Readers’ alerts

Readers’ alerts

Submit your alerts or analyses in the comments section of this page (below). These alerts are meant to draw the attention of readers to important developments, breaking news, useful analyses (please include reliable links, if available). You may even submit your own comments on current affairs here. So hopefully, you won’t need to put off-topic comments in the regular posts.

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

  6. Obama says he would have outrun Trump, but Trump says, ‘No way!’
    This sly Obama should have outdone the IS first in his 4-yr term of waste opportunity (to defeat IS), then only boast his self-proclaimed incredible popularity! But then again, would he?
    How’s that for a Kenyan … chest thumping!

    • 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Nazri joined LGE on [email protected]:

    Will they cycle together on Penang Link Bike next?

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

    • 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!!!

      • 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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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’?

  16. 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.”

  17. 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!’

  18. 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).

  19. 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?

  20. 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.

  21. Old man fined for parking violation gets sympathy
    “I only wanted to arrange for my mother-in-law’s tombstone! That is not a busy road! Why can’t you let me park for a little while?” he said.
    “I don’t need your sympathy. I paid the fine. I admit I was wrong. But I came here to tell you all that you have no heart!”

  22. 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.

  23. Watch this video of the operational readiness of Singapore’s RSAF in its Exercise Torrent 2016, also known as the Alternate Runway Exercise, converts an existing 6 lane road (Lim Chu Kang) into a runway. Held last weekend, the RSAF conducted launch and recovery of 3 types of fighter aircraft assets, the F16C, F16D+ and F15SG.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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?

  27. 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…

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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:

  31. 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?

  32. 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!

  33. 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”.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. Soon to open theme park catches fire at Komtar
    Q: Was any safety + [email protected] measure undertaken during construction & setup of theme park?
    Speedy Gonzales approach may not be a safe idea as seen in the speedy upgrading of Pg Hill Railway.
    Did CAT learn anything?

  39. 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.

  40. 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??).

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. 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.

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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!

  49. 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!”

  50. 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.

  51. “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.

  52. 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.

  53. 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?

  54. 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

      • 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.

  56. 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

  57. 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.

  58. 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.

  59. 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.

  60. 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.

  61. 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.

  62. 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.

  63. 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!!!

    • 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.

          • 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.

    • 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?

  64. 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.

  65. 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

  66. 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.

  67. 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.

  68. 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

  69. 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.

  70. 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.

  71. 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!

  72. 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

  73. 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!

  74. 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

  75. Less is more as Japanese minimalist movement grows

    If you are tired of Keeping Up with the Joneses, or overwhelmed by all the clutters including materialistic bin-chui acquisitions of no true personal value, go for Simplicity Living. It may save you some money for a longer run of your life & more time & energy for what matters in an authentic life.

    • 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?


    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.

  77. 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?

  78. [email protected]

    Penang Alley Chendol, which one is better ?

  79. 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.

  80. 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”

  81. 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?

  82. 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.

  83. 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.

  84. 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!)

  85. 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.

  86. 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.

  87. 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.

  88. ‘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.

  89. 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.

  90. 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.

  91. 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!

  92. 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

  94. 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.

  95. 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.

  96. 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.

  97. 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?”

  98. 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.

  99. 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.

  100. 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.

  101. 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.

  102. 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.

  103. 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.