najib forces led by former Prime Minister Mahathir aiming to remove him from office, there is one strategy option open to PM Najib Razak – a snap election, should he feel cornered.

    This is a remote scenario, but one that is currently being drawn up now as a contingency in the PMs Department.

    The forces of Mahathir and Muhyiddin Yassin, whom Najib fired as deputy prime minister, have largely been neutralized, as well as the opposition, primarily through the botched votes of no confidence and the attempt to block the second budget reading. No Barisan Nasional votes drifted over to the opposition, indicating that this group’s influence within UMNO/BN is negligible. Mahathir’s attempts to get BN members of parliament to cross the floor on the budget were disappointing. This shows how little influence the 90-year-old former premier really has within UMNO today.

    Consequently, it appears that resistance to Najib has almost been totally destroyed before the UMNO General Assembly, due to be held next month.

    What has made it worse, PAS votes may have drifted over to the BN side, through abstaining on these make-or-break votes as far as the opposition was concerned. Only 77 of the 88 opposition votes were cast against the budget, showing complete loss of discipline and strategy.

    The opposition has fallen into disarray ever since the jailing of former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim earlier this year. His jailing didn’t make him a martyr or garner any massive groundswell of support for the Pakatan Rakyat, as Anwar had hoped, rather it sowed the seeds of destruction for the coalition, which doesn’t even exist today.

    Further the death of former Kelantan Chief Minister Nik Aziz has been very damaging. With the destruction of the progressive faction of PAS at party elections last July, and the Shura Council directive to cut ties with the Chinese-dominated Democratic Action Party has destroyed the Pakatan Rakyat. With PAS now split into two, the animosity between with the new breakaway party Parti Amanah, led by Mat Sabu, is leading to more hate than there is between PAS and UMNO.

    The death of Karpal Singh, the long-time DAP secretary-general, is allowing some of the younger generation to voice out more. However, the performance of Tony Pua has been an embarrassment to say the least. Lim Kit Siang has been neutralized with his six month suspension from parliament.

    The opposition has zero strategy and the Mahathir forces appear lame. A man supposedly implicated in the murder of the Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu, massive financial scandals and gross unpopularity actually appears stronger now than he did three months ago.

    Voters are almost just as much disillusioned with the Pakatan Rakyat as they are with the Barisan Nasional. The only thing that the opposition has going for them is their good governance in Penang and Selangor. But the effects of the PAS/Amanah split in Kelantan and the “Kajang move” on voting intentions is yet to be seen. What’s more, it looks like PAS is quickly distancing itself away from the opposition, and how Abdul Hadi Awang will play the next election is still a big question, but three-cornered electoral fights which will hurt the opposition are a possibility. How quickly PAS is losing ground to Amanah is not really known yet.

    The only advantage of the PAS/Amanah split for the opposition is that they can leave behind the hudud bogey,. PAS’s efforts to implement harsh Islamic law in Kelantan that has caused so much damage to opposition coalition.

    Although few political pundits foresee an early election, there are some definite signs that this option is on the table due to the way the 2016 budget was framed, and frp, some of the rhetoric the Prime Minister has been making at both the Gerakan and MIC AGMs recently.

    It is the belief of the writer that if an election was held in the near future, it is plainly possible the Prime Minister could pull off a victory for UMNO and the BN.

    There are great advantages for Najib should he call and win an election.

    • He would be able to finally eliminate the anti-Najib forces from parliamentary positions within UMNO through his power to select candidates, and/or place candidates in unwinnable contests.

    • There is no effective opposition leader at present,

    • He would be able to put in a final blow to crush the opposition (except DAP) and weaken them electorally,

    • Upon winning an election, he would have five years in office until 2021,

    • 1MDB and the RM2.6 Billion ‘political donation’ issue would sink into the background of a new parliamentary term,

    • An election would be a good method to ‘unify’ UMNO behind him, and

    • The timing of an election sooner rather than later would put it out of the way before ‘harder’ economic times are upon us.

    However, there are also a number of risks in the electoral strategy:

    • Anything can happen in politics, especially an election,

    • There is great likely of sabotage within UMNO in many quarters, all across the country,

    • Najib is going through a period of intense low popularity (although this does not necessary mean it will be reflected in voting patterns), and

    • The GST and devaluation of the ringgit are already causing great suffering in the electorate.

    Having an early election is a major effort that would require great financial resources, organization, and effort. It’s also high risk, but the rewards would be great should Najib pull off a victory.

    Certainly some signs of an election exist; the recent budget could be framed as an election budget, a national election could be coordinated with the Sarawak election due next year, the recent rhetoric coming from Najib concerning Chinese are not ‘pendatang’ to Malaysia, a divided opposition at present, the arrests of opposition members, and even the visit of US President Barak Obama to Malaysia has put out a positive signal for Najib.

    Najib doesn’t need an election to defeat any external opposition. An election is the best method for him to eliminate opposition within his own party UMNO. Najib cannot win GE-14, but the opposition can lose it, as we can see state by state.

    Perlis: The BN looks set to retain the state of Perlis and hold three parliamentary seats. Parti Amanah Negeri will probably have difficulty organizing themselves in time for the next election, leaving the Arau Parliamentary seat open for the cashed up UMNO warlord Shahidan Kassim to hold. The only surprise in Perlis could be in the Kangar parliamentary seat if locally popular PKR state member Chan Ming Kai opts to run in the seat. Najib will most probably select a new chief minister candidate to replace the unpopular and lacklustre performer Azlan Man, who has put the local Chinese community offside.

    Kedah: The Prime Ministers Department put in massive resources before the last election to win-over Kedah from a weak PAS chief Minister Azizan Abdul Razak. Kedah people have been very reluctant to accept ‘outsiders’ as chief ministers and Mukhriz Mahathir is sharing the same affliction. There is even some probability that Najib may select another candidate as chief minister this time round as well, especially as Mukhriz is the son of Mahathir. UMNO holds 10 parliamentary seats in Kedah which should stand firm. PKR holds four and PAS one. With poor organization on the ground, PKR and PAS seats could be vulnerable. The Alor Seter seat may best be defended by a DAP candidate to hold on this time round. The DAP may be able to pick up three state seats, not enough to wrest government from the BN.

    Penang: With a good showing Pakatan could pick up three BN seats in Penang, thereby wiping out all BN seats within that state.

    Perak: Perak will be an interesting state with a number of seats in for possible change. Bagan Serai will probably change hands to the opposition. Last election Kuala Kangsar didn’t turn over to the opposition because there was a three way contest. This election the result may be different. Expect Bukit Gantang to see a three way contest with PAS and Amanah involved. Two other seats that have a remote chance of changing hands are Bagan Datok and Tanjong Malim.

    Selangor: The Selangor Chief Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali is still holding the Pakatan Rakyat coalition together in running the government. Due to the delicate balance of seats, it is necessary for him to do so. How Azmin faces the next election is something that even he hasn’t thought through at this point. Although the effects of the ‘Kajang move’ are yet to be felt electorally, there is a high probability that the Pakatan coalition will hold Selangor and that not many seats will change between Pakatan and BN. The complexity of the situation for Azmin is that PAS won state seats in constituencies with a high proportion of Chinese voters. PAS cannot rely on this support this time around and it would be assumed that Amanah would take them over. PAS discussions with PERKASA and UMNO, along with their unpopular Hudud policy among Selangor voters will probably make the party irrelevant. DAP could also pick up another two state seats, Semenyih and Kota Damasara which would make them the dominant party in the state chamber. Federally, BN stands to lose three seats, Hulu Selangor, Sungei Besar, and Kuala Selangor if there is even a slight swing away from them. Hulu Selangor is particularly susceptible, held by the MIC where two independents spoiled the opposition vote last time around.

    Negeri Sembilan: Although there has been some reported discontent at branch level within UMNO, there are unlikely to be any major seat changes within Negeri Sembilan, unless massive sabotage occurs.

    Melaka: There are unlikely to be any seat changes in Melaka.

    Johor: Johor is a potential Achilles heel for the BN. Any swing against the BN could easily lead to a loss of up to 7 seats. The Muyhiddin factor will be crucial here, and it is unlikely that he would be running for parliament under the BN banner. The winners here would be the DAP.

    Pahang: Najib’s home state of Pahang will be another battlefield with the possibility of five seats changing hands. At risk for the BN are the seats of Bentong, Bera, Cameron Highlands, and Lipis. PAS holds Temerloh by a very small margin and a three way contest could bring this seat back to the BN.

    Terengganu: The vote in Terengganu will be more interesting to see what happens to PAS. Most PAS seats, except for Kuala Terengganu were won by slender margins. Three way contests in Teregganu could be a disaster for PAS/Amanah. Being PAS leader Abdul Hadi Awang’s home state, it will be interesting what voters think about his political positioning over the last few months. UMNO could even gain seats in Terengganu.

