2014年08月31日

selamat hari merdeka

Yesterday Mr Yahoo visited SINKEH Guesthouse, Lebuh Melayu to attend the workshop done by Islands & Cities.

Dramatised Reads of New Youth Theatre Works.

Each year, The George Town Festival successfully converts visitors and Penangites into art appreciators. This year, the festival turns its attention to youths in a playwriting event that liberates young minds and encourages them to roam free. “Islands and Cities” will bring together 4youths 15-18 years old from Penang and Singapore. They will be chosen and mentored by renowned playwright Huzir Sulaiman, and subsequently put through workshops conducted in Penang for 4 daysto write a 10 minute play centered around the theme of Singapore and Penang as islands and cities. Celebrated theatre director Claire Wong will then stage dramatized readings of these 10 minute plays using professional actors from Singapore and Malaysia at the festival.

The SIN-PEN Colony is a pop-up festival-within-a-festival celebrating the shared heritage of Singapore and Penang (note 1). Spearheaded by Singaporean actress-producer Tan Kheng Hua with the support of GTF Festival Director, Joe Sidek, the SIN-PEN Colony revolves around a personally curated group of creatives immersing themselves in theatre, music, food, fashion, words and photography of both Singapore and Penang through process and party.

http://georgetownfestival.com/programmes/islands-cities/

And then he went to his favorite hotel, E&O Hotel where "Armenia. Our Heritage" has been perfomed by artisits:

Armenia. Our Heritage is a project programmed and conceptualised specifically for George Town Festival to showcase the Armenian roots and contribution in Penang’s cosmopolitan history. The name of the show is set to imply that Armenian heritage belongs to the people of Penang (the audience), as well as the Armenians (the artists). Hence, the word “our”, that covers both artists and the audience.

The programme aims to highlight the vibrant, somewhat unknown and mysterious music of Armenia. It consists of folk tunes, traditional songs, classics and urban culture music by composers such as Aram Khachaturian, Komitas and Arno Babajanian. Performed by native Armenian musicians, this show promises to be an utterly unique event (note 2).

http://georgetownfestival.com/programmes/armenia-our-heritage/


(note 1)
IF you enjoy watching plays and would like to catch theatre shows from different countries, then you should attend the George Town Festival (GTF) 2014 happening all of this month in Penang.

The annual festival is back, bigger and better than ever before.

Speaking at a press conference at E&O Residences recently, festival director Joe Sidek said GTF was a month-long arts festival that had become a Penang institution.

“Starting as a series of arts and cultural events in celebration of George Town’s listing as a Unesco Heritage Site in 2008, it became a full festival in 2010...

From Singapore comes 2 Houses, presented by the Sin-Pen Colony. It is a gripping drama about two of Penang’s most elite families set against the backdrop of World War 2 and the Emergency years. The drama stars some of the best actors in Malaysia and Singapore and is staged in one of Penang’s most iconic mansions.

The New Straits Time published: 2 August 2014 8:01 AM
All of George Town’s a stage

(note 2)
Chennai, Dhaka, Kolkata, Mumbai, Singapore and Penang share more than one thing in common. All old trading cities, they were settled by Armenians and each still has an Armenian street. In Penang, it is called Lebuh Armenian. Armenians originating from Persia had arrived in Penang by 1800. They were but a small minority, numbering fewer than 180 over the next 150 years, yet they played a noticeable role in Penang’s economic and civic life.
http://www.pht.org.my/?page_id=1409

But it was not until the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 and the arrival of the steamship that travels to Asia assumed unprecedented style and luxury.

From this mélange of cultures and colonial commerce, four Armenian brothers, the Sarkies, would emerge to establish some of the world's greatest hotels in the East, including The Raffles in Singapore and The Strand in Rangoon.

The first of these, in 1885, would be the Eastern & Oriental Hotel, once pronounced as "The Premier Hotel East of Suez", boasting more than 100 rooms, 40 of them with adjoining bathrooms, hot and cold running water, individual telephones and a 902-foot seafront, "the longest of any hotel in the world".
(History of E&O Hotel)
http://www.eohotels.com/history-eno.php


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2014年08月30日

Aura Merdeka

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has chosen to deliver a poetic Merdeka Day message in the form of a sajak (poetry, note 1) on YouTube.

The Prime Minister delivered a heartfelt poetry in a 46-second clip for Malaysians to remain united in going through the various ups and downs in the country.

Najib’s message was accompanied by visuals alluding to the country’s victories in sports, the MH370 and MH17 air tragedies, and the multicultural diversity of the Malaysian people.

“Malaysia, where we strengthen ties and realise dreams,” the Prime Minister said in a tweet yesterday that was linked to the YouTube clip.

The video, which was uploaded on Tuesday, has been viewed nearly 200,000 times.

An aide to the Prime Minister said the clip was aimed at a social media audience, and was a “lighter” prelude to Najib’s national address that he will deliver tonight.

The Star published: Saturday August 30, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
PM delivers poetic message
by Razak Ahmad

Today Mr Yahho would like to introduce you heartfelt good news not only as above but also as under from the Star:

PETALING JAYA: All that Mohd Nasarudin Mohd Yusof wanted to do after moving to The Hague, Netherlands, and joining the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW, note 2) three years ago, was to make Malaysia proud of his service there.

Never did the 52-year-old retired Malaysian Armed Forces personnel dream that he would get a chance to fly the Jalur Gemilang high with a Nobel Peace Prize 2013 award for his work at the intergovernmental organisation that ensures member countries adhere to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which prohibits the use of chemical weapons and requires their destruction.

“When you work overseas, no matter how small it (your work) is, you are carrying your country’s flag,” said Nasarudin...

“I did not win the Nobel prize for individual achievement. I received it with my organisation, for the whole team’s work,” said the chemical weapons and munition specialist...

“It will not make you any less Malaysian. Good opportunities only come once in your lifetime, so don’t waste the chance. That working experience will be valuable in life.”

Nasarudin said the Merdeka celebrations this year would be poignant for the Malaysian community in the Netherlands as the Malaysian spirit there had grown stronger after the MH17 tragedy.

He hopes all Malaysians can learn from this tragedy and stay united from wherever they are.

For now, Nasarudin will continue to try and do Malaysia proud from afar.

“I cannot come back yet because there is no work in Malaysia for my specialisation.

“I can contribute more if I stay in The Hague although I really miss the Malaysian weather,” he quipped.

The Satr published: Sunday August 24, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
M’sian proud of Nobel prize win
by Hariati Azizan

PETALING JAYA: When local filmmaker Indrani Kopal (note 3) was first asked to submit her short documentaries to film festivals in the United States, she was against the idea.

However, after her film was accepted for five film festivals – a rare success for a student’s work – Indrani, who is studying at the Hofstra University in New York, has her lecturer to thank for the success.

“I didn’t believe in film festivals because I thought it was attention-seeking. But I was so happy when my film was accepted.

“I see it now as a recognition that my film is worthy enough for the big screens,” said the 35-year-old, who grew up in Setapak, Kuala Lumpur.

Her 18-minute documentary The Game Changer highlights a teacher’s efforts to change the lives of convicts through modern dance.

“It deserves attention, not only in terms of emphasising the importance of prison rehabilitation programmes but also about masculine men doing modern dance and using art to make a living and reintegrate themselves into society,” said the Fulbright scholar.

The Star published: Tuesday August 26, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Fulbright scholar’s documentary selected for five US film fests
by Christine Cheah


(note 1)
PUTRAJAYA: THE Information Department created history when it launched a compilation of more that 1,000 Merdeka-themed poems yesterday.

Its director-general Datuk Ibrahim Abdul Rahman said the book Suara Kita: Antologi Seribu Sajak Merdeka reflected the voices of Malaysians from all walks of life...

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, who launched the book, said the perception of Merdeka should go beyond history.

"When we speak of Merdeka, all we can think of is what happened 56 years ago. That should not be the only thing that crosses our mind. We should look beyond history."

He said the real significance of Merdeka was when there was movement with a direction and it was about how Malaysians appreciated the meaning of independence.

The compilation of the Merdeka-themed poems, he said, was one way to appreciate the meaning of independence.

"The poems are words that come from the writers' hearts. It is their reflection of what independence means to them and the country."

Shabery also suggested that the poems be digitised so that they could be read on different platforms such as iPads, smartphones and computers.

"They can also be made into short stories and dramas to reach a wider audience."

The book's editor-in-chief, Zabidin Ismail, said the book was initially scheduled to be launched in 2007, in conjunction with the 50th year of Merdeka, but was put on hold because of a lack of funds.

"We started to compile the poems from March to May 2007. It is an achievement for us to be able to present this book today, after a five-year wait."

Zabidin said this was the first time the Information Department had published a poem compilation.

The New Straits Times published: 20 September 2013
Poems to reflect on Merdeka
By Lavanya Lingan

(note 2)
Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)
http://nobelpeaceprize.org/en_GB/laureates/laureates-2013/OPCW-lecture/

(note 3)
I am a Malaysian documentary filmmaker and a recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship 2012. I have over six years of experience working as a multimedia journalist for Malaysiakini.com, a prestigious news organization in Malaysia. I am currently completing my Master of Fine Arts in Documentary Studies and Production at Hofstra University in New York.
http://www.indranikopal.com/biography.html


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2014年08月29日

Grow More Food!

In yesterday's diary, Mr Yahho took a following citation: The magnificent avenues of royal palm (Roystonea regia) on Codrignton and Peel Avenues and Gottileb Road were laid out in 1935 with plants raised by the gardens.

In these days, Mr Yahho has been reading the following book under the title of "Blood and the Soil - A Portrait of Dr Ong Chong Keng -" written by Pamela Ong Siew Im (Times Books International, 1995, Kuala Lumpur).

Because Ong Siew Im, the author was a sister of Hacchan's home doctor, Sally. And Hacchan's father is 10 years younger than Dr Ong Chong Keng (*).

In 1935, Ong Siew Ha was born as her second daughter. Her name means "beautiful cloud of Heaven". We call her Sally. In fact, my father, Dr Ong Chong Keng, had determined on the middle name of Siew ("beautiful, fine or elegant") for all his daughters, in much the same spirit that his son was named well before he knew he would ever have one. It was a hint to the gods that he would much prefer them to resemble their mothers than himself, and in this the gods were cooperative...

