2014年09月30日

ひめゆりの塔

 水木洋子邸にまた戻って…
 今日9月長月のみそか、最終にどうしても秋口におさえておきたいことがあって、それは水木洋子の脚本になる映画「ひめゆりの塔」!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3s3jY91tbM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vhg_SBGKgz8

 1995年6月号『シナリオ』第51巻第6号は、「『ひめゆりの塔』脚本家インタビュー」として、「いま、なぜ『ひめゆりの塔』か」の見出しで、加藤伸代の談話を掲載している。加藤は、そこで“ひめゆり“を脚色するにあたって、「どういう取り組み方」をしたのかを問われ、「前の作品には、まったくとらわれないでいこうと」思ったと答えていた。

 「前の作品」というのは他でもなく加藤が脚本化した「ひめゆり」以前に上映された「ひめゆり」作品を指している。加藤の言は、「”ひめゆり“は、今まで3回映画化されてるわけですが、最初の今井(正)監督のは、1953(昭和28)年ですから、この時はまだ沖縄で何があったのか、一般の国民は、あまり知らない時期だったと思うんですね、沖縄が玉砕してアメリカに占領されたというふうにしか。それから、戦争というものについては、戦後間もなくですから、皆さんがその体験者だった時期ですよね。/そして、2回目の今井監督の作品(1982年、昭和57年)というのはシナリオは前と同じく水木(洋子)先生の本ですけど、1953(昭和28)年の時のままなんです、ほとんど手が入れられてない。/で、今度、もう一度やるというお話で、私は自分自身、ぜんぜん知らない世代ですから」に続いて発された決意の一言であった。

 加藤は、「ひめゆり」がこれまで「3回」映画化されているという。そして、同一の脚本に基づく同一の監督の手になる1953年の作品と1982年の作品の2本にだけふれ、あとの1作についてはなぜか触れていない…

(仲程昌徳「ひめゆり」の読まれ方〜映画「ひめゆりの塔」4本をめぐって、琉球大学日本東洋文化論集(9):1-14、2003年3月所収)
http://ir.lib.u-ryukyu.ac.jp:8080/bitstream/123456789/2387/1/No9p1-14.pdf

新しい研究書もでました。ヤッホー君、さっそく注文し読んでみようかなって…

 ひさしぶりの新刊が出ます。崔盛旭著『今井正 戦時と戦後のあいだ』です。8月9日が見本出来上がりですので、お盆明けには、書店様に並ぶ予定です。
 近頃は、一冊つくるのに多くの労力を必要としています。その分、内容に関しては、充実したものになっていると自負をしておりますが、時間をかけすぎですね(笑)。
 さて、本書は、これまでの今井正の評価に疑問をもった韓国人の日本映画研究者が、ひたすら今井正のフィルムを見続けることによって発見した、戦時下から保持されていた今井の反軍国的な心情=「今井正の心のなか」という観点を中心に据え、今井の戦時と戦後の「思想的連続性」を明らかにしています。
 本格的な今井正研究としては、本邦初であり、日本映画を研究している韓国人の研究者が日本語で刊行する書籍としては、戦後初のものです。
 みなさま、どうぞご期待ください。

(2013年8月1日)

 たいへん暑い中でしたが、ひとまず、書籍刊行の報告ができてほっとしています。同行者は、著者の崔盛旭氏と、彼を紹介してくださった共同通信の阪堂氏です。
 さあ、この本を見て今井正はどう思ってくれているでしょうか。喜んでくれていればうれしいかぎりです。

 その後は、恵比寿駅に戻り、西口にある焼き鳥屋「たつや」で三人して楽しく飲酒となりました。この店の地下は、ドラマや映画のロケ地としてよく利用されているようで、そういえばたいへん風情のある居酒屋です。
 私が行くのは、かれこれ10年ぶりでしょうか。次回は10年とは言わず、今年中にもう一度は飲みに行きたいと思っています。誰か誘ってください(笑)。

(2013年8月30日)