    Kelantan: The nightmare scenario for Pakatan would be where PAS and Amanah contest each seat and the BN wins by default. That could wrest the state and allow to BN to pick up nine extra seats in the most optimistic scenario for them. This is an Achilles heel for the Pakatan Harapan. In a straight fight scenario, PAS/Amanah could pick up to three BN seats, Machang, Ketereh, and Kuala Krai. With the retirement of Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, the seat would also be up for grabs by Pas/Amanah.

    Sabah: The division of the opposition in Sabah is Chief Minister Musa Aman’s biggest asset. STAR, SAPP, and the Pakatan parties are running against each other ensuring a BN win. If three and four cornered contests could be avoided seats like Kota Maruda held by federal minister Maximus Ongkili could fall. Chief Minister Musa Aman has done a fair job governing Sabah and without any agreement within the opposition parties, there should be no upsets.

    Sarawak: According to Medeka Centre research, the approval rating for the new Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem is 75%, while 68% are satisfied with the state government’s performance. Approval rates of the CM are 68% within the Chinese community, and if these figures are any indication, it will be difficult for the opposition to make many inroads in Sarawak.

    Federal Territories: It would be hard to see Putra Jaya changing hands. However within the Klang Valley both Setiawangsa and Titiwangsa are two possible opposition gains. Labuan should remain BN.

    The current parliament comprises 133 BN seats (88 UMNO, PBB 14, MCA 7, PRS 6, PBS 4, MIC 3, SPDP 3, UPKO 3, Gerakan2, PBRS 1, and SUPP1), opposition Pakatan Harapan, comprising (DAP 37, PKR 29, PAN 60, with other opposition parties including (PAS 14, PSM 1, TERAS 1, and independent 2). A new parliament after an election will probably look something like 124 seats for the BN and 98 seats for the opposition. However this doesn’t factor in the current troubles for Pas/Amanah in Kelantan and Terengganu, where BN could make massive gains, if three way contests occur.

    If the three corner fight scenario occurs, PAS could deliver the BN a landslide victory.

    One must remember that in Malaysia there is very little polling done, and the few public polls that come out are biased towards urban voters. So, unlike other ‘democracies.’ in Malaysia most political pundits and strategists are almost blind to public voter intentions, which makes any predictions difficult.

    The only hope for both the opposition and anti-Najib forces to bring down the Prime Minister is through an election. However the above analysis shows that this would not be an easy task. An opposition win would require a new leader to appear out of nowhere, a rapid deployment of a branch network for Parti Amanah Negari, trust in the DAP with more seats allocated to them this time round, a high level of sabotage within UMNO itself, and a minimum of three corner electoral fights with PAS.

    Najib has complete control of the government, judiciary, and police. All checks and balances have been broken down, which makes him secure. Short of a revolt emanating from branch level, nothing can remove Najib. Any hints of a revolt are being suppressed as I write. This is his only Achilles heel.

    This election, Najib will have to carefully select his candidates and pay people to undertake the electioneering, rather than rely upon party workers. He has a number of dirty tricks up his shelve like potentially prosecuting Nurul Izzah Anwar for her fopar over her meeting with Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III’s daughter Jacel Kiram.

    An election will be necessary for Najib at some time in the future to safeguard the business interests of his family and cronies, which is extensive. This is so with nobody to trust in handing the reins of power to, and no possibility of immunity from prosecution.

    An election is more a Mahathir strategy than Najib’s style. He ran a full term after taking over from former Prime Minister Ahmad Badawi back in 2009. The option is ready in case it becomes a necessity, and Najib is ready.

  138. Finally someone has made tunglang’s idea into a reality by opening the Penang Wonderfood Museum! Perhaps tunglang missed out the consultant fees?

    Wonderfood Museum Penang @49 Lebuh Pantai

    Introductory price
    Adult with MyKad RM 15
    Senior/Children (3-12 yrs old) RM 10
    Student RM 10
    Open 7 days a week from 9am-6pm, last admission 5pm

  139. SIngapore is the Southeast Asian economy that is best equipped to develop, attract and retain talent, according to a study. It overtook Malaysia, which was higher ranked in last-year’s results.

    In a report released on Tuesday (Nov 17), global business school IMD said that it placed Singapore 10th in a ranking of countries’ ability to meet corporate needs. The study was conducted based on three “talent factors”: Investment and Development, Appeal, and Readiness. Over 4,000 executives were surveyed.

    Malaysia was ranked 15th overall, down from fifth last year in IMD’s World Talent Report. This year’s report is the second annual report.

    The report stated that based on historical records, Malaysia improved steadily in rankings from 2005 until 2014, then experienced a fall in “almost all talent indicators” during the last year of the study period.

    Singapore was second in 2008, and then slipped in rankings to the mid-teens in 2013 and 2014. It is the only Asian country in the top ten this year.The next Asian country after Singapore is Hong Kong, at twelfth place.

    The report added that Singapore’s scores in most of the indicators of the investment and development factor seem low and cost of living is high, which suggests that it currently has “a large pool of talent that it has nurtured and attracted”, but that this pool “may shrink slightly in the future”.

    Switzerland topped the rankings again, followed by Denmark, Luxembourg, and Norway.

    Professor Arturo Bris, Director of IMD’s World Competitiveness Center, which carried out the study, said: “The key attribute among all the countries that rank highly is agility.”

    “This is shown in their capacity to adopt and shape policies that preserve their talent pipeline, which in turn makes them what we describe as ‘talent-competitive’,” said Dr Bris.

    “Malaysia has clearly lost some of that agility, and its fall has actually been quite sudden and significant. Needless to say, this is a trend it would do well to reverse.”

    source: Channel News Asia

  140. Anil

    FYI, most of the time when I enter your blog, my Internet Explorer will ‘stop responding’ with a message that your blog is ‘running a long script’. At times my computer would ‘hung’ and has to be reboot.
    My IT friend told me your site could be infected with Malware or loaded with lots of cookies (to track readers?).
    So I will not frequent your site given the potential risks above.

  141. Discontinuation of subsidy for rice:
    Supposedly, the price of ST15 did not differ much from that of better quality rice such as ST5.
    “The people particularly those in the lower income bracket will no longer have to choose between consuming the low quality rice and good quality rice. They will buy better quality rice and eventually there will no longer be any demand for ST15.” – Minister Ahmad Shabery, FMT, 14/11/15.


  142. Now this is rich, coming from ASEAN Rights Commission Chair Shafee Abdullah: “We’re Not Independent Enough”

    Q: Who are the individuals, groups, organisations or member countries that have approached AICHR to say they needed help for human right violations?

    Dr Abdullah: There has been a sizeable number of persons and groups who came forward. But sadly, we are not authorised to receive their complaints and process them so they can go to the next level.

    Q: So how did you address the complaints, given your situation?

    Dr Abdullah: We asked them to go back to their countries or whoever can help them such as individual lawyers, legal institutions, human rights organisations and advocacy groups. We gave them directions on how to do that, doing all we can to help them find some answers and, we hoped, some form of restitution. But we cannot even interfere. That’s why we feel very inadequate. We are not independent enough. We need to look at our group and see how we can be a better body.

    Full article at:
    Interview: “‘We’re Not Independent Enough,” says ASEAN Rights Commission Chair

  143. KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 8 — Poor Bumiputera will resort to theft, minister Nancy Shukri said in her defence of the government’s recent move to reintroduce a race-preferential economic policy that has drawn the ire of Malaysia’s minority Chinese and Indian communities.

    The de facto law minister told a public forum on international covenants organised by the Malaysian Bar here that the Bumiputera Economic Empowerment Policy was needed to help fix the unequal wealth distribution among the races that remains prevalent half a century after the country was formed, and which she claimed could lead to a potential spurt in social ills and crime.

    • Nancy Shukri, do you know the difference between how to eat Koay Kow, how to fish Koay Kow & how to fish & miss Koay Kow?
      Learn to fish right before you learn to eat with shiok & berpuas hati.

  144. 1,000 students drop out due to poor command of the language
    Why? How come?
    I believe it’s got to do with selective, discriminative university admission of so-called ‘qualified’ students for Medical, Pharmacy, Biology, etc. Setting a high CGPA of 4 for non bumis despite some applicants who are fluent in English with MUET of band 4 & above & CPGA of less than 4 (3 or 3.5) BUT don’t qualify for their selected medical courses at local unis. This is long state of affair which has brought about this downward spiral standard of our medical students.
    Vision 2020 will not see the light of many local English speaking doctors who should be / expected to be fluent in the English written medical field of study & practice to ‘safely’ serve Malaysian patients.