He got me, a fifth daughter in a row. Undeterred, he named me Siew Im, which can be translated as "beautiful music", but its pun has the meaning of "full to the brim", signifying that his houses were overflowing with daughters, could he please have s son next time? The gods at last responded, but my brother was only born in the dark year of 1943 when Penang ewas under Japanese occupation.
(pp.46-47)

Malaya, specialising as it did in tin-mining and rubber cultivation, had not been an agricultural economy for decades - indeed, it had been what would now be called a "primary producer" of those commodities and had been a net importer of food since the first heavy influx of Chinese and Indian labour to work in their production. Nonetheless, before the war tapioca had been widely, if opportunistically, cultivated as a cash crop, mainly for export to India and Burma. The Japanese introduced a slogan "Grow More Food!" and under this banner its cultivation was increase for strategiuc reasons.
(pp.142-143)


And now, Malaysia has another current trend:

SINGAPORE: THE opening of the first overseas Malaysian agrobazaar here not only serves as a business platform but can enhance bilateral ties between the two countries.

Najib said the opening of the agrobazaar was a testament to the strong and enduring relationship between both countries.

“The agrobazaar aims to bring the best of Malaysian produce to some of the most discerning consumers in Asia.

“Given the superb quality of our fresh fruits and the high calibre of Singapore’s eateries, I’m sure it will be a lasting success,” he said, adding that for outsiders, Malaysian fruits were among Southeast Asia’s iconic attractions.

“Yes, we have historic cities, idyllic beaches and the world-famous twin towers. But our rambutan, mangosteen, and, above all, durian, really pull in the crowds.”

Najib said there was something about durian which captivated visitors to Southeast Asia.

The prime minister said the agrobazaar’s outlets gave Malaysia’s premium food products, including halal foods and regional specialties, a place to shine.

In his speech, Lee said he was happy that Malaysia had chosen Singapore as the location for its first overseas agrobazaar.

The New Straits Times published: 28 August 2014 8:11 AM
Agrobazaar ‘a sign of fruitful ties’
By Ben Tan


(*) http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/2763698
(*) http://www.penang-traveltips.com/ong-chong-keng-street.htm
Ong Chong Keng Street is a minor road in George Town that connects Madras Lane on one end to Kinta Lane on the other. It was named in 1954 after Dr Ong Chong Keng (1904-1948), who was one of the past president of the Hu Yew Siah, located a short distance down Madras Lane.

Dr Ong Chong Keng was murdered by communist guerillas in an ambush, at a plantation in Jelutong, purported over the introduction of the Identity Card.

Dr Ong, a Buddhist, is remembered for the initial efforts to get Wesak Day listed as a public holiday. Although he never lived to see his effort bearing fruit, Wesak Day was eventually made a public holiday in Penang.


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2014年08月28日

passion for palms

Please refer to the Blog written by Mr Yahho on 8 August 2014 under the title of "Lessons from Hiroshima for Gaza".

At that time, he visited the country side in Kedah state of mainland with staff of Consumers' Association of Penang (CAP)(*).

If you are in Kedah, Dr Saw Leng Guan, Forest Research Institute Malaysia (Frim), advises that you look out for Corypha utan palms standing tall from paddy fields.

If the timing is right, you might see long stems full of yellow blooms emanating from the tree-tops.

These imposing palms flower only once in their lifetime, and die soon after their fruits mature.

Saw explains that this happens because they have exhausted their carbohydrate store in that single flowering and fruiting event.

The Star published: Monday August 25, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Wild about palms
Story by tan cheng li

In Penang, Mr Yahoo has had a favorite road, Codrington Avenue. During his long stay some decades ago, he has taken so often his bicycle to commute to his office passing this Avenue:

After the 1920s the emphasis shifted to urban beautification schemes and the municipality started to plant more ornamental flowering trees, with the Botanic Gardens continuing to play a pivote role.

The magnificent avenues of royal palm (Roystonea regia) on Codrignton and Peel Avenues and Gottileb Road were laid out in 1935 with plants raised by the gardens.

One of the commonest and most conspicuous species from the period is the yellow flame tree (Peltophorum pterocarpum), which produces masses of golden flowers almost throughout the year.

Each individual tree seems to follow with its own distinct rythme, so that one tree may be in full flower while its neighbour is covered with dry copper-coloured pods.

In contrast, Andira inermis only flowers once or twice a yesr but is a spectacular sight with its entire crown smothered in dense clusters of pale pink pea-like blossoms.

Street Trees, Tree planting between 1880 and 1950s in Simon Gardner, Pinder Sidisunthorn and Lai Ea May "Heritage Trees of Penang" (Areca Books, Penang, 2011)

As Penang Botanic Gardens continued to play an important role since established to beautify the town with plants, it seems the reason of the Gardens are "fading" now behind the overdevelopment of growing Penang...

GEORGE TOWN : THE Penang Botanic Gardens is a pale shadow of its former self. The plants in this famous park are in bad condition.

The oldest garden in the Straits Settlement lacks maintenance and management.

A check on site on yesterday also showed that its main toilet renovation work has been delayed. Several toilet bowls that were left out in the open on the construction site and are an eyesore...

The original garden was established in 1884 on the site of an old quarry, under the supervision of Charles Curtis, its first superintendent.

The federal government allocated RM7 million in 2012 to expand and upgrade the park’s public amenities, and the building of the lily pond at the main entrance.

The New Straits Times published: 27 August 2014 10:37 AM
Penang Botanic Gardens ‘fading’


(*)
Please refer to Mr Yhoo's Blog dated 23 August 2014 under the title of "reasons of state". Mr Idris of CAP received the following response from the government. On the other hand, is there some statement issued by some organization about this issue in the Land of the Rising Sun? Or is everything in H.I.M.I.T.S.U. even now? :

The International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) wishes to clarify the statement made by S.M.Mohamed Idris, president of the Consumers' Association of Penang in "TPP certification process unfair" (The Star, Aug 22), pertaining to the issue of certification under the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

As background, the US certification requirement has been in existence since the 1980s.

It is being proposed as part of the new US Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014, introduced in January 2014.

MITI wishes to emphasise that Malaysia has not agreed to the certification process proposed by the United States in the negotiations.

This proposal is still being deliberated as there appears to be strong opposition to its inclusion.

As has been reiterated, national interests will prevail in our negotiations.
Corporate Communications Unit
MITI

Letter sent to the Star and publisehd : 25 August 2014
No agreement reached on TPP certification


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2014年08月24日

foreign maid

SINGAPORE: From April to July this year, Jonnalyn Arcillas, 32, “performed” household chores, sometimes for as long as 15 hours a day, for “would-be employers” in Singapore said to be watching her via CCTV cameras.

She had left her home in Zamboanga city, in the south, for Manila, trusting in a promise by a family acquaintance that in three weeks she would be working as a maid in Singapore.

She was taken to a building south of the capital city, where she was told she would have to be prepped for her new job.

One floor of the building was used as sleeping quarters, where she was crammed with about 80 other “trainees”, and another floor served as a “training facility”.

There were CCTV cameras mounted all around both floors, their red LED lights like tiny, unblinking eyes watching her even as she slept.

When her “training” began, Arcillas was told to surrender her mobile phone. She was also told to stay inside the building at all times, and that if she had to go out to shop, a guard would have to accompany her.

There was often not enough food for everyone, and she remembers days when she ironed clothes, did the laundry, cleaned rooms and cooked from 6am to 9pm as part of her “training”. “Trainers”, both men and women, berated her often.

When four months had passed and it became clear to her that she was never going to set foot in Singapore, Arcillas asked to be released but was told she would have to pay everything her recruiter had spent on her.

She paid up and ran to the police...

The Philippines has about 1,000 licensed recruitment firms that handle the deployment of over 1.8 million migrant workers each year.

About two-thirds get sent to the Middle East. The rest head for Singapore, Hong Kong and China...

Singapore’s Manpower Ministry website says there are 214,000 maids in Singapore, mostly Filipinas and Indonesians...

The Star published: Sunday August 24, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Dark side of maid hiring
by Raul Dancel

In Malaysia...

KUALA LUMPUR: The “Home Managers Programme” under the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry will be enhanced to encourage more women to join the workforce.

Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim said that the programme was aimed at helping women who planned to rejoin the workforce, with its contents specially tailored to assist them with their household duties.

The programme, which was introduced in 2009, was also aimed at reducing the country’s dependency on foreign maids.

Under the home manager programme, Malaysians could be trained to cook, clean, baby-sit and manage households.

With such a helping hand at home, the women would then have an easier time seeking employment.

This was to help meet the ministry’s target of having 55% women in the workforce by 2015, Rohani added.

The Star published: Tuesday August 12, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Ministry to boost home manager programme

ONE of the most under-appreciated jobs is that of a housewife.

Seldom are they fully appreciated for the love and services they provide to the family and household.

It is unfortunate that their tender loving care of family members is usually taken for granted.

I dare say that some husbands unwittingly treat their other half like “slaves” but don’t realise it.

They work all day and all night and yet are not paid for their services and contributions.

Yes, husbands do work hard to lay food on the table but the housewife works equally hard too, but is seldom given the due recognition and appreciation.

Why are they left out in the equation – aren’t their efforts worth anything especially if they have slog hard day and night to keep the family happy.

Some are lucky in that maids are hired to help out.

But what about the others who cannot afford maids or the maids have specific tasks such as taking care of one’s aging parents.

Whether one has a maid or not, the housewife is still in charge if anything goes wrong, especially with regards to the well-being, education and health of the children.

Fingers are always pointed at the mother. If the children are naughty and are not doing well in their studies, it is the mother’s fault...

Let me ask three questions to husbands:

> How often do you express your gratitude and appreciation to your wife for all that she is doing to the family?;

> When was the last time you sent her a note saying how much you love her and giving her a spontaneous hug!?; and

> Have you ever praised your wife in front of your kids saying how much you appreciate the hard work put in by her daily to keep the family happy and going?

Letter sent to The Star published: Friday August 15, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
The most unappreciated job
By Pola Singh (Kuala Lumpur)



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2014年08月23日

reasons of state

Yesterday on Friday, August 22, 2014, Hacchan was called by her boss, S.M.Mohamad Idris, President, Consumers Association of Penang to do her research work about the "depression" in Malaysia people.