 脚本家・水木洋子(1910〜2003)は今井正の映画で多くの脚本を執筆しています。代表作に「また逢う日まで」「キクとイサム」「あれが港の灯だ」などがあります。
 私は、『今井正 戦時と戦後のあいだ』の刊行過程で観た今井正の映画を通して、水木洋子のことを知りました。とくに「あれが港の灯だ」(1961)(*)を通してです。なにしろ、その映画での、在日朝鮮人青年の心理描写が見事というほかなかったものですから、映画を観てすぐに脚本家に目がいきました。
 そのことを契機にして『脚本家 水木洋子』(加藤聲著、映人社、2010年)などを読み、水木への興味を抱いていたところ、市川市文学ミュージアムでの展覧会を知り、先日、鑑賞に行ってきたというわけです。

(2014年2月12日)

以上は、ブログ「図書出版クレインの日々の記録」からです
http://cranebook.exblog.jp/


(*)
 東京国立近代美術館フィルムセンター「あれが港の灯だ」(102分・35mm・白黒)
 当時の韓国の李承晩大統領が朝鮮半島と日本の海上に設定した「李ライン」、これを越えて操業する日本漁船は例外なく拿捕されるとの政策が実行されていたのだが、この大きな政治問題を背景として、身分を隠しながら生きなければならない一人の在日朝鮮人漁師の苦悩が描かれる。彼にとって、たどりつくべき「港の灯」は、どこにあるのか?「キネマ旬報」ベストテン7位。
 '61(東映東京)(監)今井正(原)(脚)水木洋子(撮)飯村雅彦(美)下沢敬悟(音)林光(出)江原眞二郎、津住男、岡本四郎、安田千永子、岸田今日子、山村聰、中山昭二、清川虹子、長谷川裕見子、村P幸子、加藤嘉、木村功

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehBRicDNii4


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2014年09月29日

マレーシア田園風景

以前、お約束していたマレーシアの田園風景を添付します:

マレーシアの田んぼ - コピー.jpg

場所はクダー州です。撮影した日は8月6日水曜日、はっちゃん達のフィールドスタディに同行したときに道を聞きにクルマを停めたとき、すかさずクルマを下りて撮ったものです。外国人がめずらしかったのでしょうね、村の人皆んなから怖いくらいにじろじろ、見られたのを覚えています。

クダー州というのはペナン島からはペナン橋を渡ってマレー半島に入り、ペナン州を抜けて、東海岸を目指して内陸部に入り、タイとの国境を目指して走ったところに広がる州です。州都はアロースター。

当日朝は猛烈な heavy rain があり、それでもCAPスタッフのワンはものともせず、高速でクルマを走らせていきます。パームオイルの植林地帯が広がり、工業用地にして企業誘致するんだってと、現地の人でも大丈夫かな、と不審そうなまなざしを向けてしまう、森林を切り開いたばかりの赤茶けた土肌が露出して見える大地も通ります。そうそう、第二ペナン空港も造る案も急浮上しているそうな (*)。

そしてクダ州の村に入ったころ、雨もおさまり、そんななかで急いでシャッターをきったものです。マレーシアの米どころ、二毛作で収穫は2月と9月、2年間に5回収穫できるそうですから、いま頃はもう、稲刈りも済んでいるころかもしれません。

コメの自給率は70%、30%はベトナム、カンボディア、タイからの輸入になるそうです。

田んぼのなかに忽然とモスクが現れました。


田んぼとモスク.jpg

せっかくの異国生活。オンタイムでお気に入りの写真を添付したヤッホー君の日記更新には、機器と技術と知識、なによりもその情熱が備わっていなければいけないのですが、図書館で新聞読んで、蔵書を漁って読書三昧しているほうがまだ似合っている、とつぶやいているヤッホー君にはいかんせん、酷な願いかもしれませんね。

昨日9月28日日曜日の山歩クラブ・タウンウオーキングの記念写真(若松さんが撮ってくださった)も、ごらんのようにイマドキ、白黒の写真ですもん:


和平.jpg

撮影場所は、郭沫若記念館近くの須和田公園。中国四川省楽山市との姉妹提携を記念する「和平」碑前のことでした。


(*)
THE proposed international airport in Kulim, which is aimed at catering for rising flights to the northern region, is expected to cost around RM1.6 billion, said Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir.