  145. Guan Eng shows how to solve falling ringgit
    DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng described the imposition of GST as “the principal cause of the economic downturn” and repeated the DAP’s current campaign claims that 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s RM42 billion debts and a reported RM2.6 billion donation to Najib Razak’s personal bank accounts had been the cause of the fall in value of the ringgit.
    He said Malaysia was unlikely to achieve developed-nation status by 2020 and must become an entrepreneurial state in order to move towards a high-income state. He called for “inclusive growth” that was free from corruption.
    Malaysia needed a progressive economic policy, with a wealth-creating agenda based on collaboration amongst “wealth-creators” involving not just business but also workers, public institutions, and civil-society organisations, he said in a speech at the Selangor DAP convention today.
    The progressive economic policy would be inclusive, led by private investment and sustainable. It would create wealth through a public-private partnerships to drive long-term growth and productivity, and that benefits everyone, especially the lower income groups.

  146. Lonely Planet lists George Town among world’s 10 best cities
    Despite all the odds & discriminating policies by the Feds, Penang tourism still thrives.
    Credits go to Penangites, UNESCO status, CAT Gomen, MBPP, Polis, Penang hospitality players, Penang Festival organisers & not least the irresistible heavenly street hawker cuisine that top up the equation.
    Air Asia, what say you invest in Penang Intl Airport expansion?

  147. Penang may lose its position as the Silicon Valley of the East following news of relocations, mergers, retrenchment and even plant closures involving nine major foreign electronic players in the state.

    The series of moves, despite earlier reports of injections of tens of millions of ringgit in investment by two Chinese entities in six months, will affect more than 1,000 employees.

    It is understood that the nine in the news are Motorola, which had been acquired earlier; Western Digital; famed German stereo system maker Blaupunkt; HGST; Amphenol TCS; EMC; UTi; Erriccson; and AMD.

    An industry source said those which will close their Penang plants are United States-based firms Western Digital, which is relocating to the Klang Valley; HGST, which is shifting to Johor Baru; and Amphenol TCS, which is relocating one of its three manufacturing facilities to China.

    Meanwhile, the acquisitions involved Motorola by US electronics manufacturing services provider Sanmina Corp; EMC by Dell, UTi by DSV and Ericsson by Flextronics, an American company headquartered in Singapore.

    Sanmina Corp, Dell and UTi are all based in the US while DSV is a Danish firm and Ericsson has its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden.

    The report said while AMD has signed an agreement with China’s Nantong Fujitu Microelectronics to set up a joint venture company, Blaupunkl Malaysia, which has more than 300 employees, is winding up its operations in Penang.

    The source said it is not known if more news of plant relocations or closures are to come but what is certain is that the latest moves in Penang’s electronics and electrical industry will affect more than 1,000 employees including engineers.

  148. “Its totally unfair of the Federal Government to leave out Penang although we paid RM6.5bil in taxes,” said LGE
    The Penang government will look for other sources of funding since it did not receive any funds under the Budget 2016.
    Suggestion: Seek China’s investors with interest in Penang
    Joint venture with Singaporeans eyeing the retail sectors & infrastructures
    Create a Penang Development Fund where oversea Penangites can invest their money for good ROI
    Get AirAsia to invest in Penang Intl Airport expansion in return for preferential air rights, etc
    Pay less taxes to Fed by legal means – Tax Avoidance (this, you can ask Anil’s accounting expertise)
    Get the rich to invest in Penang – there surely is a way to claim more expenditures to pay less taxes.
    And last but not least scorn this Snake Oil Saleman the next time he dresses like a Chinaman to greet
    you Gong Xi Fa Cai from the back door this coming CNY.

  149. Jabatan Perdana Menteri dapat peruntukan yang paling tinggi dal am sejarah, sebanyak RM20.3 bil, atau 7.6% jumlah anggaran perbelanjaan dalam Bajet 2016!

  150. CAT, you think Penang Lang ‘tua khang’ ah???
    Recently, state Housing Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo announced that the monthly household income ceiling had been raised to RM8,000 per month for affordable houses costing RM200,000 (750 sq ft), RM10,000 for affordable houses costing RM300,000 (850 sq ft) and RM12,000 for affordable houses costing RM400,000 (900 sq ft).
    How many Penangites can afford??? Ps lah get real.
    Penang’s new household guidelines for affordable housing impractical says Gerakan

  151. Malaysia Risks Lost Decade as Najib Faces Scandal

    Now, with its premier enveloped by a multi million dollar funding scandal, Malaysia risks being infected with the kind of economic malaise that has struck its emerging market counterpart in South America.

    For Najib, shoring up the economy and confidence is key as he also fends off criticism of his leadership amid a scandal over nearly $700 million that appeared in his bank accounts before the election in 2013, a ballot where his coalition lost the popular vote for the first time while keeping power. Najib acknowledged the money reached his accounts but said it was political donations from the Middle East rather than public funds, an initial conclusion reached too by the anti-corruption commission.

    The economy is “holed below the waterline,” said Andrew Harding, a law professor at the National University of Singapore. “The country needs deep-rooted reform,” he said. “We might be at the beginning of a lost decade.”

    A Case of Brazil Blight? Scandal-Hit Malaysia Risks Lost Decade

  152. Zulhafizi, who was working as a general cleaner, said his job was terminated because he had repeatedly demanded to be paid for working overtime. “They made me work 12-hour days for six days a week, but said I would only get S$500 (RM1,500) a month. “They promised me S$1,200 before I came, but now they say I signed the contract agreeing to S$500.”
    See more at:

  153. 1 MDB’s Cayman fund may not exist -Bridge Global Absolute Return Fund not listed among Avetsra’s funds
    by Ganesh Sahathevan

    Part of the posting:

    It has also been reported that the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) has obtained orders to liquidate Avestra, the company that is at least on paper the manager of 1 MDB’s funds.

    An affidavit in support of ASIC’s liquidation and other actions against Avestra has since been sighted and it can now be reported that Bridge Global Absolute Return Fund is not listed among funds under Avestra’s management.

    This suggests that the Fund does not exist as an entity and that “Bridge Global Absolute Return Fund” may simply be a fictitious name under which various trades have been executed. Given that the name has been linked to USD 2 billion of 1MDB’s funds it has to be asked whether the trades have been made with 1 MDB money.

    • Singapore is putting pressure on major retailers in Singapore to not use or sell materials produced by firms linked to fires in Indonesia. Seven firms, including major supermarkets such as NTUC FairPrice and IKEA, have been asked declare they are not doing so within a week.

  154. Trans-Pacific Partnership – some key points:

    -Countries must open state procurement more to foreign competition and not give state-owned enterprises undue preference. In some cases, including for Malaysia’s Bumiputera policies favouring ethnic Malay firms, this will be phased in over time and only for companies and deals over certain sizes.

    – Requires countries to live up to labour rights and fairness standards of the International Labour Organisation, and not to weaken labour protections to attract investment.

    – Signatories are obliged to make strong efforts in environmental protection and not to undermine protections to boost trade and investment.

    Full report at:
    Trans-Pacific Partnership: What’s in the deal?

    • “We firmly believe that through (TPP) we will be able to further promote our trade and investment agenda and help Malaysia mitigate the challenges of the global economic environment,” Trade Minister Mustapa Mohamed said.

      He said the deal would give Malaysia greater access to markets such as the United States, Canada, Mexico and Peru, with which it does not currently have bilateral free-trade agreements.

      It also would boost Malaysian exports of key products such as palm oil, rubber and electronics, he said.

      Malaysia had said it would not agree to anything that threatens domestic priorities, primarily its politically sensitive system of favouring the ethnic Malay majority, or bumiputeras, in a wide range of areas including government procurement.

      “Parties agreed to take into consideration almost all of our concerns and sensitivities, particularly in the areas of government procurement, state-owned enterprises and the bumiputra issues,” he said.

      He added that the country’s negotiators won “longer transition periods and differential treatment for Malaysia’s sensitive areas.” Mustapa gave no further details.

  155. Pacific-Rim Nations Led by U.S. Agree to Historic Trade Deal

    A dozen Pacific-rim nations agreed to an historic pact that would cut trade barriers on items ranging from cars to rice, setting up a potentially contentious ratification vote before a skeptical U.S. Congress.

    After a week of final talks in Atlanta, an agreement has been reached on completion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a pact more than five years in the making designed to boost commerce among nations that produce 40 percent of global economic output.