For Mr Yahoo he can escape the clearance work in her father's Shop located in Little India.

While Hacchan went urgently back her office to work, he went to his favorite place to do his exercise walking around in the Botanical Guarden.

So far, in this evening from 4:00pm to 6:00 pm, he could not bother the noisy traffic circulation but the singing the song by birds. More than that he could breeth the natural air. He could enjoy the green color of the tropical trees, colorful flowers in the tree and monkeys playing on the ground.

The boss is even now very energetic in order to raise the awareness of consumers and the voice of concumers to be heard. Tkaing an examaple, today's Daily the Star carries on his opinion as under:

THE Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) is deeply concerned by the shocking process by which the United States squeezes more concessions from other countries it negotiates free trade agreements (FTAs) with, even after the treaty’s text is signed.

This process of one-sided extraction of concessions is called “certification” and the US is demanding that it be part of the Trans-Pacific Par--tnership Agreement (TPPA) currently being negotiated by Malaysia and 11 other countries, including the US.

Under US law, after the TPPA is signed, to start operating, it must pass the US Congress. In addition, the US law requires one more step in recent Free Trade Agreements (FTA) before it can come into force, i.e. the US must certify that it is -satisfied with the implementation of the FTA in the other country.

In practice, this has meant that the other partnering country have had to negotiate their domestic laws and regulations that implement their FTA with the US government.

US government emails obtained via Freedom of Information requests show that US government lawyers have drafted the laws of the other country and have not accepted any changes to them.

If this is agreed in the TPPA, this certification process would be a gross violation of national sovereignty. The US has used this certification process to demand that developing countries pass laws giving the US even more than the USFTA requires.

For example, Guatemala was asked to give an extra three-year monopoly on medicines, keeping them unaffordable for a longer period, even though this was clearly not required by the USFTA...

Agreeing to this certification process would mean that Malaysia suffers the heavy costs of the TPPA, while waiting for the minor benefits. This must be taken into consi-deration in any cost-benefit analysis done by the Malaysian Government.

This new research strengthens our conviction that Malaysia should withdraw from the TPPA negotiations and not sign it.

Letter to The Star by S.M.Mohamad Idris, President, Consumers Association of Penang
Published: Friday August 22, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
TPPA certification process unfair

In Europe as well, there is a discussion about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumer groups plan to raise concerns on Wednesday about a proposed free trade agreement between the United States and the European Union, which they fear could weaken important government health, environmental and food safety regulations and undermine privacy on the Internet...

Since tariffs between the United States and the EU are relatively low, the most difficult part of the talks will be reducing regulatory and other "behind-the-border" barriers that impede trade in sectors ranging from agriculture to chemicals to autos to finance.

That worries consumer groups such as Public Citizen, which says the United States and the EU have different regulations because the concerns of the citizens in those countries are not the same. For example, EU consumers have voiced stronger objections to genetically modified food than their U.S. counterparts.

"Trying to eliminate a big swath of regulatory differences via a trade deal would have a democratic cost because you're taking away a power from the electorate," said Ben Beachy, director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch...

The Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue, which includes consumer groups on both sides of Atlantic, also has urged the two sides to tread carefully in talks on financial services, an area that EU member Britain is especially keen to pursue to bolster the position of London as a major world financial Centre.

"It is essential that consumer protection measures, many of which are still under development in response to the collapse and rescue of major portions of the banking system, should not be pre-empted by this agreement," the group said in a brief...

Consumer groups worry U.S.-EU trade pact will weaken health, privacy regulations

The Star published: Wednesday May 29, 2013 MYT 6:04:35 PM
Consumer groups worry U.S.-EU trade pact will weaken health, privacy regulations
by doug palmer

In Europe...

Nobel economics laureate Joseph Stiglitz criticised the chancellor on the sidelines of the conference for imposing policies that have led to high unemployment and slow growth. Merkel has resisted Stiglitz's calls for a Keynesian spur to recovery, including pooling debts in commonly-issued "Eurobonds" to allow members of the currency to borrow money at lower interest rates...

Merkel told Stiglitz and other Nobel laureates that monetary union needed to be married to fiscal union, which would provide the confidence and discipline for stained growth. She said that Europe, with 7% of the world's population, 25% of world GDP and 50% of social security expenditure faced many difficult decisions over spending in the next 30 years. There was also the threat of another financial crisis unless global regulators clamped down on new forms of trading that posed a risk to the banking system. She said progress had been made in reining in banks, but they still constituted "an area which is extremely bereft of regulation".

Shadow banking, which involves trading and lending away from regulated exchanges, is worth billions of dollars and has increasingly posed concerns for central banks and financial watchdogs. "If we don't put them under the microscope, with the same consequences, the danger of another financial crisis is already pre-scripted," Merkel added.

theguardian.com, Wednesday 20 August 2014 19.45 BST

Angela Merkel scolds Italy and France over the faltering eurozone recovery
German chancellor claims stifled growth is due to countries running high deficits and breaking fiscal rules set by Brussels
By Phillip Inman in Lindau

The secret why Angela Merkel's moderating style is so strong is laid on something similar to "Esprit Critique" in the French tradition of thoughts. This includes the President, the EU, or even Nobel prize-winning economists (*).


(*)
Freedom in responsibility: this is the Chancellor's private code for a relationship between equals: you are my partner, but I am also your partner - so if you behave like a partner, we will do the same. Or, to out it even more forcefully: transatlantic relations lie at the heart of Greman foreign policy.

They are not negotiable, whether the President is George W. Bush or Barack Obama. No President can be so bad that the relationship with his counry has to sacrificed on his account.

For Merkel, relations with the USA, as well as with the European Union and Israel, are the cornerstones of German foreign policy. She sometimes speaks of reasons of state, particularly in the case of Israel. But she always means the same thing: German policy must never oppose the European Union, Israel or the United States.
(Stefan Kornelius, Angela Merkel), ibid, p.112

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2014年08月22日

A Nation Mourns

This morning, Mr Yahho expressed his condolence to the victims of MH17 through one minute's silence.

Last month, 43 Malaysian lives were taken over Eastern Ukraine.

Today we mourn the loss of our people. Today, we begin to bring them home.

Our thoughts and our prayers are with the families and friends of those who lost their lives. Today we stand with you, united as one.

- Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak via Facebook

The New Straits Times published: 22 August 2014 12:27 PM
http://www.nst.com.my/node/25659

As the nation unites in grief today, a solemn and dignified reception awaits the remains of 20 Malaysians a month after the tragic incident which killed all 298 passengers on board Flight MH17. The first batch of the remains touched down at KLIA at 9.55am.
A dignified homecoming
http://www.thestar.com.my/News/

The Library is not closed but open and the Penang Bridge as well, today!

VEHICLES are allowed to stop only at the toll plazas of both Penang bridges and not on the spans to observe a minute’s silence for MH17 victims.

Penang public order and traffic chief Supt Ibrahim Abu Bakar said those travelling to the mainland from the island have to continue their journey and should not stop on the bridges.

“Only motorists heading for Penang island will be asked to stop at the toll plazas to pay tribute to the victims of MH17 if they reach the toll plazas at about the time for the minute’s silence.

“The toll plazas of Penang Bridge and second Penang bridge are the only suitable and safe places for motorists to stop their vehicles,” he said.

He said motorists were not allowed to stop anywhere they like, especially on the bridge, as it was dangerous and could cause traffic accidents.

“Police officers will be deployed to the bridges to control traffic, and motorists are advised to cooperate and follow police instructions.

“We (traffic police) need to ensure that the event be carried out smoothly to avoid any untoward incidents on the road,” he said in a statement yesterday.

The Star published: Friday August 22, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Don’t apply the brakes!
by Crystal Chiam shiying and Christopher Tan
http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Community/2014/08/22/Dont-apply-the-brakes/


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U-turn on the pacifist stance

The first time it occurred to James Jackson that there could be lasting damage from his US Navy service during Japan’s tsunami and nuclear disaster came when his eldest son, Darius, was diagnosed with leukaemia.

Darius, now 15, spent a month in hospital in early 2013, soon after his diagnosis. “I thought I was going to have to bury him,” Jackson recalled. The teenager who aspired to play college basketball now has a catheter in his chest and is too frail to run the length of the court.

Jackson, a navy information technologist, was stationed with his family at Yokosuka, Japan, when an earthquake and tsunami knocked out the cooling systems at the Fukushima nuclear plant in March 2011, causing a triple meltdown.

He acknowledges he can’t know for sure why Darius got leukaemia – but Jackson remains convinced there is a connection to the radiation escape from the Fukushima disaster and he blames the Japanese electric company, Tepco...

Some 77,000 US navy sailors and marines took part in the huge relief effort after Japan’s cascading disasters, called Operation Tomodachi, or friend...

The lawsuit alleges a number of the sailors and their children suffered thyroid and other cancers, leukaemia, birth defects, and a variety of medical conditions including infertility after they were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation. Some of the sailors were also diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). One of the sailors named in the lawsuit, helicopter mechanic Theodor Holcomb, who served on the USS Reagan aircraft carrier, died of a rare cancer on 24 April. The lawsuit seeks $1bn for a medical monitoring and treatment fund...


US sailors prepare for fresh legal challenge over Fukushima radiation

$1bn lawsuit accuses Tepco of failing to avoid the accident and of lying about radiation levels that have caused health problems to themselves and their families stationed in Japan
By Suzanne Goldenberg in San Diego
In The Guardian, Wednesday 20 August 2014 13.00 BST

First it was Tunisia and Egypt, then in February 2011 it was the turn of Libya: a civil war that NATO helped bring to an end, but without the Germans. The UN Security Councul voted for a no-fly zone, and thus for intervention by a military coalition under NATO leadership. Germany abstained, and kept its own counsel. Merkel declined to vote with other nations, as had her Foreign Minister and coalition partner, Guido Westerwelle, while the opposition parties in Germany vociferously expressed their dismay and pleaded for an intervention on humanitarian grounds.

But there was yet another major international disaster in store that year. On 11th March the coast of Japan suffered an earthquake and a tsunami flooded the country, leading to a nuclear catastrophe. As a physicist, Merkel's faith in the safety of nuclear technology was shaken, and she ordered an immediate U-turn on German nuclear policy.