The cost will include land acquisition, basic infrastructure of the airport and two runways.

“Studies had been done and it was important for northern states to have another international airport as the existing Bayan Lepas Airport in Penang would likely reach its maximum capacity in two years,” Mukhriz said after officiating at Bina Darulaman Bhd’s (BDB) new office in Damansara Utama, here, yesterday.

It is not easy for Penang airport to have a second runway as there are factories located near it, he said, adding that the suggestion of sea reclamation to extend the runway is “easier said than done”.

New Straits Times published: 24 June 2014 12:00 AM
By CHERYL YVONNE ACHUKUALA


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2014年09月28日

ここに泉あり

昭和20年(1945)11月、敗戦直後の荒廃した世相の中で高崎市民オーケストラは誕生しました。戦前から音楽活動をしていた丸山勝廣が中心となり、戦後のすさんだ心を音楽で癒し、生活に潤いのある文化国家を目指して結成され、井上房一郎が会長になりました。

指揮者には、井上の仲人・画家有島生馬の甥の山本直忠を招きました。長男の直純は当時12歳でした。当初は、楽員8人のアマチュア楽団で、練習場は、東小学校わきの消防団の2階でしたが、まもなく田町の熊井呉服店の2階に移りました。昭和21年9月、その1階に喫茶店「ラ・メーゾン・ドゥ・ラ・ミュージック」(音楽の家)が開店、高崎の新しい文化活動の拠点になりました。

昭和21年3月10日、第1回定期演奏会を市立高等女学校講堂で開催、18人の楽員によるモーツァルトのセレナーデの演奏や原智恵子のピアノ独奏・大谷洌子のソプラノ独唱などでした。雪が舞う寒い日でしたが、市内の文化団体「三想会」の後援を得て超満員の盛況でした。

第2回定期演奏会は同年5月、筝の宮城道雄を迎え高崎で昼夜2回、翌日は前橋群馬会館で公演しました。この前橋公演から、「群馬フィルハーモニーオーケストラ」(群響)と改称しました。昭和22年に本格的活動を目指してプロの交響楽団になりましたが、経営は困難でした。音楽の普及と資金確保のため、5月から県内の小中学校を訪問して「移動音楽教室」を始めました。「オーケストラってなんですか」と問われる中で、丸山は協力校を求めて奔走しました。「移動音楽教室」では、当時大学生であった小沢征爾もしばしば指揮をとりました。

昭和27年、高崎出身の映画プロデューサー市川喜一が群響の苦悩と情熱の活動に着目して映画化を企画、丸山の手記をもとに水木洋子が脚本を執筆し、映画「ここに泉あり」が製作されました。監督は今井正、音楽は団伊玖磨、出演は岸恵子・小林桂樹・岡田英次らでした。独立プロのため制作費はわずかで「お弁当はおにぎり二個に沢庵二切れの切なさ」と岸は回想しています。市民の積極的な協力により映画は昭和30年2月に封切られ、全国で300万人を超える観客に感動を与え、群響発展の大きなきっかけとなりました。

昭和34年、「旅する楽団」として小学6年の国語教科書で扱われ、高崎は「音楽のあるまち」として知られるようになりました。
(山口聰)

(高崎市公式サイト、高崎市民オーケストラと「ここに泉あり」)
http://www.city.takasaki.gunma.jp/docs/2013120901124/

急にどうしたんですかって。

実は今日、9月28日日曜日は山歩クラブ「タウンウオーク」の日。

本八幡駅〜水木洋子邸 (*) 〜郭沫若記念館〜須和田公園(お昼)〜手児奈霊神堂〜真間山弘法寺〜市川駅(打ち上げ会は、亀戸駅)、総歩行数13000歩でした。

雲一つない祖国、日本の秋晴れ!