    Pacific-Rim Nations Led by U.S. Agree to Historic Trade Deal


    Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Deal Within Reach, Officials Say
    Sweeping agreement by 12 nations, which would lower barriers in two-fifths of world economy, nears completion on fifth day of Atlanta talks

    Protesters in Atlanta on Thursday call for the Trans-Pacific Partnership to be rejected. U.S. labor unions and their allies among consumer and environmental groups are among the biggest critics of the TPP. PHOTO: PAUL HANDLEY/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

    By WILLIAM MAULDIN Updated Oct. 4, 2015 7:27 p.m. ET

    ATLANTA—The U.S. and 11 countries around the Pacific were in the home stretch Sunday on talks to complete a sweeping trade agreement that would lower barriers to goods and services and set commercial rules of the road for two-fifths of the world’s economy.

    Resolving final differences in the pact will set the stage for debates within national legislatures, with the U.S. Congress likely posing the biggest challenge. President Barack Obama will have to allay unease over the Trans-Pacific Partnership within both parties in the midst of a heated presidential campaign. Under existing rules, the deal couldn’t go to a vote before Congress until early next year.

    The trade deal has been in the works since 2008 but has been stymied by disputes over sensitive industries, and observers cautioned that while an agreement is close, it could be delayed as negotiators try to iron out objections from a small number of countries.

    After the U.S. and Australia reached a tentative accord on perhaps the most difficult dispute in the talks—the length of intellectual-property protection afforded to biologic drugs—many officials expected further progress would quickly follow on the remaining issues, including dairy products, New Zealand’s biggest export. But Chile and Peru remain concerned about the complicated biologic drugs deal, and other issues also haven’t been put to bed, according to people following the talks.

    “It’s not done yet, but we’ve obviously largely completed with the Americans,” said Australian Trade Minister Andrew Robb, adding that there are 10 other countries in the talks with their own issues.

    The result: Officials were still negotiating in Atlanta on Sunday evening, the fifth day of talks, although the U.S. remains optimistic a deal could be reached. Some ministers need approval from top-level government officials back home to close a deal, a step likely to delay any announcement.

    A third dispute—about rules for automobile assembly—is essentially resolved, according to officials and people following the talks.

    U.S. officials expressed optimism Sunday that representatives from the 12 countries—which don’t include China—could close the remaining gaps and reach some sort of agreement before leaving Atlanta. Japanese Economy Minister Akira Amari is set to leave the talks Monday.

    “My sense is there will be a close today,” Tami Overby, senior vice president for Asia at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said Sunday. “I don’t think it’s going to be a perfect deal, but I hope it’s going to be a very good deal,” she said, adding the details would have to be analyzed with members.

    While officials said the U.S. and Australia have all but eliminated their differences on the drug spat, Chile, Peru and other countries remained concerned about adding to the price of drugs through long exclusivity periods that slow generic imitations. A pathway to settle the medicine dispute could allow New Zealand and the U.S. to work out differences over dairy, New Zealand’s No. 1 export.

    Canada and Japan are expected to increase access to their tightly controlled dairy markets, but New Zealand wants the U.S. to provide significant access, too. Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), two key lawmakers overseeing trade policy, have insisted that dairy producers in their states gain more access to Canadian consumers. U.S. lawmakers don’t want to make it too easy for New Zealand to sell more dairy products in the U.S. because it could threaten less-competitive U.S. dairy farms.

    An agreement would be a major victory for Mr. Obama, who has pointed to the TPP as part of his administration’s rebalancing of foreign policy toward fast-growing economies in Asia, though the president still faces a steep challenge in the months ahead to win approval for the deal in a deeply divided Congress. A handful of Democrats support Mr. Obama’s trade policy, and Republican support is unpredictable in the 2016 election year, depending on the stance of presidential candidates and new leadership in the House.

    Legislation designed to expedite passage of the agreement through Congress passed narrowly this summer, and a variety of factors, including the presidential campaign, could make the final deal a hard sell.

    The odds of passage will hinge in large part on the final language in a number of provisions, ranging from the strengthening of rights for labor unions to whether U.S. cigarette companies will face legal restrictions within TPP countries.

    “If a final agreement is announced, I will carefully scrutinize it to see whether my concerns about rushing into a deal before meeting all U.S. objectives are justified,” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said in a statement on Sunday.

    U.S. labor unions and their allies among consumer and environmental groups are among the biggest critics of the TPP. The left-wing opposition has prevented Mr. Obama from getting many fellow Democrats—already skeptical the deal will help workers—to support his trade policy.

    An array of Republican lawmakers object to provisions that would strengthen the say of labor groups, impinge on the ability of tobacco companies to fight against packaging and other laws overseas, and possibly harm local industries, from dairy to sugar.

    Commercial regulations in the pact—including intellectual-property rules and arbitration that lets investors challenge governments—are meant to put pressure on China and other developing countries with looser standards for trade and investment.

    Mr. Obama spoke with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Thursday about the trade deal, and foreign diplomats say senior U.S. officials have pressed their counterparts abroad in an effort to win support among the 12-nation group for rules that would provide a long-term period of exclusivity for biologic drugs, protecting the name-brand products against generic imitators.

    The U.S. has been pushing for up to 12 years of exclusivity for biologics, while Australia wanted five years of protection, plus another year while regulatory steps are completed. Officials in Atlanta were discussing a complicated compromise that would provide eight years of exclusivity for biologics in some circumstances, according to people following the negotiations.

    Dozens of protesters descended on downtown Atlanta during the talks, including a cancer patient who said she has taken three biologic drugs and wants less exclusivity for major drug makers so she can have access to cheaper generic alternatives. The protester was arrested and charged with trespassing after she declined to leave the Westin Peachtree Plaza hotel, where the talks are being held.

    On Sunday, protesters screaming “stop TPP” burst into the hotel again, unveiling a sign in the lobby before security removed them. Minutes later, protesters on an upper floor dropped leaflets calling the TPP a “corporate power tool” into the lobby.

  157. “There is great joy in giving”, added the millionaire (Koon Yew Yin), because its “creates” happiness.
    “People must realise that our ultimate aim in life is happiness. They will find great happiness if they can create happiness. If they give away some of their money to help poor people who will be happy and they will also be happy.”
    Millionaire investor uses wealth to help poor

  158. Patrick Teoh’s Hari Malaysia video on his sweet memoies of Swatow Lane Penang.

    Perhaps readers like tunglang can make a similar theme video on his memories of Madras Lane, and Kee aka Lim on his fond memoroes of Pulau Tikus/Kelawei/Gurney ???

  159. Malaysia’s Internet speed lags behind Sri Lanka, Thailand!!!

    According to the report by Akamai Technologies Inc, Malaysia is in 70th place worldwide with an average Internet speed of 5.0 megabits per second (Mbps).

    Thailand ranked 42nd overall and Sri Lanka is ranked 65th. The top-three countries on the global ranking are all from Asia, with South Korea topping the list with an average connectivity speed of 23.1 Mbps.

    Hong Kong was second with an average speed of 17.0 Mbps, followed by Japan which averaged at 16.4 Mbps. Singapore – which ranked 14th with an average speed of 12.7 Mbps – however, recorded the highest global peak connection speed at 108.3 Mbps.

    • The Malaysian Chinese are always the bogeymen – a convenient target of violence to exercise their long list of excuses to blame others for their own created bumi-problems & economic woes.
      Petaling Street is a potential lynch pin for explosive racial conflicts as well as a take-over of others’ rice bowls. The ‘soft’ approach to tackle the unruly crowd & getting that sly mastermind of troubles to disperse on that Sept 16 actually encouraged their evil resolves – see how that Red-Eyed Monster’s unreasonably demand for another rally.

      The real world is not as simple as that. There are territories one should not ‘kacau’. Have they not heard of ‘Tai Kor’. Even Jalan Alor is not for an experimental gangster intrusion or violent show of outsider force like a back alley afternoon child’s play.
      Hokkien calls such callousness: “Bo chai si” In Cantonese: “Ham Ka Chan”

      • Singapore’s Channel News Asia documentary on its Insight programme featuring Malaysia titled “A fractured nation” is balanced and interviewed a spectrum of people, said its producer, disputing an Umno’s minister accusation that the programme was biased and only interviewed opposition members.

        Insight’s executive producer Zainudin Afandi said the channel prided itself on its “objective insights”, borne from being from the region and invested in the region.

        He said the Insight episode aired on Thursday night was their sixth on their political developments in Malaysia since April.

  160. “To survive as a political party, MCA really has to reexamine its stand vis-a-vis Umno’s rather racialist stance,” Dr Oh Ei Sun of Singapore’s S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies told Malay Mail Online.

    “They need to be brave enough to stand up to Umno to the extent that even if Umno withdraws support within those (MCA) constituencies, MCA doesn’t have to worry a lot because they will still be appointed to some senator position and so on,” he added.

  161. The noose tightens more… Thje Wall Street Journal reports that:

    “U.S. investigators are looking into Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s assets as part of a series of global probes linked to a troubled state investment fund, according to people familiar with the matter.