Stefan Kornelius "Angela Merkel" (ibid), pp.98-99

There is a growing need for Japan to develop long-haul, highly stealthy fighter jets in the face of China’s increasing assertiveness in the East China Sea, the Nikkei said.

Beijing regularly warns of what it says is Tokyo’s intent to re-arm on the quiet, saying selective amnesia about its World War II behaviour means it cannot be trusted to have a fully-fledged military.

Last month the cabinet of conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe loosened the bonds on Japan’s military – proclaiming the right to go into battle in defence of allies – in a highly controversial shift in the nation’s post-war pacifist stance.

Japan denies its intent is anything other than defensive, and hits back that Beijing’s opaque military spending and its burgeoning ambitions are the real danger.


TOKYO: Japan is considering building its own fighter jets after years of playing second fiddle in a US construction partnership, a report said, in a move likely to stoke fears of its military resurgence among Asian neighbours.

Japan mulls over building purely domestic fighter jet
The Star published: Friday August 22, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM


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2014年08月21日

Angela Merkel

In Penang, Malaysia, Mr Yahho is now reading a book "Angela Merkel -The Chancellor and her world-, the authorized biography" wriiten by Stefan Kornelius and translated by Anthea Bell and Christopher Moincrieff (Alma Books, London House, 2013)(*).

In the conference at Rio de Janeiro in 1992, Helmut Kohl had generously offered Germany as the venue for the next summit. And as Environmental Minister Angela Merkel was chosen as chaiman of the assembly...

After the Berlin conference) (in 1995) she said,

"Of course one can go on insisting on one's maximum demands for years, refusing to compromise. I often decide to move things forward at least a step or two, even if I know I won't get unanimous applause for it... Perhaps a compromise only works when everyone involved ends up in a bad mood - then I just have to rejoice all by myself"

Merkel regards politics as a linear process: negotiations follow a kind of scale. If she is arguing with an opponent over a particular position, Merkel draws a line and looks for the central point between the two positions. Even if the decision is only slightly in her favour, she still considers the compromise as successful. But most of all she prefers a result that doesn't conflict with her moderating style.
(pp.54-55)

During Merkel's first term of office there were few foreign-policy crises. She took positions, set things in motion, mediated. In fact she unexpectedly found herself playing the role of a mediator in the Middle East, because she had built up a good relationship with the Olmert administration in Jerusalem and the Siniora government in Lebanon, without neglecting the Palestinian and Arab camps.

There was another surprise when Merkel brought Europe and the G8 to a new agreement on climate policy. At Merkel's summit in Heiligendamm (in 2007), President George W. Bush recognized for the first time that there was actually some kind of climate change problem, and that halving emisiion by 2050 ought to be "seriously considered".
That was progress.
(p.93)


In Malaysia, too, the spirit of moderation is enthousiastic through media campaign. Taking an example from today's daily, the title of the article is "A Push for Moderation":

PETALING JAYA: For many years, Zubedy (M) Sdn Bhd managing director has been an ardent advocate of moderation and inclusiveness in Malaysia...

“We need to bring forward the voices of the moderate, the inclusive, to help them stand up and be counted.

I believe moderation has generally been in the DNA of the people in Malaysia because as a country, inside of us, we are mostly moderate and inclusive.

The Star published: Thursday August 21, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM

PEKAN: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has urged the Muslims in the country to stay away from militant activities and turn into an extremist.

He said Islam encouraged the Muslims to adopt a moderate approach, which would help portray a positive image among the non-Muslims.

"Militancy and extremism, including mass killing that uses the name of religion, is against the true Islamic teachings.

"Even in war, Islam does not permit the killing of civilians," he said...

The New Straits Times published: 5 July 2014 11:44 PM
Stay away from militant activities: PM
By T.N. Alagesh and Iskandar Tajuddin

It seems that here in Malaysia, the Moderation has 3 pillars: acceptance, harmony and peaceful co-existence. Through this spirit, all of us can be working in unison and can be united for a common purpose!


(*)
Angela Merkel’s summer could hardly have started better: the world cup win; the eurozone crisis contained; Germany’s federal budget heading into surplus; her personal popularity at unassailable highs.

Six weeks later, as Europe returns from its holiday break, the scene is dramatically changed. Berlin is locked in a cold war with Washington over America’s spying; the transatlantic trade talks, on which the best hope for a revived US-Europe partnership depend, are in trouble; the Ukraine crisis boils on; and at home the Social Democrats, Merkel’s coalition partners, are putting the Christian Democrats under serious pressure. But the really big news of the summer is the eurozone. Italy and France are sliding back into recession, while Germany’s own economy is rapidly slowing.

The Guardian published in London: Sunday 17 August 2014 18.59 BST
Europe’s lack of growth could lead to Japanese-style stagnation
The punishing austerity Germany demanded for rescuing the eurozone is creating a vicious cycle in which no one wins
By Adam Tooze


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2014年08月20日

Jalan Mano

On Saturday, 16 August 2014, Mr Yahho and his wife, Hacchan took a leave from her Shop (Universal Press) to visit the Thai Puppet night show(*).
Mr Yahho surprised very much because he noticed, after visiting the exhibition corner showed the relationship between Thailand and Penang, that Hacchan's father's house has been located in Jalan Mano and the origine of the name, Mano was coming from the name of Thai Prime Minister before the World War II.

In the early history of Penang, the presence of Thai settlers has been well-documented. The island state has always been looked upon as the chosen place for better living, good education and job opportunities. At the turn of the 20th century, advanced administration and political stability under the British authorities attracted successive royal visits and politicians-in-exile from Siam.
Venue: MPPP Town Hall
Jalan Padang Kota Lama, George Town, Penang

http://georgetownfestival.com/programmes/thailand-penang-centuries-of-mutual-exchange/

The Revolution of 1932 helped position Phraya Mano as the Prime Minister, partly because the revolutionary leaders regarded him as a neutral and clean figure. However, in taking the job, he soon found himself a puppet of the Khana Ratsadon, the political party that brought about the 1932 coup.

Within less than a year Phraya Mano managed to alienate leaders of the Khana Ratsadon. His dictatorial policies forced Pridi Panomyong, one of the Khana Ratsadon leaders, to flee the country after Pridi's socialist-style reform policies - called the Yellow Cover Dossier - was rejected and publicly humiliated. This was the coup that Phraya Mano staged in April 1933. It was also called the Silent Coup, or "coup by the pen", for Phraya Mano used his powers to arrest those he suspected of having communist sentiments.

Phraya Mano's action led to a backlash. In June 1933, the People's Committee and the military led by Colonel Phraya Phahol Pholphayuhasena staged a counter-coup, overthrowing the Constitutional Government of Phraya Mano. This time it was Phraya Mano who was forced to flee, and he went into exile in Penang. He and his family members and relatives took up residence at Burmah Lane before buying land in the Bagan Jermal area. Today the roads there bears his name, Jalan Mano and Solok Mano, in the Pulau Tikus area. He died on 1 October, 1948, three years after the death of his only son Tum Hutasingha, and was buried at Wat Pinbang Onn, where his tomb is still standing today.

Cenotaph of Phraya Manopakorn Nititada, Penang
http://www.penang-traveltips.com/tomb-of-phraya-manopakorn-nititada.htm

According to Penang Global Tourism (PGT) assistant manager Jason Sim, in the early history of settlement in Penang, the state had been looked upon by the Siamese people as a place to obtain a better standard of living, good education and job opportunities.

“At the turn of the 20th century, advanced administration and political stability under the British authorities attracted successive royal visits and politicians-in exile from Siam. The roads bearing the names of prominent leaders and the geographical locations in Siam, to the temples and the merchants’ grand mansions testify to the long historical ties between the two nations.

“On the other hand, Chinese and Peranakan families such as the KhawnaRanong family and the Malay-Thai traders in Penang kept the trade links busy between these two territories. Tin mining, rubber and marriage ties were the main reasons some of the families from Penang started to take root in southern Siam,” Sim said.

The other illustrious Thai leaders who came to Penang following the 1932 coup d’etat included Prince Damrong Rajanubhap and Prince Sawasdi Sophon.

“They left their trails of interesting stories about the island. In fact, Penang remains the only state in Malaysia to be graced by successive royal visits from King Rama V to the current King Rama IX, his Majesty King Bhumiboi Adulyadej,” he said.


Over the centuries, the historic Siamese temples in Penang have become places of worship for both Siamese and local devotees.

Traditional Thai festivals such as Songkran and Loi Krathong are equally cherished and celebrated by the larger communities.

“Indeed, Penang will be a less colourful place without the Siamese presence,” Sim said.

Conservation of an old building
Since George Town received its World Heritage Site status in 2008, investors have been buying up heritage properties and restoring them for commercial use. among the properties which have undergone restoration include the Rumah Papan.
The Star Property News Posted by BY DAVID TAN, on June 24, 2014
http://www.starproperty.my/index.php/articles/property-news/conservation-of-an-old-building/


(*)
The Joe Louis Theatre: Thai Classical Small Puppet Theatre is an truly unique showcase of Thai theatrical puppetry. Working to revitalise this dying art form that originated in early 13th century Thai history, The Joe Louis Theatre is Thailand’s first institution dedicated to Thai theatrical puppetry performance.

Taking the Ramayana epic as its main story, the full-figure are aglow with the vibrancy of this art form’s colour and culture.

With the George Town Festival being a colourful forum for showcasing cultural art and heritage from around the world, the Royal Thai Consulate-General wishes to join hands with GTF2014 to promote this exotic puppetry to the people of Penang.

Founded in 1997, The Joe Louis Theatre Troupe is one of the leading guardians of the dying art form of classical Thai puppetry. The new home of puppet playhouse in Bangkok is at the Aksara Theatre, billed as “Thailand’s most beautiful playhouse”.

In 2006 and 2008, The Joe Louis Puppet Theatre won first place in the World Festival of Puppet Art in Prague.

“Bangkok’s masters of puppets”
The Thai Classical Small Puppet Theatre
http://georgetownfestival.com/programmes/the-thai-classical-small-puppet-theatre/

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healthy lifestyles among students

HO CHI MINH CITY: The call for volunteerism was so strong in 30 Malaysian undergraduates that they did not mind spending their Hari Raya holidays away from their families and friends.

These students are participating in the programme “Green Summer Volunteer 2014 Vietnam” which requires them to be here for one month.