ヤッホー君、朝早くから大相撲千秋楽でにぎわう両国駅から、はりきって颯爽と総武線に乗り込みました。

だってぇ〜マレーシアで買い求めて来たこげ茶色の長そでシャツ(汗に濡れない化繊、RM25.00)、黒のアウトドア用ズボン(汗に濡れない化繊、RM7.00)、マレーシア国産のスポーツシューズ(RM50.00)を身につけているんだもん。

でも誰も身なりに気づいてくれた人はいなかったし、喉はからからにかわくし、歩みはのろのろ、仲間の皆んなについていくのがやっとこさ。

亀戸駅前の打ち上げ会場に腰をおろしたときは、なんとか無事に完歩できたんでほっとし、冷たい飲み物をたて続けに三杯も飲みほしたそうです。

話しをもどしてっと。で、水木洋子邸にあったいまも聴ける蓄音機は、映画「ここに泉あり」のシナリオ執筆のためにご近所のラジオ屋さんに頼んで作ってもらったものなんですよって、<水木洋子邸サポーター>の方からお話しを聞いてヤッホー君、へぇ〜とびっくりしてしまったのです。

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEkRiQobTdM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJseYhh9g-M

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PG4HLr1K54

〇 脚本家の水木洋子氏が、4月8日、92歳で逝去されました。女性シナリオライターの草分けでもある水木氏の脚本には、人間の確かな息吹が行間からにじみ出て、見る者の心を捉えて離さない磁力があります。
 『あにいもうと』や『キクとイサム』、『氷点』など調布の大映撮影所で作られた作品も数多くあります。

2003年4月1日「脚本家 水木洋子氏を偲んで」

〇 水木氏が脚本を担当した『ここに泉あり』は調布市立第三小学校で撮影されました。
 撮影風景のスチール写真は、第三小学校に常設されています。

2003年1月1日「作品紹介」
(調布市立図書館、映画資料展示 2003年)
https://www.lib.city.chofu.tokyo.jp/area/txt_movie_2003.html


(*)
いちかわインターネット放送局:
http://ibs.city.ichikawa.chiba.jp/ibsweb/topPage.do?id=248

ヤッホー君のこのブログ、次の昨年につけた日記をお読みくださいね:
★ 2013年9月7日「市川市文学ミュージアム」
★ 2013年9月14日「水木洋子」
★ 2013年9月15日「北限の海女」
★ 2013年9月16日「久慈市小袖海岸」


ブログランキング・にほんブログ村へ
にほんブログ村
↑ 応援に、ぽちっと一回、クリックしていただけますとうれしいです。

posted by fom_club at 20:12| Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2014年09月27日

リトルバード

 ちい、ちい。ちい、ちい。
 小鳩が足元から離れないのです。

 ヤッホー君は印刷物の文房具の製造・印刷・販売を手広く営んでいた義父の shop(3階建て)で今日も後片付けのお仕事。
 会社用の金銭出納帳のうんざりするほどの山を一冊、一冊、表紙の固い立派な色模様の厚紙を取り外して、紙の種類ごとに分別して、閉じ、紐でくるめています。
 会社用の電話受け付け用メモ、請求書・領収書綴り、白紙のノートやクリップの始末は終えました。
 はっちゃんは、日付けを押す、何と言うんでしょ、date stamp から日付の部分のゴムを外して、取っ手、輪、留め具とパーツごとに分けています。
 この段ボールに入っていた date stamp の日付けは1980年だったよ、って言いながら、飽きもせず、分別の仕事。