    The U.S. Justice Department’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative has been investigating the case, which involves people and entities connected to the state-run fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd., the people said. The Federal Bureau of Investigation also is involved with the inquiries, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.”

    Malaysia Leader Najib Razak’s Assets Probed by U.S.
    Investigation involves people, entities connected to troubled 1Malaysia Development fund

    “Kleptocracy Asset Recovery”. Now THAT is a most fitting outfit to dig into Najib’s assets. What sort of welcome awaits him in Manhattan? Will he still jet over to show his face at the UN? Or will the “nothing to hide” PM have some “reason” to be a no-show?

  162. The current haze is largely caused by the unsustainable clearing of land for palm oil plantation via slash and burn method to cut production cost.

    Palm Oil: The Hidden Truth Lurking in Your Home

    Look for the RSPO label to ensure you purchase products made with certified sustainable palm oil. This label gives you the confidence that the palm oil was produced in a socially and environmentally responsible way.

  163. They can arrest, block the exit, but now, “The FBI has opened an investigation into allegations of money-laundering related to a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund…”

    Full article:

    FBI Probes Malaysia Development Fund
    U.S. opens money-laundering investigation amid international 1MDB probe; Malaysia police arrest critic of prime minister

    Sept. 19, 2015 4:36 p.m. ET

    The FBI has opened an investigation into allegations of money-laundering related to a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, a person familiar with the matter said.

    The scope of the investigation wasn’t known. It is the latest in a series of international investigations related to the fund that have been revealed in the past several weeks.

    The international investigations center on entities related to 1Malaysia Development Bhd., which was set up by Prime Minister Najib Razak in 2009 to help drive the economy. The fund is having difficulty repaying more than $11 billion of debt and is at the center of investigations that are destabilizing the government.

    A Malaysian government probe found that nearly $700 million moved through banks, agencies and companies linked to 1MDB before being deposited into Mr. Najib’s alleged private bank accounts ahead of a close election in 2013, the Journal reported in July.

    The source of the money is unclear, and the government investigation hasn’t detailed what happened to the funds that allegedly went into Mr. Najib’s personal accounts. Malaysia’s anticorruption body in August said the funds were a donation from the Middle East. The donor wasn’t specified.

    Mr. Najib has denied wrongdoing and denied taking money for personal gain.


    Malaysia Arrests Critic of Prime Minister
    Malaysia Fund 1MDB’s Missing Money Problem Grows

    Late Friday, a former member of Malaysia’s ruling party who had raised questions about money transfers to the Malaysian prime minister was arrested on charges of attempting to undermine democracy, his lawyer Matthias Chang said.

    The arrest of Khairuddin Abu Hassan, who remained in custody on Saturday, prevented him from traveling to New York where he planned to urge U.S. authorities to investigate the transfers, Mr. Chang said.

    A spokeswoman for the FBI’s New York office said that no agent in the office had arranged to speak with Mr. Khairuddin or had any previous contact with him.

    Two of the transfers were made through the Singapore branch of a Swiss private bank and routed via Wells Fargo & Co. Wells Fargo declined to comment.

    The Swiss attorney general’s office has opened criminal proceedings against two unidentified executives of 1MDB on suspicion of corruption and money-laundering. It has frozen tens of millions of dollars in Swiss bank accounts, officials said in August.

    Last week, 1MDB said none of its executives or board members were the subject of criminal proceedings by the Swiss attorney general’s office, and that none of its accounts were frozen there.

    Authorities in Singapore also have frozen accounts linked to 1MDB and are investigating allegations related to the fund. 1MDB said none of its accounts were frozen and that it was ready to assist any investigations subject to advice from the appropriate Malaysian authorities.

    —Celine Fernandez contributed to this article.

  164. Malaysia Fund 1MDB’s Missing Money Problem Grows

    “Questions around a troubled Malaysian state investment fund and missing money in the Middle East have widened to include as much as $1 billion more.”

    Wall Street Journal article in full:

    Malaysia Fund 1MDB’s Missing Money Problem Grows
    Mystery deepens around fund set up by Prime Minister Najib Razak

    Sept. 17, 2015 11:40 p.m. ET

    Questions around a troubled Malaysian state investment fund and missing money in the Middle East have widened to include as much as $1 billion more.

    The Wall Street Journal reported last week that officials in Abu Dhabi were trying to understand why a $1.4 billion transfer that the fund, 1Malaysia Development Bhd., said it made to a counterparty in the Middle Eastern emirate wasn’t received. Now, those officials are questioning a further $993 million that 1MDB reported it paid to the Abu Dhabi fund, the International Petroleum Investment Co., but which also appears to be largely missing, people familiar with the matter said.

    Officials from 1MDB and IPIC didn’t respond to requests for comment.

    The questions deepen the mystery around 1MDB, which was set up by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in 2009 to invest in Malaysia’s economy. The fund is now struggling to repay more than $11 billion in debt and is at the center of a corruption scandal that is destabilizing Mr. Najib’s government.

    Earlier this year, a Malaysian government investigation found almost $700 million entered the prime minister’s private accounts through entities linked to 1MDB ahead of a close election in 2013. The source of the money is unclear, and the government investigation hasn’t detailed what happened to the funds that went into Mr. Najib’s personal accounts. Malaysia’s anticorruption body in August said the funds were a donation from the Middle East. The donor wasn’t specified.


    Malaysia to Allow Swiss to Question Witnesses in 1MDB Probe
    Malaysia’s 1MDB Fund Scandal Spreads to U.A.E.
    Swiss Look Into Connection Between Banking Sector and 1MDB
    Malaysia Agency Says Money in Razak’s Personal Account Isn’t From 1MDB
    Investigators Believe Money Flowed to Najib’s Accounts Amid 1MDB Probe

    Attempts to reach Mr. Najib weren’t successful. He has denied any wrongdoing or taking money for personal gain.

    The link to the Abu Dhabi fund came in 2012, when it agreed to guarantee $3.5 billion in bonds issued by 1MDB to fund the purchase of some power plants. In return, IPIC was given options to buy a stake in those power assets. But last year, both sides agreed to end that deal with 1MDB agreeing to buy back the options for an undisclosed price.

    1MDB said it made a transfer of nearly $1 billion to an IPIC subsidiary in November as partial payment for the options, according to copy of a draft report by Malaysia’s auditor general that was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

    Neither the financial records of IPIC, nor its wholly-owned subsidiary Aabar Investments PJSC, for 2014 mention of the receipt of the money. They say only in a footnote that as of the end of 2014, 1MDB owed IPIC $481.3 million in outstanding payments for the options. No substantial amount of money was received by IPIC, the people familiar with the matter said. It isn’t clear how IPIC arrived at the $481.3 million figure and how it relates to the nearly $1 billion transfer 1MDB says it made to IPIC.

    The missing $1 billion is the second payment that 1MDB reported it made and IPIC said it didn’t receive. Financial statements from 1MDB and a report by the Malaysian auditor general, which is one of a number agencies investigating 1MDB, show that the fund made a separate payment of $1.4 billion to IPIC. That payment was described as collateral for the loan guarantees that Abu Dhabi provided on the bonds issued by 1MDB. Last week, the Journal reported that payment also was missing and that Abu Dhabi officials were looking into it, according to people familiar with the matter.

    The 1MDB fund said last week that it stood by its audited financial accounts and that its auditor, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd., had made “specific and detailed” inquiries into the collateral transfer before signing off on the accounts. Deloitte declined to comment.

    On Aug. 14, the Swiss attorney general’s office opened criminal proceedings against two unidentified executives of 1MDB and against what it called persons unknown for suspected corruption and money laundering. It also has frozen tens of millions of dollars in Swiss bank accounts. Swiss authorities on Tuesday said Malaysia has agreed to allow its prosecutors to question witnesses.

    Authorities in Singapore also have frozen accounts linked to 1MDB and are continuing to probe the fund. The Malaysian fund said it was ready to assist any investigations subject to advice from the appropriate Malaysian authorities.

  165. In mid-September, in an affair that is being widely talked and written about in Malaysia, the government-owned Prasarana Malaysia Bhd. (Infrastructure Malaysia Bhd) awarded a RM11.5 billion contract to extend the capital area’s light rail system from the city center to the port city of Klang on a so-called project-delivery-partner basis to the government-linked Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd, an engineering firm, and George Kent (M) Bhd — despite the fact that it was the third-highest bidder and was in fact nearly RM1.62 billion higher than the UEM consortium, owned by the state investment fund Khazanah and a full RM2 billion higher than the lowest bidder, whose name hasn’t been revealed.

    New Crony Scandals for Malaysia’s Najib

  166. There will be colour at the dilapidated Sia Boey Market in George Town this Sunday, 6 September, when the Penang government launches its RM100 million Sia Boey: Reborn project.

    Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the 5.5-acre project will regenerate and rejuvenate the market, the long-neglected Prangin Canal and its vicinity, and transform the area into a centre for art.

    He said the Penang Arts Society, Penang Chinese Brush Painting Art Society, Penang Oil Painting Society and local galleries will be showcasing their artworks at the launch ceremony.

    To mark the start of a new era, Lim said there will be a week-long exhibition to celebrate the past, present and future of Sia Boey at Prangin Market from this Sunday.

  167. TalentCorp said it has failed to convince the majority of Malaysians working abroad to come home.

    Its CEO Johan Mahmood Merican told Astro Awani that in the past four years, it has attracted 3,600 Malaysians home through its Returning Experts Programme (REP) – a figure he admitted was a “drop in the ocean”.

    The World Bank reported there are more than one million Malaysians working abroad.

    • Umno president Najib wants all party members to close the issue of political funding and instead focus on facing bigger challenges in developing the country and safeguarding the interests of the people. He said the interests of the people would be neglected if the party only focus on the issue of political funding.

    • If it were true that the RM2.6 billion deposited into Najib’s personal bank account was allegedly in appreciation for Malaysia’s efforts in combating Isis, then Najib would not have sung the praises for Isis at the 20th anniversary dinner of the Cheras Umno Branch on June 24, 2014, calling on Umno members to emulate their bravery. The deposit of RM2.6 billion into Najib’s personal bank accounts occurred in March 2013, more than a year before Najib’s speech to Cheras Umno and the creation of the caliphate and the change of Isis to the Islamic State.

  168. Former Umno strongman Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah today appear to dismiss repeated claims that there is a plot to “topple the government”.

    “You need the military to do that. Normal people can’t topple the government,” Tengku Razaleigh told reporters when met at his Hari Raya open house event in Kuala Lumpur today.

  169. Bersih 4 Penang Roadshow tonite (14 Aug 2015) 8pm roadside next to Giant Hypermarket at Bayan Baru.
    Many speakers to enlighten the public including Mat Sabu, Rafizi etc
    Get latest updates on nation building.
    Yang Patriotik Harus Hadir ramai ramai.

  170. Isis map ‘shows plans for domination of Europe, North Africa and Middle East’.

    Isis is planning to take over much of the world by 2020.
    According to maps included in BBC reporter Andrew Hosken’s new book ‘Empire of Fear: Inside the Islamic State’, the terror group want to control the Middle East, North Africa and parts of Europe within the next five years.
    The Sharia-governed caliphate would stretch as far north as the Pyrenees and the Balkans and as far south as central Africa, and spans from the Western coast of Africa to the border of China.

  171. The anti-graft group Centre to Combat, Corruption and Cronyism (C4) has claimed that PM Najib is ultimately responsible for the demise of the special task force as well as a slew of other actions that appear geared towards scuttling investigations into RM2.6 billion deposited into his personal bank accounts. It noted that the special task force was immediately disbanded after AG Gani Patail was sacked last Tuesday and replaced with Mohamed Apandi Ali.

  172. Constitutional law expert Dr Abdul Aziz Bari has joined DAP today, making him the latest prominent Malay to join the party, after national literary laureate Datuk A. Samad Said.

    More Malays will join DAP in view of the turmoil in Umno?

  173. Aviation experts are speculating that wreckage found washed up on a French island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean could be from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which disappeared more than a year ago.

  174. Bersih will hold rallies in three cities to push for Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s resignation plus institutional reforms to prevent prime ministerial corruption.

    The rallies overnight rallies would be held in Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu to demand four major objectives: 1) Clean elections, 2) Clean governance, 3) Saving the economy, and 4) Preserving the right to dissent.

    Beginning at 2pm on Aug 29, the rally is scheduled to end on midnight of Aug 30 – the eve of Merdeka Day.

    Bersih said the series of disturbing events over the past two days – the removal of Abdul Gani Patail as attorney-general, the co-opting of four out of 13 Public Account Committee members into the cabinet and the removal of dissident ministers – had triggered the call for the rallies.

    • Kita Lawan will be organising a series of ceramah nationwide to whip up support for the Bersih 4.0 protest set to be held at the end of August.

      The movement said with all that is currently happening in the country, staying quiet is not an option!

  175. “Are you sure it’s God’s calling for you?”
    Here are my points of contention:
    God will not allow a bumpkin of international political clowning to manage a nation
    God will never approve an emo-hot-head to handle national issues
    God I believe only endorses those who have the relevant talent to “think before he speaks” as a leader
    Read: Zahid: My appointment is a calling from God

  176. There is no travel restriction against Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who has been accused of masterminding a plot to oust Prime Minister Najib.

    A check on the Immigration Department website showed that his travel status is ‘tiada halangan (no restrictions)’.

  177. Press statement by YB Jagdeep Singh Deo, EXCO for Town and Country Planning and Housing on 13th of July, 2015 at KOMTAR, Penang.

    Affordable housing in Penang certainly within reach for deserving and eligible applicants as proven by offers to 3,396 applicants in the last 6 months.

    I refer to the article in the Sunday Star, 12th July, 2015, entitled ‘Cheaper homes out of reach – locals upset with states rejection of applications for affordable houses’. It is regrettable that the Star has chosen to publish such an unfair article without even consulting me on the matter.

    What is even more regrettable is the fact that I had in fact spoken at the Star Property Fair held at G Hotel on that very Saturday, the 11th of July, 2015 on the very topic of affordable housing and could have easily been consulted on the matter!

    Such cheaper and more affordable homes are certainly still within the reach of such eligible and deserving Penangites, and the Penang state government has in fact, in the last 6 months, offered such affordable housing to 3,396 eligible and deserving applicants.

    The new category of affordable housing which was introduced in January 2014 by the Penang state government is aimed at enabling Penangites, especially first time home buyers, to have access to housing, amidst a hot property market whereby house prices seem to be ever increasing.

    The Penang state government has made the provision of such affordable housing its priority, whereby these units have a price cap of RM400,000 on the island and RM250,000 on the mainland, with a size control of between 750 to 900 square feet.

    Todate, the Penang state government has embarked on 12 projects in all of the 5 districts in Penang which will see a total of 22,512 units of affordable housing being built from now until 2025. In fact, even the private sector has committed to building some 12,606 units of affordable housing units in Penang todate.

    All of the above I have stated repeatedly, but I have to once again repeat the same as it would appear certain media is in denial syndrome of the said facts.

    The eligibility criterion for the said affordable housing is firstly, an applicant should not own a property, but may be considered if they are upgrading from a low or low medium cost unit. Secondly, there is an income cap, namely, a total household income (applicant and spouse) of RM6,000, RM8,000 and RM10,000 for the RM200,000, RM300,000 and RM400,000 units respectively.

    The rational for such an income cap is that we do not want those who are earning in excess of the said sum to be able to be eligible for such affordable housing when they would be able to acquire properties higher than the affordable range. Priority must be given to those who are earning lower and are unable to acquire properties beyond the affordable range.

    It should be noted that the said household income cap as stated above is the nett and not gross income (as reported). Deductions of EPF, SOCSO, mandatory insurances and income tax are taken into account.

    In any event, even if the total household nett income exceed the cap imposed, an applicant is nevertheless entitled to appeal to the state to be considered by giving good reason, especially when the amount by which it exceeds, is minimal. This has been done in many cases before and we will continue to consider such appeals.

    Further, an applicant has to be a Penangite, a registered voter in Penang and working in Penang or if not a Penangite, must show proof of employment in Penang for the last 5 years and be a registered voter of Penang.

    Further, if an applicant is not a Penangite, but can show that he or she is contributing economically to the Penang economy by working here (by furnishing proof of employment for the last 5 years), and subject to compliance with all other criterion, we will also consider their application.

    The rational for these criterion is that the Penang state government wants to give priority to Penangites – ‘ Penangites contributing to Penang first!’.

    In fact, even if an applicant does not meet the above criteria, they may nevertheless appeal to the state for consideration by giving good reason, such as for instance, that they will be returning to Penang after being seconded outstation by their employer or that they will return to Penang after their education. This has been done before and we will continue to consider such appeals.

    In fact, it was recently announced that the category of eligible applicants has been widened to include those from outside Penang who have not been working here for the last five years, but considered ‘talent and skill’, namely needed to be gainfully employed in any particular industry in Penang, as long as their employer in Penang can vouch for the same.

    Again, it should be noted that I have repeatedly stated the above eligibility criterion, but I have to once again repeat the same as it would appear certain media is in denial syndrome of the same.