The Kuala Terengganu-born undergraduate said he also wanted to promote Malaysia’s name in the international arena.

“In fact, we are also providing exposure to Vietnamese volunteers so that they too can better understand Malaysia as we are all in the Asean community,” he told Bernama.

As “ambassadors” for Malaysia, Abdul Rahim Rahman, who is majoring in strategic studies at Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia, said the local community was considerate towards the Malaysians.

“They would even ensure we do not carry out any heavy workload after they found out that we were fasting,” said Abdul Rahim.

The volunteer campaign Vietnam mission, which began on July 13 and would go on until Aug 10, is an annual event organised by the Ho Chi Minh Youth Union.

The Satr published: Monday July 21, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
30 undergrads in volunteer mission

A reputable study destination in the region, Malaysia draws an estimated 100,000 international students to its private and public higher education institutions across the country. And for the Muslim scholars, we will play host to them this festive season

And with Malaysia aiming to be an education hub in the region with its diverse higher educational programmes as well as professional and specialised skill courses, in addition to universities from the United Kingdom and Australia with branch campuses in the country and twinning, franchised and external degree programmes from the UK, United States, Canada, Australia, France, Germany and New Zealand in partnership with local educational institutions, there is a thriving international students scene here.

Bangladeshi Nahian Naower, 19, who is enrolled in the Bachelor of Information Technology (Hons) Business Information Management programme at Help University, recalls her misery last Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

“It was the first time I was away from my family in Dhaka and I was crying my eyes out,” said the eldest of two siblings.

But her education in Malaysia is an investment and Nahian is determined to make her parents proud.

“My parents believe in a good education. Malaysia has modern teaching methods and facilities, without discarding the value of traditional learning approaches.

“And the university is locally and internationally recognised for its high and uncompromising academic standards. Its relevant course curriculum, strategic location, transferable study programmes and affordable study options make it an ideal choice,” she added.

The New Straits Times, by ROZANA SANI, published: 27 July 2014 11:54 AM
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: Raya cheer on our shores

HEALTH is wealth. A healthy lifestyle is a contributing factor to students performing well in their studies...

I am serving in the third school of my teaching career, and this is what I observe every day...

There is rubbish everywhere. Tables and chairs are not neatly arranged, and the notice boards are not informative or properly utilised, let alone, decorated.

Children engage in lessons less effectively in this environment, and this will result in their low achievement in examinations. Filthy classrooms are not conducive to learning and invites boredom. In short, this is unhealthy.

When students go for a break, they tend to choose unhealthy food over balanced meals.

Junk food, crackers and carbonated drinks have become students’ daily fare in many schools.

Even though they have been made aware of the bad effects of consuming unhealthy food through motivational talks organised by the school, the useful information, unfortunately, falls on deaf ears.

Unhealthy snacks are a guilty pleasure for student to indulge in, with their artificial additives and soft drinks with high sugar content...

If this continues, the next generation will grow up as people with bad manners and decency will become extinct.

Worse comes to worst, the country may be ranked lower when a research on politeness and courtesy is conducted.

This issue needs to be taken seriously to avoid younger children following the trend...

The media should promote and encourage healthy lifestyles among students on online platforms.

Together, let’s do our part in producing quality individuals for the sake of our country’s future, as that is what a caring family member does.

Letter to The New Straits Times, by A.R. Solah, Marang, Terengganu, published: 18 August 2014 8:08 AM
HEALTHY CHILDREN: Bad habits are taking root in schools



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2014年08月17日

Love for animals

KOTA TINGGI: An elephant was found dead at the Dusun Panti Felcra scheme with its right foreleg caught in the fork of a jackfruit tree branch.

According to settler Mohd Nasir Hashim, 57, a worker at the orchard found the elephant at about 9am last Thursday.

The elephant could have died after struggling all night long to free its leg, he said, adding that officials from the Johor Wildlife and National Parks Department in Bandar Penawar buried the carcass at the orchard.

The Star published: Tuesday August 12, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Jumbo found dead in orchard

ALOR Setar: A female baby elephant was found dead with gunshot wounds in an orchard at a forest reserve in Kampung Kah Ing, Padang Sanai, about 75km from hrer.

The dead elephant was found by a plantation worker who alerted the state Wildlife and National Parks Department.

He found the calf lying on the ground among fruit trees in the forest reserve at about 11am yesterday...

They noticed that the elephant was wounded near the neck, and estimated its age at a year-and-a-half.

"I have been staying here for the past 14 years, and this is the first time I come across a dead elephant, said Zakaria Yaacob, 54, Kampung Seberang Padang Sanai Village Security and Development Committee chairman.

The Star published: Saturday August 16, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Baby elepant found dead

GAZA City (Palestinian Territories) (AFP): The lions sit dazed in the shade of their damaged pen, while nearby the decayed carcases of two vervet monkeys lie contorted on the grass of a Gaza zoo.

The animals were caught in the crossfire in over a month of fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants that killed more than 1,960 Palestinians and 67 people on the Israeli side.

In one enclosure at the zoo, a fly-covered pelican huddles in the corner with a duck. Opposite, a small crocodile sits motionless in an inch of stagnant water, next to the corpse of a stork.

There is a stench from the animals' cages, which have not been cleaned for weeks...

A lion and lioness lie in a steel pen inside their enclosure, the roof of which has collapsed from the force of the nearby explosion.

They make little noise, standing only when Farid al-Hissi, zookeeper, tosses in a couple of dead chikens.

The New Straits Times published: Sunday August 17, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Animals caught in crossfire at Gaza zoo


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2014年08月16日

Saturday August 16, 2014

PANAMA CITY: The Panama Canal, one of the 20th century's greatest engineering triumphs, celebrates 100 years Friday, facing competition from rival projects and delays in the expansion aimed at ensuring its 21st-century relevance.

The product of decades of failed efforts and a final 10 years of breakneck construction that confirmed the United States as a major world power, the canal opened on August 14, 1914 with the passage of the steamship Ancon.

One hundred years later, more than a million ships have crossed the 80-kilometer canal, which today handles five percent of the world's maritime trade...

The United States took over in 1904, after sending warships to back Panama's secession from Colombia and signing a treaty with the newly independent country for control over the 16-kilometer-wide strip of land that would become known as the Canal Zone...

But Panama also faces growing competition from rivals...

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi recently launched the construction of a $4 billion "new Suez Canal" running parallel to the original that aims to accelerate traffic and sharpen its competitive edge.

Closer to home, Nicaragua, which fought Panama more than a centry ago to host the first canal across Central America, has reemerged as a modern-day rival.

The country has granted a 50-year concession to Chinese businessman Wang Jing to build and operate a canal that would have larger capacity than Panama's and be able to handle modern mega-freighters too big for its rival's current dimensions.

Last month Nicaragua finalized the route for the $40 billion project, which Wang's HK Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Co. (HKND) wants to complete in five years.

To fend off the competition, Panama is adding wider locks and channels to nearly triple its canal's capacity.

The expansion will allow it to handle so-called "Post-Panamax" ships with a capacity of 12,000 containers, instead of the current maximum of 5,000.

But the hugely ambitious project has been plagued by delays, strikes and a bitter dispute over $1.6 billion in cost overruns with the consortium of companies carrying out the upgrade.

The expansion was initially scheduled for completion this year, but has now been pushed back to January 2016.

August/13/2014
Agence France-Presse
Panama Canal turns 100 facing 21st-century problems

SANDAKAN: Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia Rod Smith hailed Sandakan as an important chapter in the history of military links between Australia and Malaysia.

He said the links forged on the battlefields during World War Two strengthened through the Emergency and Confrontation in Malaysia, and had continued to today.

Malaysian and Australian defence forces were working shoulder to shoulder even now in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which went missing on March 8 enroute from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

“Today, Australia and Sabah’s close bond extends to education, tourism, trade and investment. These bonds between our peoples and nations will forever be strengthened by our shared past,” he said when speaking at the Sandakan Memorial Day here.

The annual event is held to remember the more than 2,400 Australian and British prisoners-of-war who lost their lives while incarcerated at the Sandakan Camp and during the death marches to Ranau in central Sabah.

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, in his speech read out by Sabah Special Tasks Minister Datuk Teo Chee Kang, said the atrocities back then serve as a constant reminder to all on the importance of peace.

“In some parts of the world, war and oppression have become common, and we can only pray that these acts which are claiming the lives of innocent people will come to an end,” Musa said.

The Star published: Saturday August 16, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Australia hails lasting bonds forged during Sandakan march

SEOUL (Reuters) - Pope Francis on Saturday celebrated a huge open-air Mass in the centre of Seoul, where he denounced the growing gap between the haves and have nots, urging people in affluent societies to listen to "the cry of the poor" among them...

"Their example has much to say to us who live in societies where, alongside immense wealth, dire poverty is silently growing; where the cry of the poor is seldom heeded and where Christ continues to call out to us, asking us to love and serve him by tending to our brothers and sisters in need," he said.

It was a theme the pope has been repeating since he arrived in South Korea on Thursday for his first trip to Asia since his election in March, 2013, and has been a lynchpin of the papacy of the first non-European pontiff in 1,300 years.

Last year, in the first major written work of his papacy, Francis attacked unfettered capitalism as "a new tyranny", urging global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality.

Rapid economic growth has made South Korea one of the world's wealthiest countries, but it has also become increasingly unequal, with nearly half the elderly in poverty...

The history of Christianity in Korea is unique in that it was not founded by Western missionaries. Korean intellectuals in the late 18th century heard about it through literature that had arrived in the country from China and developed their own community.

The Catholic Church has been growing rapidly in South Korea, doubling in the past 25 years to about 11 percent of the population, adding some 100,000 new members every year.

The Star published: Saturday August 16, 2014 MYT 11:35:03 AM
Pope Francis denounces wealth gap in open-air Seoul mass
by philip pullella AND ju-min park


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2014年08月15日

higher education bubble

Today's topic of Mr Yahoo's Blog is the education in Malaysia and China:

There is good reason to believe that the higher education bubble in the West is about to burst as well. Enrolment at more than 40 per cent of private colleges and universities in the US declined in 2012, forcing the institutions to offer discounts and prompting the federal government to nearly double its need-based grants to low-income undergraduate and postgraduate students, from US$19 billion (RM60 billion) in 2009 to US$36 billion last year. Moreover, several European countries have suffered sharp declines following the imposition of higher fees. In Britain, tuition fee increases were blamed for a 7.7 per cent drop in 2012 university applications.