 ここはペナンのリトル・インディア。
 隣のインディアンレストランからは、小麦粉を練って叩いて、ナンをつくる音、それにインディアン音楽に固有の、あの特徴的なリズムがしょっちゅう聞こえてきます。
 もう夕方の5時近く。
 路上駐車できるスぺースというスぺースにはクルマがぎっしり、停める隙間なんてありゃしません。
 今日はあのマノパコン (*) のジャラン・マノのマーズハウス(Ma's House)、2012年に亡くなった母(Ma、1918年生まれ)の家をそう呼んでいますが、そのマズハウス近くのバス停から仕事場(shopと呼んでいます)までバスできました。
 バス代はRM1.40(新聞代がRM1.20)です。
 はっちゃんは、ヤッホー君が東京からコンテナで運んだクルマ、トヨタ・イストのナビ代わりをしなくてすむし、はっちゃんは駐車場所探しにリトルインディアのなかうろうろしなくてすむし、バスは冷房はきいているし、そこのけおバスが通る、のいきおいでドライバーさんが運転してくれるし、もう一石三鳥、四鳥なんです。
 ふたりで目くばせして、バスで家にもどってクルマで来て、駐車しなくっとも shop の前にクルマを停めて、この小鳩を乗せて、助けてあげよう、そうだ、レスキュー隊だ、とさっそく動いたのです。
 姉のカイー(Kak E)が手当してくれる、と。
 カイーは75歳、ひとりではもう歩けないのですが気丈夫で、庭にウサギとニワトリを飼っています。

 ショップに紛れ込んできた生まれたばかりのこの小鳩、リトルバードLittle Bird をチ、チーと呼んでいますが、ヤッホー君やはっちゃんの足を食べ物と思っているのか、お母さん鳩と思ってか、チ、チーはいっこうに離れようとしないのです。
 はっちゃんは隣のインディアンレストランから少々、ごはんをもらってきて、チ、チーに与えようとしましたが、チ、チーにはかたいのでしょうか、つっついても食べられません。
 ミルクだよ、そうだ、ミルクをあげれば良いんだ、ってヤッホー君。
 リトルバードは、哺乳動物じゃありません、ってはっちゃん。
 じゃあ、水!
 水をあげました。
 おいしそうに飲んでいます。飲んでくれているんです。
 そしてら飲んだあとの水が赤く染まります。
 血? ヤッホー君ははっちゃんに聞いてみました。
 これは、date stamp を押すインクの赤い色だ、とはっちゃん。
 赤が目立ったのか、たぶん昨夜から闖入してきたリトルバードが食べ物と間違ってつっついてしまったのかな、とふたりとも首を傾げていました。

 鳥かごなんてありません。紙屑入れを使うことにしました。
 そして、空き容器のふたに水を入れて紙屑入れに段ボールを置いて蓋替わり。クルマに乗せてカイーに預けました。
 ふたりはそのまま、apartment に帰りました。マーズハウスから5Kmほどのところ、渋滞がなければ15分くらいのところですが、朝、晩の渋滞が激しく40〜50分はかかります。

 翌日、朝。
 食べたよ、柔らかくしてご飯を置いたら、つっついて食べたよ、ってにこにこ笑いながらカイー。
 しかし、皆の看病の甲斐もなく、その午後、チ、チーは動かなくなっていたそうです。
 チ、チーがふたりの前に現れたのが9月23日、土中に埋められてしまったのが翌24日!
 ヤッホー君の亡き義父(1914-1991)が遺してくれた shop にチ、チーが迷い込んできたのが9月23日、なんの因果か、義父の生誕100年の年、しかも9月23日は命日、23回忌にあたっていました。
 ちなみに shop の創業は1951年、今秋には幕を下ろします。

 ヤッホー君はいまでもチ、チーのことを Spirit of Father と思って疑っていないそうです。


(*)
Phraya Manopakorn Nititada (1884-1948) タイ王国初代首相 (在任期間1932-1933)。
ヤッホー君のこのブログ、2014年8月20日付け日記"Jalan Mano"参照。

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2014年09月26日

Hello from Hong Kong

Thanks to the internet free service at Hong Kong Int'l Airport, Mr Yahho is now able to update his Blog as Dairy, utilising the transit time. This morning, the departure time of DragonAir (note 1) is delayed 2 hours from Penang to Hong Kong and he has been a little bit irritated but he is now waiting his connection flight CX500 bound to Narita Airport at the Gate No. 64 (same number as his seat number, 64K) where Cathay Pacific (note 2) flight will arrive at Narita at 8:30 pm. Thank you and bye for now, Penang, Malaysia.