    It should also be noted that at the very Star Property fair on 11th July, 2015, in the speech I delivered, I had pointed out the latest statistics, namely, out of the 4,837 units of affordable units that have been requested for the name-list from the state government to-date, 3,396 have been offered, whilst the balance 1,441 will continue to be selected from our pool of eligible applicants (namely approximately some 6,000 since our registration exercise began in January 2014) in our monthly selection meetings.

    Clearly therefore, the sweeping allegation that cheaper and affordable homes are out of reach of Penangites is not only mischievous and misguided, but is also irresponsible and does not do justice to those needy, deserving and eligible applicants for such housing.

    Such an allegation is certainly inaccurate and not a reflection of the actual prevailing position of the Penang state government which is that it has and will, continue to prioritise the provision of affordable housing for the needy, deserving and eligible Penangite.

    It is hoped that fair reporting will be resorted to on issues like this as it will affect a segment of our society who are really in need of a roof over their heads if they are not given accurate information.

    • Thanks for the info, as The Star never report this.
      Can always count on people to supply such info on blogs to counter those baseless allegations from Gerakan on mainstream papers.

      By the way, the Libra cruise ship will no longer stop over at Penang (depriving tourist dollars to Penang as each trip carries 2000 passengers) as the BN Transport Ministry has increased the surcharge for berth.

    • IGP should despatch his ‘Ninja Commandos’ to arrest Papagomo, the same manner opposition leaders were treated for allegedly speaking against the government.

    • Papagomo is Umno-friendly blogger. I doubt he will get heavy sentence, perhaps already freed to celebrate Hari Raya.

      • Papagomo is likely part of the plot to divert the nation’s attention away from the 1MDB woes.

  178. Fund Raising Concert for Mr Ooi Eow Jin, musician extraordinaire

    During his long career, Eow Jin had supported his two sons through their education until both graduated from University. Unfortunately, his second son died after a prolonged battle against leukemia despite his efforts to give his son the best treatment available. Eow Jin, himself showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease, continued his career as a resident pianist at the Majestic Hotel in Kuala Lumpur until 30 June when he made his final bow.

    I am told that his eldest son is now suffering from a brain tumour. Again, it was with the effort of Eow Jin that the son is still hanging on to life. Eow Jin now lives with his wife and son in a home shared with other unfortunate people.

    Concert date/time: 19 July 2015 [Sunday] / 5:30pm
    Venue: MK Joyworks Recital Hall, Block E33-02, Jalan 19/1, P.Jaya
    Admission [by donation] RM100 & RM50

    Contact: Ms Lai 012-335-9028 / [email protected]

    Benefit concert to aid Ooi Eow Jin

    Aid Ooi Eow Jin, Malaysia’s Composer and Musician – Give generously

    • Sometimes, it makes us reflect how fortunate we are to live a healthy life each day.
      We shouldn’t complain living without status or wealth nor envy others.
      There are others who may be rich but still suffer.
      Be content, be thankful. Have empathy for the suffering.

    • Malaysia with its bloated and inefficient civil service is a big burden to tax payers to foot their salary and pension. This aspect is very similar to Greece.

  179. Proton is a testimony that why Malaysia cannot progress beyond what it is today, compared to countries like South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore (who started almost at the same economic level as Malaysia 40-50 years). Getting rid of Proton will help to speed up the economic and technological progress of Malaysia. The so called National car maker can’t even produce a single worthy car, and their incompetence knows no bounds. Why do I have to pay extra cost for failures of national car maker. If a company can not produce a road safe, worthy car with quality may be its better that such an automaker ends the same where 50 or so British car maker ended, in the dustbin.

    • Effect of poor public transportation system and high car ownership due to policy to sustain Proton:

      The daily traffic congestion in the Klang Valley is causing huge economic loss not only to motorists but also the country. At least five million people get stuck in the Klang Valley traffic every day. The World Bank’s 2015 Malaysia’s Economic Monitor report states that commuters wasted between 270 and 500 million man-hours in the Greater KL jams last year.

      The Klang Valley has eight working rail lines today while more than 2,000 buses and 51,000 taxis ply its streets. However, only 21% of people here take public transport, compared to 62% in Singapore, according to the World Bank report. In a survey of 1,227 Malaysians, Frost & Sullivan found that 41% ranked traffic jams as their “Number One” frustration. In 2012, the Works Ministry found that nearly 360,000 new vehicles, including 236,000 cars, were registered in the Federal Territory alone.

  180. Do we have to dress like the Arabians?
    While the weather is getting hotter & hotter, some Body-Cover-Napoleons are getting zealous over a simple dress code.
    Use your brains in a tropical climate like Malaysia where our bodies sweat easily, more so under covers of polyester+cotton. This ruling should be given breathing space instead of overt-zealousness of the Talibans.
    I fear we may one day impose a public canning for exposing our arm pits. Never mind that arm pits with bacteria-infested sweats are smelly in the foyers of government of gomen offices.
    Read: ‘I thought I was dressed decently’

  181. Touching tale of Uncle Ah San.
    Reflect on those who are less fortunate & if able to financially contribute to their well being.
    This man brought back my memory of my deceased brother-in-law who lived the last years of his life at the back lane of a nyonya kueh factory (off Chulia Street) where he worked. It seemed fated for his life which he chose not to burden his children. Whenever I passed by, I would give some money or brought him breakfast. I still never forget how frequent (weekly) he brought us children to the Great World Park (Tua Seh Kai) for entertainment & movies. The last time I saw him unconscious in the emergency room of GH, I couldn’t take the pain to speak to him. That’s when we valued others at the last breath of their lives or at the funerals.
    In the pursuit of Cosmopolitan Penang, let us have some humane thought for the less fortunate & not worship the money factor in the same vein as Donald Trump’s “You Are Fired” – which has no human love, sympathy & empathy for any human being.

    • Moral of the story:
      Have good financial planning from young age:
      – equip yourself with good skills and qualifications
      – prudent in spending on needs, not wants
      – saving for retirement/old age (don’t count on the support of your children)

  182. IGP said there was no element of CBT in Mara’s Melbourne deal, although Australia’s The Age claimed that Melbourne property deal was inflated with bribery involved.

  183. If CAT is already not sincere enough about implementing affordable housing, pls let others more capable & more sincere to take the task of building affordable housing in Penang.
    Leave your corporate+political tango for richie condos in the secret backroom of 28th Flr Komtar & not further delay-approving more than 9,000 units by federal agencies in Penang.
    Jangan main-main politik kotor atas isu perumahan bagi Rakyat.
    Read here:
    Penang Umno hits out at state government for questioning PR1MA

      • Can you answer why Penang state government delay-approving more than 9,000 units by federal agencies? There is a demand for affordable housing, you know?

    • Affordable housing in Penang is within reach as 3,396 eligible applicants were offered in the last six months, says state Housing Development Committee chairman, Jagdeep Singh Deo.

      In stressing this, he said the allegation by a daily newspaper titled “Cheaper homes out of reach”, was not only mischievous but also did not do justice to the needy and eligible applicants.

      “The allegation is inaccurate and not a reflection of the actual position of the state government which has and will continue to prioritise the provision of affordable housing for deserving and eligible Penangites,” he told a press conference.

      On the eligibility criteria for affordable housing, he said firstly, the applicants should not own a property but might be considered if they were upgrading from a low or low-medium cost unit.

      “Secondly, there is an income cap, which is a total household income (applicant and spouse) of RM6,000, RM8,000 and RM10,000 for the RM200,000, RM300,000 and RM400,000 units respectively.

      “The household income cap as stated is the nett and not gross income as reported in the newspaper, while deductions of Employees Provident Fund (EPF), Social Security Organisation (SOCSO), mandatory insurance and income tax are taken into account.”

      Besides, he said, an applicant had to be a Penangite, a registered voter and working in Penang or if not a Penangite, must show proof of employment for the last five years and be a registered voter.

      For a non-local, an applicant can show he/she is contributing economically to the Penang economy by working here with proof of employment over the last five years, subject to compliance and consideration.

  184. Of Sarong, Towel & What Cover Next?
    It seems there is a concerted effort by security / gate guards to play the decent-attire watchmen who cannot just look the other way but strictly & selectively enforce the “cover-up”. Are these recently indoctrinated by BTN (Buro Tutup Naked)?
    What next after sarong & towel cover-up? Newspaper?
    Is Malaysia getting more moralistic to cover up more of the flesh or else the minds & eyes get “gatai” ?
    In this age of cross-cultural influences far from the fig leaf cover-up of Adam & Eve, many whose eyes & minds are staled by the commonplace exposure of the flesh are unaffected nor go wild at the mere sight of an uncovered flesh to the degree of instant gatai, erectile or eros. The opposite of such effect holds true for all of mankind regardless of religious beliefs.
    As the Hokkien saying goes: Ju kham, ju gian. (The more cover-up, the more desired or lusted).
    Read: No telling where dress code may be imposed next, says ‘towel dad’

    • Malaysia is now sliding backwards and is acting like Saudi Arabia in its zeal to impose a dress code on the public, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed said today.