The higher education crisis has significant ramifications for people in the West, of course, but also for people in Malaysia. The National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN), reported a total debt of RM20.3 billion in 2011; by October last year, the amount was RM52.92 billion, spread among 2.33 million recipients.

An academic paper published by concerned UiTM lecturers examined the debt composition of 186 graduates, and their attitudes about education loans. They found that the education debt-to-income ratio ranges from 1.8 per cent to 12 per cent − even though a
ratio exceeding eight per cent is deemed unsafe.

Avoid highre education bubble
Comment by William G. Borges and Ahmed Razman Abdul Lattif in The New Straits Times
15 August 2014

KUALA LUMPUR: THE number of male applicants wanting to enter public universities has declined over the past two years.

Student admission division director Mazula Sabudin said for the 2013/2014 academic year, 46,481 females applied for a place at university compared with 22,221 males.

While for the 2014/2015 academic year, 51,000 females applied compared with 23,000 males.

Fewer males seek to enter varsities
By Ili Liyana Mokhtar
15 August 2014 8:09 AM

For the first time, China now sends more students overseas than any other country in the world. According to the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) annual “Open Doors” report, 229,300 Chinese students went to study abroad for the 2009-2010 year, a huge 30 percent increase from the previous year.

The U.S. is the preferred destination for Chinese students going abroad. Of the 690,923 international students that came to the U.S. last year, nearly 128,000, or more than 18 percent, came from China. Over the past decade, the number of Chinese college students studying in the U.S. has increased by 80 percent from 54,466 in 1999 to 128,000 in 2009. After the U.S., the most popular destinations are Australia, England, France, and Canada...

Wang Huiyao, director of the Center for China and Globalization (CCG) and Vice Chairman of the China Western Returned Scholars Association, summarizes some of the key reasons leading to increasing numbers of Chinese students study abroad (*):
1. Globalization is driving this increasing number of students who study abroad because “personal exchange” is a form of culture and knowledge exchange. This is important even for students who wish to work in China, because studying abroad will give them the opportunity to be educated for a global marketplace.

2. There is a growing middle class in China. “More people can afford to pay the tuition now than any other time in the history of China.”

3. Some Chinese students see a Chinese education as “too rigid” and “not very innovative” and stifling of their creativity.

4. Some Chinese see studying abroad as a route to immigration and a chance at higher living standards.

5. A desire to be a “seagull” – an international talent who travels back and forth between China and wherever they study.

Chinese Students Pour into the United States
by Vivian Lin
US-China Today published: 11/18/2010


(*)
BEIJING: China also has overtaken South Korea as the No.1 origin country of students to US high schools, with its elite families leading the way as their children are vying for spots in prestigious US preparatory schools.

China's rising financial might is fuelling the rise...
The Star published: Thursday 14, August 2014
AP - More Chinese seek freedom and edge at US high schools


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2014年08月14日

breastfeeding

Today Mr Yahho wants to introduce you the undermentioned 4 articles from the daily about the proportion of people in Malaysia and Japan:

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has managed to reduce the mortality rate for children under the age of five by 85% over the past 30 years, thanks to initiatives taken by the Government to promote breastfeeding.

Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) paediatrics and neonatology consultant Dr Farah Inaz Syed Abdullah said this was the best way to reduce the risk of infant mortality because breast milk provided nutrients and long-lasting active immunity that helped maintain the health of a child until adulthood.

“If infants across the world were breastfed during the golden hour, which is the first hour after birth, it is estimated that one million child deaths could be avoided,” she said.

“This is because during the first feeding, the baby will be fed with colostrum, the first milk that contains the right amounts of nutrients in the right proportions.”

The Star published: Monday August 11, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Mum’s milk cuts death rate

An innovative programme in Malaysia is the multi-pronged approach of giving children a headstart in life through quality early childhood education and care when their brains are developing at the fastest rate, identifying talented pupils with particular learning needs and providing appropriate and optimal learning programmes which allow talents to flourish in as many children as possible.

This is the essence of the Permata programme initiated in 2006 by Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor.

Research shows about one in 10,000 people has exceptional ability. Currently about 35.5 per cent of the Malaysian population are below 19 years of age, and 8.6 per cent are below 4. This translates into about 1.06 million individuals with exceptional intellectual abilities in the age group below 19. Genetics account for only about 48 to 70 per cent of giftedness. Speaking at the 12th Asia Pacific Gifted Education Conference in 2012, Rosmah said: “This shows that giftedness is a blessing from God and it is our duty to provide the right environment in which the innate ability of these individuals can be nurtured and transformed into specific talents. Our job therefore is to provide the educational environment that will ensure a holistic and full development of their potentials”.

She further warned that “if we fail to provide special education for them, we are likely to lose them to other countries, or they may drop out or become misfits in their class”.

Gifted and talented individuals are valuable assets of any country.

The New Straits Times, 10 August 2014 8:01 AM
Unlocking talents from young

A Japanese boy born in 2013 can now expect to live 80.21 years, up from 79.94 years in 2012, the Japanese Health Ministry said.

Japanese men ranked fourth on the longevity list of the world’s 50 major countries and regions behind Hong Kong, Iceland and Switzerland, the ministry said. Hong Kong’s average male lifespan was 80.87.

However, Japan’s ageing population is a headache for policymakers who are faced with trying to ensure an ever-dwindling pool of workers can pay for the growing number of pensioners.

Government data released in April showed Japan’s population shrank for the third year running, with the elderly making up a quarter of the total for the first time.

The Star published: Sunday August 10, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Japan tops longest life list

At the time of our independence in 1957, our population was 6.3 million. When the New Economic Policy was introduced in 1971, it had grown to 11 million. The current headcount is around 30 million, and is estimated to balloon by another 10 million by 2040.
Comment by Mazlena Mazlan in The New Straits Times
12 August 2014 8:10 AM
Heavy subsidies not sustainable
http://www.nst.com.my/node/22435



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2014年08月13日

supermoon

Mr Yahoo was very much surprised in the early morning of the last Monday, around at 5:30 am, to see the full moon in the sky! And he know that this was so called "supermoon"!

GEORGE TOWN (Penang, Malaysia): Thousands of skywatchers who stayed up late were treated to the unfolding of one of the year’s most dramatic lunar phenomenons – the supermoon.

Universiti Sains Malaysia’s (USM) Astronomy Club academic adviser Assoc Prof Dr Chong Hon Yew said the perigee moon (the moon’s closest approach to Earth) occurred at 1.44am, while the full moon was seen 25 minutes later at 2.09am yesterday.

“When the perigee occurred, the moon was 356,896km away from Earth.

“This is also known as the supermoon phenomenon, which usually happens once a year,” he said.

According to Nasa, a full moon at perigee – the point in its orbit that is closest to Earth – is up to 14% larger and 30% brighter than normal.


This phenomena was happened all over the world. The under is the article of the Guardian published in London, UK:

Every 133 years, comet Swift-Tuttle swings through the inner solar system, leaving behind a trail of dust. When the Earth passes through, the dust cloud particles hit the atmosphere at 140,000mph and burn up in streaking flashes of light, creating the spectacle known as the Perseids.

The best time to see the meteors is between Saturday and Wednesday, with activity peaking on Tuesday. An unusually bright full supermoon was also seen on 12 July, and another is due to appear on 9 September. But the supermoon of Sunday promises to be the most dramatic, since this is when the moon will be at its closest point to the Earth all year.

At perigee, the moon is around 31,000 miles closer than when it is furthest away from the Earth. Supermoons occur relatively often, every 13 months and 18 days, but are not always noticed because of clouds or poor weather.


theguardian.com, Monday 11 August 2014 19.33 BST
Perseids meteor shower and supermoon offer divine heavenly show
Astronomers and amateur skywatchers excited as perigee moon and comet Swift-Tuttle appear together for dazzling skies

Meanwhile the under is an interesting article about the orbiter to moon launched by China:

Beijing (AFP) - China will launch its first recoverable moon orbiter later this year, the government announced, in the latest step in its ambitious space programme.

The mission will be launched before the end of the year and will travel to the moon before returning to earth, the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence (SASTIND) said in a statement on Sunday.

Doing so will require withstanding the high temperatures that develop when a probe re-enters the Earth's atmosphere.

The orbiter will test technology that will be be used for China's ambitious Chang'e-5 mission, which aims to gather samples from the moon's surface, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Beijing sees its multi-billion-dollar space programme as a marker of its rising global stature and mounting technical expertise, as well as evidence of the ruling Communist Party's success in turning around the fortunes of the once poverty-stricken nation.


August 11, 2014 2:09 AM
China to send orbiter to moon and back
http://news.yahoo.com/china-send-orbiter-moon-back-060935192.html


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2014年08月10日

Rich biodiversity

Insisting that forestry is as much a science as it is an art, the 57-year-old Perak-born explains how nurturing a tree is an enriching experience that requires both skill and talent.

For Prof Dr Abd Rahman and his forestry team, managing 4.8million hectares of forest reserves comes with huge challenges.

Worried for his rangers who face black magic spells, blowpipe attacks and deadly threats from illegal logging syndicates, he is lobbying hard for them to be given guns.

He has also spoken out against the encroachment of water catchment areas and the degazetting of forest reserves for development projects and highways such as the controversial East Klang Valley Expressway (EKVE) project.


The Star published: Sunday August 3, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM (by Christina Chin)
http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2014/08/03/Fighting-for-our-forests-Forestry-Department-directorgeneral-Datuk-Prof-Dr-Abd-Rahman-Abd-Rahim-spea/

On that same day, the same Daily carried on the following article reported from George Town (Penan):

Illegal tree-felling activities have resurfaced here, with the Pulai or Blackboard trees being the target.

A check by The Star at the hill behind the Mount Erskine market yesterday found that there were 20 large trees of the specied being cut down on a piece of land believed to belong to the Penang Water Supply Corporation (BRAPP).

A further 300m hike to the middle of the hill was the illegal loggers' campsite, where equipment such as parang, axe and a hole were found.

(What a shame)

And today's another dialy The New Straits Times carried on the interview with Datuk Seri G. Palanivel, Natural Resources and Environment Minister who talks about the measures taken to preserve wildlife and end illegal trade, poaching and killing.

State Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) director Khairiah Mohd Shariff Khairiah said illegal hunters in Pahang were mostly villagers, who were looking for supplementary food in the jungle such as kancil (mouse deer) and ayam hutan (red jungle fowl).

She also revealed that some of the Orang Asli were being exploited by poachers, with six cases involving them last year and all of the suspects charged in court.

Between 2007 and 2012, 25 cases involving Orang Asli were recorded in the state. Under the new law, Orang Asli are allowed to consume certain protected animals − wild boar, sambar deer, mouse deer, pig-tailed macaque, silvered leaf monkey, dusky leaf monkey, Malayan porcupine, brush-tailed porcupine, white-breasted waterhen and emerald dove.

However, under Section 51 of the Act, those who sell the animals are liable to a maximum fine of RM10,000 or six months’ jail or both.

The higher penalties may reduce poaching, but it is important for Perhilitan to increase its presence in the hot spots. Although understaffed, with fewer than 100 rangers to monitor the 4,000ha Taman Negara, Perhilitan has no option but to use the latest technology to patrol protected areas.

Based on the statical analysis on on a Malayan tiger survey done in 3 complex protected areas, it is estimated that there are 300 tigers within the 7 sites surveyed in Peninsular Malaysia. Tigers are facing extinction as a result of illegal hunting. (*)


Furthermore Mr Yahho wants to end updating his diary today citing the famous Malay proverb noting that nowadays the human beings tend to move from a rich biodiversity to a denial of other lives or beings like coqroaches or mosquitoes or trees:

“MARAHKAN nyamuk, kelambu dibakar.” This popular Malay proverb seems to have an increasing relevance to today’s unfolding global events. Though contextualised in a rural setting where mosquitoes are regarded as a normal menace, it has now “invaded” the urban scenario with the on-going outbreak of dengue. The rural population of old used mosquito nets for an insect-free sleeping environment. This is an effective way of keeping out insects, and at times insect repellents were applied to the nettings to give double protection − a cheap but effective way to ward off mosquito-borne diseases.

But it needs discipline and even then, once in a while, a mosquito is trapped under the net without our knowledge. And this can cause a lot of nuisance, depriving one of a good night’s sleep. (Over) Reactions can lead to extreme behaviour such as burning the mosquito net as the proverb suggests, pointing to an action done in haste, without thinking much of the consequences that could lead to a “greater” loss to the individual, even the community, in the long run.

In modern times, the burning of mosquito nets may not happen anymore. It is taken over by overuse of aerosols, sprayed indiscriminately at the “invisible” pests, making the surrounding environment toxic to the body. We also light mosquito coils and pollute the air with irritating fumes.

The state of wars today, especially unconventional warfare warding off contingents that can be as menacing as mosquitoes, mirrors this proverb very well...

Gaza is literally burnt down over the last four weeks. The wisdom of the proverb “marahkan nyamuk, kelambu dibakar” went unheeded in averting a disproportionately tragic waste of human lives and property amounting to billions to rebuild. This is, no doubt, a sure case of tunnel vision.


10 August 2014 @ 8:01 AM
A case of tunnel vision
Written by Dzulkifil Abdul Razak in The New Straits Times


(*)
Note-1: The Star told us on the 12th of August 2014 that There are about 1500 Borneo elephants in east Malaysia and about 2000 other elephants in peninsular Malaysia.
(WWF: Stop habitat loss to protect elephants)

Note-2:
It is estimated that perhaps 4,000 elephants remain in Thailand, over half of which are domesticated. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) believes there are about 30,000 wild elephants left in Asia, but their survival is finely balanced.

WWF created the Asian Rhino and Elephant Action Strategy (AREAS) in 1998 to conserve the remaining populations of these endangered large mammals and their habitats. In Thailand, WWF is supporting the management and monitoring of elephants in the Western Forest Complex, which is the largest remaining area of protected forest in South-East Asia and home to more than 33% of Thailand’s wild elephants.

WWF is also working with the Karen people in western Thailand to study the distribution, abundance and ecology of elephants in the Thung Yai Wildlife Sanctuary.

o Visit www.passport.panda.org to find out how you can take action to help protect this and other species and fragile environments.

The Star published Saturday May 3, 2008
The last mahouts
Stories by RODERICK EIME


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2014年08月09日

MAS

Mr Yahoo wants to introduce you today three episodes about MAS (Malaysia Airlines):

I was an airlines kid. To be specific, I was a MAS kid. My dad worked with the national carrier as a cashier (or an accountant without the degree, we like to call it), and I spent a lot of time (well, a lot more than kids my age back then) prancing around the Penang airport, slurping root beer from the old A&W outlet and playing with colourful plastic balls in KFC...

My dad wasn’t a pilot, nor was he some big shot manager in the company, but we all knew he held MAS in high regards all the time. Even though he’s cool as a cucumber and hardly gets excited about things, whenever he talks about MAS, his eyes would give a hint of a sparkle. Even until today...

We may not have the power to bring MH370 home, or bring MH17 back to life – but we can try to search for the things that have gone missing for awhile now; unity, tolerance, justice, democracy and racial harmony. The core values that used to define us as Malaysians.


The Star published: Saturday August 9, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
View by HOR WEI VERN, Penang
Wei Vern wrote this in memory of Elaine Teoh, 27, an ex-schoolmate who will always be known for her smile. Elaine was the first Malaysian victim positively identified by forensic experts in the Netherlands.

In a statement to Bernama via email, her best friend, Tan Sook Theng said: “Seeing her so happy with the love of her life makes me, as a friend, genuinely grateful that fate brought them together...their relationship is one that I would wish for everyone.

“They make each other so happy while bringing out the best in each other. Truly, they complemented each other's lives.”

Tan, 27, who has been close friends with Teoh for 13 years since the latter moved to Subang Jaya in 2012, was scheduled to fetch her from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Friday (6.10am Malaysian time), before she heard the plane had crashed in Ukraine, with her friend, among those on board.

“We last texted on Whatsapp on the day she boarded the plane and were excited to see each other again after our last meeting in January this year.

“We were to spend the weekend together and all this time, we had been in touch every other week with one another. Now, there will be no more of that,” she said.

Describing Teoh as a smart, funny, witty and beautiful individual, Tan said her friend was both a “partner in crime and a shoulder to always lean on”.

“She had a gentle heart, always a kind-spirited human being and sincerely a very loving person. She was family.”

Teoh, originally from Penang, and Mahler, a Dutch national, both 27, lived in Melbourne where they worked in the finance sector. The couple who had been together since 2012, was on holiday in Portugal and Holland before departing shortly after noon on Thursday from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

Sharing her thoughts on the incident, Tan said: “People have all the basic necessities to live; life isn't really all that complicated, but people make it so. The only thing that's making this world sick is that people are feeding their ego. What makes them so superior than the rest to play God?”


Malaysia’s Elaine Teoh and Dutch boyfriend on board MH17 ― loving couple to the very end
http://m.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/malaysias-elaine-teoh-and-dutch-boyfriend-on-board-mh17-loving-couple-to-th

The potential delisting of national carrier Malaysia Airline System Bhd (MAS), as announced by majority shareholder Khazanah Nasional Bhd yesterday, is a timely, albeit painful decision.

Khazanah’s bid to carry out a “complete overhaul” of the airline is not an easy one, whose business outlook deteriorated with the disappearance of flight MH370 on March 8 while carrying 239 people, and the crash of flight MH17 in Ukraine on July 17, killing all 298 people on board.

As the government goes about reviving the fortunes of the loss-making MAS, it may be wise to “Look East” for inspiration from Japan Airlines (JAL), whose turnaround story is inspiring.

Less than a decade ago, JAL filed for bankruptcy with US$30 billion (RM96.6 billion) in debt, making it one of Japan’s largest ever corporate failures.

In 2012, the airline announced plans to relist its stock in a US$6 billion initial public offering, making it the first-ever firm to return to the main board of the Tokyo Stock Exchange after declaring bankruptcy.


8 August 2014 @ 11:55 PM
Khazanah, MAS can learn from the JAL experience
Comment by MARINA EMMANUEL in the Business Times, New Straits Times

Mr Yahho has been happy after reading the comment in the Daily because she was one of the office mates in his old days in Penang.


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2014年08月08日

No McDonald’s Day

Today is Friday, isn't it? Mr Yahho is thinking about today's big event before visitng the Immigration Department to ask the permission of his visa extension of social visit status. He read the folloing article a couple of days ago:

KUALA LUMPUR: This FridaFRIDAY has been dubbed “No McDonald’s Day” by Netizens as part of a campaign against large corporations alleged to have channelled funds to Israel.

Supporters of Palestine have taken to social media platforms, including Twitter and WhatsApp, to call for a 24-hour boycott of the fast-food chain to pressure Israel to stop its attacks on Gaza, which have killed almost 2,000 people since last month...

Meanwhile, McDonald’s Malaysia has denied online rumours that it was planning to distribute free burgers and drinks in selected mosques nationwide on the same day...

However, the boycott call has received a mixed response from academics, who said such an action must be consistent to be effective...

Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia’s Faculty of Science, Technology and Human Development Centre head, Dr Mohd Akbal Abdullah, said consumers should make sure that the boycott was not seasonal if they wanted lasting change.

“I support their move to call for a boycott, but I doubt its effectiveness.

“There have been calls for boycotts for years. They have never lasted long.”

He said Israel had created systems that affected most people, either directly or indirectly.

“Facebook is an Israeli product, so Muslims have created their own social networking site, called Ummaland.

“Ummaland, however, is dependent on the Google platform and Google is owned by Jews.

“It is not easy to get out of the system that they have created.”

Economist Prof Dr Hoo Ke Ping echoed Akbal’s sentiments, saying Malaysians were selective when it came to boycotting Israeli products.

“If they want to boycott Israel, they should also boycott everyone else associated with it.

“Since the United States is Israel’s biggest supporter, they should be boycotting the US as well.”

He said a full boycott of US products was not possible, given the potential impact on Malaysia and the global economy.


(6 August 2014, Netizens call for boycott of McDonald’s on Friday by Rozanna Latiff and Lavanya Lingan)

Protestors want McDonald's to increase wages to $15 an hour.