(note 1)
History of DragonAir (Cathay Pacific's sister airline):
In July 1985, a Boeing 737-200A aircraft took off from Hong Kong International Airport – then located at Kai Tak on the Kowloon peninsula – to Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia. That flight marked the start of a new chapter in Hong Kong aviation, as it was the first commercial flight of Hong Kong Dragon Airlines, an entity that was to grow into Hong Kong’s international carrier known as Dragonair.

Starting with one aircraft, Dragonair now develops to an award-winning Hong Kong-based carrier owning more than thirty aircraft, and with a network covering the most popular travel destinations as well as business ports in Asia Pacific region. Dragonair is well-recognised by its passengers of its extensive network in China. Given the flourishing economy in Mainland cities and aviation hub synergy of Hong Kong, Dragonair plays an increasingly important role in connecting passengers around the globe and the Mainland China.
http://www.dragonair.com/ka/en_HK/about-us/about-our-airline/history-and-milestones.html

(note 2)
Cathay Pacific invests in sustainable biojet fuel developer

07 Aug 2014

Cathay Pacific Airways announced today that it is the first airline investor in Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc. (“Fulcrum”), a US-based sustainable biofuel developer, as part of the airline’s biofuel strategy and to help it achieve a target of carbon-neutral growth from 2020.

The airline has made a strategic equity investment in Fulcrum, which is a world pioneer in the development and commercialisation of converting municipal solid waste into sustainable aviation fuel or “biojet fuel.” Cathay Pacific also has an option for further investment.
http://www.cathaypacific.com/cx/en_HK/about-us/press-room/press-release/2014/Cathay-Pacific-invests-in-sustainable-biojet-fuel-developer.html


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2014年09月25日

Legal but lethal

KUALA ROMPIN: A jungle area the size of Cyberjaya is being logged in the middle of one of Pahang’s most important forests to make way for possible rubber plantations.

Earmarked by the Pahang government, some 3,000ha of the Lesong permanent reserve forest is currently being cleared, with an untold number of logs being taken out of the jungle every day.

The Pahang Forestry Department defends the move as legal, saying it has been approved by the state’s executive council and only affects areas known as “degraded forest”.

Environmentalists, however, are up in arms, saying that although the state has the legal right to do so, the move could have devastating effects on Malaysian wildlife.

The Star published: Thursday September 25, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Legal but lethal, Jungle the size of Cyberjaya logged
by Patrick Lee

For the pagan Malays of the ancient past, the tree was literally the core of their universe. They believed that at the center of the world was a great ocean, and in the middle of this ocean grew a gigantic tree called Pauh Jangi - the original, primordial tree of life that had stood since the beginning of creation. At the root of this enormous tree was a cavern called Pusat Tasek (Navel of the Great Lake). In this cavern lived a gigantic crab that emerged once a day. The movement of this gigantic creature caused the ebb and flow of the tides, the shifting of the winds and other atmospheric changes (*). But it was the great tree Paul Jangi that kept this pagan cosmos together, serving as the gravitational center to this mobile and erratic universe.

Although such beliefs gradually lost their grip on the Malay mind-set, the respect and reverence for trees endures for much longer. With the coming of other religious systems, the Malay universe underwent several radical changes and revisions. The tree was gradually displaced and relocated to the margins of the Malay world, but it remained a crucial element in the cosmology of the Malay people. With the coming of Hinduism, Buddhism and finally, Islam, the Mlays began to view the world differently. But the tree remained fixed in their perennial mind-set.


(*)Skeat, William W., " Malay Magic: Being an introduction to the Folklore and Popular Religion of the Malay Peninsula" (London, Macmillan, 1900)

'The Cult of Wood' by Farish A. Noor in "Spirit of Wood: The Art of Malay Woodcarving (Hardcover)" (Periplus Editions, 2003)

In two separate visits to Lesong in mid-July, The Star observed a flurry of logging in more than a dozen sites in the forest.