      He said it was a person’s right to wear shorts in public, and, “as long as they aren’t naked”, they should be allowed to enter a government building or hospital.

      “In government offices, certainly there is a dress code. But that is an office matter.

      “Public matters are different. We shouldn’t be telling others what to do, they aren’t Muslim,” he told a press conference after a buka puasa event with Perkasa in Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur.

      He said dress codes in government buildings should only apply to its staff, and not visitors, especially those who are not Muslim.‎

      “We are now sliding backwards. Soon, not only shorts will be an issue. If a woman leaves a house without a burqa, it will be considered wrong.

      “We are acting like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia. That’s their culture. When we try to turn it into our culture, it becomes a problem.”

      • In the near future, any Malaysian woman cannot leave home without an accompanying man.
        American Express, you are right many years ahead with your slogan: “Don’t Leave Home Without It”.
        Practicality: In these days of heat waves & high humidity, it is unthinkable to be wrapped up from head to toe. Very unthinkable while sweating…

      • Johor prince Tunku Idris Sultan Ibrahim posted the words of internationally renowned Zimbabwean scholar, Mufti Ismail Menkon on Instagram:
        “When you see a female dressed in a manner that is unacceptable Islamically, do not for a moment think that she is lower than you spiritually. If you do that, you are lower than her. Believe me, that is the teaching of your religion. She might have a heart that is tons better than yours. She might have one weakness that is outward, and you have 50 weaknesses that are hidden.”

    • Dr M often says the darnest things. But I agree with his statement this time, that we are becoming more and more like the Middle East, rather than South-East Asia.

      Soon Najib will launch SIM (Sarung 1Malaysia)?

      Please look at photos of Malays (eg. P Ramlee movies that are being recycled on TV2) up to the 1980’s and compare that with what you have today. You are murdering your own culture just because you are “wanna be” Arabs. Why are you so ashamed of your own culture? Why do Muslims here want to be more Arabs than Arabs themselves when there are better Muslim people elsewhere to emulate? Those that wanna be Arabs should leave, not those that want to be Malaysian.

  185. Lavish lifestyle, greed and love can lead to financial ruin
    The cause of it all – Bin Chui?
    To those who live in cosmopolitan cities, beware.
    Live for yourself than to live to others’ expectations including making fast bucks in MLM & other scams.
    In this age of low salaries & employment uncertainties, downshift lifestyle is a safer & saner option.
    And don’t get envy seeing those Facebook uploaded pics of friends’ lifestyle.
    Be content with what you have & you will never be sorry.

  186. Penang affordable housing glut?
    Unrealistic assessment or forecast (by developers & state gomen) & impractical policies & restrictive loan conditions have led to this ‘goof of affordable housing’ in Penang. Affordable home pricing in the range of RM250K – Rm400K is not only unrealistic, it has also burnt the hands of greedy developers anticipating maxi-profiteering in the next few years with no bulk buyers in the horizon.
    The developers will start blaming the state gomen & banks, the state gomen will blame the banks, the banks will blame the state gomen & developers. Not matter what, home buyers will not be able to buy affordable homes & thus no business for developers.
    Call it Catch 22 of Affordable Housing in Penang. Not everyone has 9 lives to go thro’ this goof.
    Penang Institute fellow and urban studies head Stuart Macdonald said the affordable housing prices of RM300,000 to RM400,000 on the island was still too high for the average household with a yearly income of RM60,000, based on the 2012 Household Income Survey.
    Macdonald said the price of an affordable unit should be between RM180,000 and RM240,000, three to four times of the average household yearly income, which is in accordance to the international benchmark pricing for an affordable housing unit.

  187. Stepping up political education.

    Without political illiterateness, we are empowered to:
    Shed political personality worshipping e.g. Niko Kong.
    Discern the wolves in sheep skins or to discern snake-oil salesmen cum politicians.
    Demand cakap serupa bikin in all GE mandates or promises.
    Question & hold accountable, political-corporate tango at people’s expense.
    Sack those playing sandiwara instead of doing a good job expected in our votes.
    Read here for a brief political education:

  188. “Crisis might have been sooner if Pakatan won GE13”, says Kit Siang
    This is like saying, “If you have helped us win the battle, be prepared for an eventual crumble!”
    What a wonderful way of saying “It’s not our collective fault but someone’s in the Holy Trinity”
    Simple Answer: Then don’t form the Holy Trinity you know won’t work as the Salvation of the Nation!
    Wonderful Read:

  189. Pakatan’s ‘seven-year itch’.
    Gatai in a 3-party which has no genuine interest in the cause of better multi-racial-multi-cultural Malaysia.
    Gatai to get a bigger power-slice in the event of a split (esp. Penang).
    Gatai to make unilateral declaration (Pakatan has ceased to exist) without caution of its repercussion.
    Gatai to make threats if PKR can’t choose between DAP & PAS.
    Gatai to repeat the mistakes of 513 appeal to Chinese vote base.

    At least there is one leader with cool mind worthy to steer Pakatan in this time of uncertainty – Azmin Ali.
    To understand why Gatai is bad habit for Pakatan & trusting voters, read on:

      • It should have been the lawyers to fight for these settlers’ generations instead of opportunist politicians who were riding the bandwagon of High Chaparral compensation based on crown trust land grant. If there was any sincerity on the part of politicians to fight in the case of Kg Buah Pala, then make it a party precedence to play that role for all evicted squatters. Then, only then we will believe.
        But in Penang, very sorry since the Niao Kong is partying with greedy developers as in the case of Botak Hill.

      • The state rep did help out in the case of compensation for the Pepper Estate residents, I believe.

  190. A twist…

    “US lawmakers voted on Thursday to give President Barack Obama fast-track authority to negotiate a major trans-Pacific trade accord, moving it closer to his desk after a dramatic defeat last week.”

    In re-vote, US House passes key trade promotion bill

    and the words of Dien Luong, a Vietnamese journalist who is about to stiudy in the US on a Fullbright scholarship:

    “The US claims to promote human rights and dignity, but the TPP unquestionably promotes profits over life.”

    Viet Activists Say ‘Bin the TPP’
    US politicians’ condescension: Vietnam could put them out of their misery by
    binning TPP

  191. After seven years of bargaining, the landmark Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact was seemingly within reach, only to become the latest casualty of the American government’s crippling dysfunction.

    The TPP is on life support in Washington, but it’s not yet quite dead. Cooler heads could still engineer another vote to give Obama the negotiating authority he has sought. Don’t bet on it, though.

    Trans-Pacific Partnership: Crashed and Burnt?

  192. Najib promises to solve 1MDB saga by year’s end, so he desperately needs more money to pay up the RM42 billion debt. I suppose the government is actively collecting more money from rakyat besides the RM6 billion collected so far from GST. Already they are looking at 30K+ civil servants to repay PTPTN loans. Traffic police is also using the hard approach to collect traffic summons. Toll hikes is coming soon in August. Possible petrol price hike again? Barang naik lagi!

  193. “GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Island City Council (MBPP) has issued a stop work order to stop the land clearing activities on Bukit Laksamana.
    Local government committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said the clearing activities were probably done by the landowner, but MBPP had already ordered them to stop clearing the land.”

    More at:
    No more land clearing activities at Bukit Laksamana
    Last updated on 12 June 2015 – 09:01pm

  194. More Singaporeans are heading to Malaysia during the June holidays, as the exchange rate hit a new low, according to travel agencies.

    The ringgit stood at 2.78 against the Singapore dollar on Wednesday (Jun 10), as travel agencies reported a 10% spike in bookings for Malaysia travel packages for the June holidays, as compared to last year. Travel agencies also reported that 15 per cent of the travellers made last-minute bookings for tours in Malaysia.

    Long queues were also spotted at money changers at Raffles Place on Wednesday, with some offering 2.76 ringgit for one Singapore dollar. From end-May to June, the demand for ringgit doubled, as compared to April. Some money changers also reported that they ran out of the currency by early afternoon on Wednesday.

    Analysts have predicted that the ringgit could slide further to 2.8 against the Singapore dollar this month. However, they added that there could still be a possibility for a rebound and the exchange rate would not decrease drastically in near future, depending on the performance of the greenback and oil prices.

  195. Why is it okay for Malaysian Muslim sportswomen to don swimwear in the swimming and gymnastics categories at the SEA Games whilst it is prohibited for beauty pageant contestants?

    There was a fatwa in 1996 against Muslim participation in beauty contests following a mufti’s criticism that the swimwear costume made compulsory in such pageants revealed a Muslim woman’s aurat, hence was declared sinful and prohibited.