"It's time for us to come together in solidarity, like we are today, and demand big corporations like McDonald's to pay us a living wage," Terrace Walls, fast food worker, said.

Police shut down some roads while the workers and activists rallied for the second day in a row. No one was arrested during Thursday's protest.

McDonald's CEO Don Thompson, who earned about $9.5 million last year, told shareholders the fast food giant has a history of providing job opportunities that lead to "real careers."

Fast food workers currently make about $8.25 an hour, which is the state's minimum wage.


Thursday, May 22, 2014
Day 2 of McDonald's protests hits during shareholders meeting
http://abc7chicago.com/business/no-arrests-on-2nd-of-mcdonalds-protests-/73228/

Fast-food workers have won a major ruling that could improve their workplace conditions, wages and attempts to unionize. The general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board says McDonald’s must take responsibility for all of its workers, including those at restaurants owned and run by franchisees. Ninety percent of McDonald’s restaurants are franchises. Critics say that arrangement has helped the parent company protect itself from worker initiatives such as lawsuits and unionization drives. It has also helped deflect the ongoing movement for a $15-an-hour minimum wage, with McDonald’s arguing that franchisees set workers’ pay. In Tuesday’s ruling, the NLRB said McDonald’s qualifies as a joint employer in dozens of unfair labor practice cases, including for illegally firing or threatening workers involved in pro-union activity. The ruling comes just days after hundreds of fast-food workers from around the country gathered in Illinois for an organizing conference on their campaign for a $15-an-hour minimum wage.

NLRB: McDonald’s Can’t Avoid Wage, Union Demands Through Franchisees
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
http://www.democracynow.org/shows/2014/7/30


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2014年08月07日

Lessons from Hiroshima for Gaza

Today (6 Aug 2014), Mr Yahho joined the field study in Kedah, especially in Baling done by Consumers' Association of Penang (CAP) including Hatijah, Dzul and Ridzwann. He will make a report later with pictures because of the good exposure for him. In the meantime he could buy today's Daily nearly around 5:30 PM and he remembers another massacre of innocent peoples by a powerful big country in Japan and he could read a heartfelt Comment in the paper:

TODAY (6 Aug 2014), we recall what happened on Aug 6 at 8.15am some 69 years ago. It is the grim anniversary of the only atomic bomb that exploded on a living city, namely Hiroshima. As though that is not enough, Nagasaki was targeted three days later.

At this time, I reminisce over what my late father, Abdul Razak Abdul Hamid, a Hiroshima bomb survivor who passed away in July last year, would religiously repeat over the years.

He was a student of 19 years of age when the bomb exploded barely 1.5km from his alma mater, the then Hiroshima University, known for its educational studies...

The phrase “yellow peril” (implying East Asians known as the “yellow races”), for example, had been in common use in the US media, reportedly owned by one William Hearst since the 1930s. Still, earlier in 1911, The Yellow Peril or Orient vs. Occident was allegedly a popular book by Greenberry Rupert, an influential US pastor. Similar bigotry is not uncommon today, albeit more subtle and hypocritical.

Hence, unlike conventional bombs, the deadly atomic bomb was designed to cull as many enemies as possible. It was timed to explode after the “second” siren was sounded and the innocent people were beginning to emerge from the shelter, as always, assuming that the danger was over...

That was how hundreds of thousands of innocent Japanese were pulverised in almost an instant. Razak aptly described what he saw as padang jarak, padang tekukor (NOTHING)!

The war-mongering will therefore continue unless, as advocated by the late Razak, there is an effort to teach and learn how to “hate” not just wars but all forms of aggression and violence, be it in thoughts, words and certainly deeds!

Lessons from Hiroshima for Gaza written by Dzulkifli Abduk Razak, honorary Prof at Univ of Nottingham in the New Straits Times

About his father, Abdul Razak, Mr Yahho recommends us to read the following article of last year, 2013, in the NST, daily as follows:

Although Abdul Razak spent only seven months in Hiroshima, it was enough to ignite his love of the language and culture that eventually blossomed into deeper ties with Japan.

He continued learning the language despite criticism from others due to the Japanese Occupation of Malaya. Then, few saw the benefit of picking up language, but Abdul Razak remembered well the words of the Japanese who vowed Japan would reemerge two decades in the aftermath of the atomic bomb.

On his humble service, Abdul Razak was quoted as saying: "I find great joy in teaching. It is satisfying to train people especially those who do not know Japanese. It usually takes students six months to get a feel of the subject. It is like planting and watching them grow."

Read more: PERSPECTIVE: Razak-sensei, from the ashes of Hiroshima - Learning Curve - New Straits Times http://www2.nst.com.my/channels/learning-curve/perspective-razak-sensei-from-the-ashes-of-hiroshima-1.223641#ixzz39gAXAxcL



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2014年08月02日

Massacre or Genocide

The under is the article in the media:

Russia reacted angrily on Saturday (26 July 2014) to additional sanctions imposed by the European Union over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis, saying they would hamper cooperation on security issues and undermine the fight against terrorism and organised crime.

The United States and other Western countries accuse the separatists of downing the plane with a surface-to-air missile supplied by Russia. The separatists deny shooting down the plane and Russia says it has provided no such weapons. Moscow has suggested Kiev's forces are to blame for the crash.

On Saturday, Britain's Foreign Office accused Russia of making "contradictory, mutually exclusive claims" in blaming Ukraine for the tragedy and said it was "highly likely" the separatists had brought it down with a Russian-supplied missile.


In the meantimem we should take note the following as well:

It is worth noting that the initial statements by OSCE observers (July 31) broadly confirm the findings of Peter Haisenko:

Monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe reported that shrapnel-like holes were found in two separate pieces of the fuselage of the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines aircraft that was believed to have been downed by a missile in eastern Ukraine.

Michael Bociurkiw of the OSCE group of monitors at his daily briefing described part of the plane’s fuselage dotted with “shrapnel-like, almost machine gun-like holes.” He said the damage was inspected by Malaysian aviation-security officials .(Wall Street Journal, July 31, 2014)

The monitoring OSCE team has not found evidence of a missile fired from the ground as conveyed by official White House statements.


Therefore Mr Yahho is thinking now in Penang, Malaysia why the big countries decided the economic sanctions over Russia after the tragedy of MH17 and why they did not decide yet the same ones on Israel due to the massacre or Genocide against Palestinian in Gaza.

Tomer Siyonov, a friend of a dead Israeli soldier, recently told the Guardian that everyone in Gaza must be killed.

Just how dangerous is such talk? According to the Israeli historian Michael Oren, a former Israeli ambassador to the United States, “In classic dehumanisation scenarios, whether in Nazi Germany or in Rwanda before the genocide, you refer to the enemy as rats and cockroaches, and that enables you to kill them on a large scale.” Oren then adds, “We’re not calling Palestinians cockroaches.”

But it is not the choice of epithets that can lead people to endorse the mass killing of civilians. What matters is whether the rhetoric used by political leaders and major media outlets is framed in the context of a narrative that portrays the “other” as posing an existential threat. Hutus slaughtered close to a million Tutsis in 1994 not because they thought of Tutsis as “cockroaches,” but because they were led to believe that the Tutsis would kill them first.

Such turning points in language both reflect and facilitate acceptance of the wholesale bombing of neighbourhoods, hospitals, and schools. Someday, the details of Operation Protective Edge will be investigated and history will be written. But, before that happens, Israel has two moral paths open before it. One path, to be taken with all those committed to a just peace, leads to a higher form of community; the other leads to a very dark place. The soul of a nation is in the balance.


(2 August 2014 @ 8:07 AM, Column written by Naomi Wolf in The New Straits Times)


Naomi R. Wolf (born November 12, 1962) is an American author and former political consultant. With the publication of the 1991 bestselling book "The Beauty Myth", she became a leading spokeswoman of what was later described as the third wave of the feminist movement.
http://naomiwolf.org/


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2014年08月01日

immediate cessation of hostilities

Earlier, Prime Minister Rutte and I spoke about the continued military activity at the crash site; the inability of international investigators to deploy across it; and the human remains that may still lie there.

For the sake of the grieving families, it is imperative that all remains at the crash site are repatriated as soon as possible. Every single victim must be given dignity and a decent funeral.

Our other priority is to ensure the international investigators are given full and unfettered access to the site, so that they may collect evidence and carry out their vital work. Only then will we be able to find out what happened to MH17; only then can we achieve justice for the victims and their families.

The conflict in Eastern Ukraine may not be easily resolved. But the people on board that plane had no part in it.

We ask that there be an immediate cessation of hostilities in and around the crash site – by both Ukrainian and separatist forces.

We ask that all sides respect the lives lost, and the integrity of the site, so that the investigation may proceed. The long walk towards justice begins with this step.


Thursday, July 31, 06:40 PM GMT +0800(Media Statement & Information on Flight MH17)
MH17 Statement by Prime Minister Najib Razak ‎During Joint Press Briefing in the Netherlands with Prime Minister Mark Rutte‎
http://www.malaysiaairlines.com/my/en/site/mh17.html

Meanwhile in the Philippines, there is an selling and buying story for the country's flag carrier:

MANILA (Reuters) - San Miguel Corp, the Philippines' most diversified conglomerate, is seeking to build a new US$10 billion (S$12.5 billion) international airport in Manila, company president Ramon Ang told Reuters on Thursday.

Published on May 15, 2014 9:14 AM
San Miguel says seeking to build $12.5b Manila airport project
http://www.straitstimes.com/news/business/companies/story/san-miguel-says-seeking-build-125b-manila-airport-project-20140515

MANILA - San Miguel Corp on Monday said it was "discussing" with investment partner Lucio Tan (tobacco tycoon) Group their respective interests in Philippine Airlines parent PAL Holdings Inc, after local media reported San Miguel had agreed to sell its stake.

San Miguel indirectly bought almost half of PAL from Lucio Tan for US$500 million in 2012, giving the diversified conglomerate management control of Philippine Airlines and Air Philippines.

That transaction left San Miguel and Lucio Tan with 49 per cent and 51 per cent respectively of Trustmark Holdings Corp, which in turn owns 90 per cent of PAL.


Published July 28, 2014
San Miguel in talks over Philippine Airlines after stake-sale report
http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/breaking-news/transport/san-miguel-talks-over-philippine-airlines-after-stake-sale-report-20140728



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