Entire hills had been cleared from top to bottom, with tracks crisscrossing them to make it easier for vehicles to reach the summits.

The first such site in the eastern part of the reserve was clearly seen just one or two kilometres from an oil palm plantation, with felled trees and smashed foliage mere metres from a state-erected sign forbidding logging. Trucks were seen at some of these sites carrying logs from centres out of the jungle.

Signs stating that the logging had been permitted were also displayed at many of these sites...

It is not known how much the concessionaries could gain from the logs removed from the forest.

The Pahang State Forestry Department said the expected harvestable volume was about 50 to 116 cubic metres per hectare.

Forest researcher Lim Teck Wyn told The Star that logged timber was generally worth RM1,000 per cubic metre.

Even at a conservative estimate, the amount of logged timber from the 3,000ha could be worth RM150mil.

The Star published: Thursday September 25, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Jungle the size of Cyberjaya logged
by Patrick Lee



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2014年09月24日

end the climate crisis

NEW YORK - About 100 protesters were arrested on Monday in New York City during a demonstration that at one point blocked streets near the stock exchange to denounce what organizers say is Wall Street's contribution to climate change (note 1).

The demonstration, called Flood Wall Street (note 2), drew hundreds of protesters, and came a day after a bigger action that brought 310,000 people to the streets of New York in what activists described as the largest protest ever against climate change.

Sunday's turnout was about triple that of the previous biggest demonstration on climate change, a Copenhagen demonstration five years ago.

The Star published: Tuesday September 23, 2014 MYT 11:05:03 AM
About 100 climate protesters arrested in march on Wall Street
by Sebastien Malo

Hong Kong students have mobbed the city's leader in angry scenes as they took their anti-Beijing strike to government headquarters, where more than 1000 protested against China's refusal to grant full democracy.

Organisers said 13,000 university students massed at a campus in the north of the semi-autonomous city on Monday to launch a week-long boycott of classes, a strong showing that breathed new life into the democracy campaign which had been stunned by Beijing's hardline stance...

Britain handed Hong Kong back to China in 1997 under a 'one country, two systems' agreement which allows civil liberties not seen on the mainland, including free speech and the right to protest.

But tensions have been growing in the southern Chinese city over rising inequality and Beijing's perceived political interference.

Scuffles as HK students escalate rally
Published: 12:28 am, Wednesday, 24 September 2014
http://www.skynews.com.au/news/world/asiapacific/2014/09/24/scuffles-as-hk-students-escalate-rally.html

NEW YORK/GENEVA - Global experts issued stark new warnings of the scale of West Africa's Ebola outbreak on Tuesday, with the U.S. government estimating between 550,000 and 1.4 million people might be infected in the region by January.

The U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said its projection was based on data from late August and did not take into account a planned U.S. mission to fight the disease, so the upper end of the forecast was unlikely.

However, it followed research by experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Imperial College, which estimated that 20,000 people risked infection within six weeks -- months earlier than previous forecasts. It warned that the disease might become a permanent feature of life in West Africa...

Underscoring the economic impact of the crisis, Malaysian palm oil firm Sime Darby has delayed construction of a mill for its Liberia plantation and has frozen talks to expand its planted acreage there because of the outbreak.

Meanwhile, the Wellcome Trust said experimental drugs, including compounds from Mapp Biopharmaceutical, Sarepta and Tekmira, will be tested in affected states for the first time in a bid to fast-track trials.

Dye, the WHO expert, said that if current efforts are fully successful, Ebola will disappear from the human population and return to its animal reservoir, as it has done in other outbreaks in Central Africa where it is relatively common.

But he warned that if control efforts are only partly successful, Ebola viral disease in the human population could become "a permanent feature of life in West Africa".

"Quite honestly if you ask 'can we stamp Ebola out of Liberia?' I'm not sure. In principle we know how to do it, but can we do it on the ground? It remains to be seen."

The Star published: Wednesday September 24, 2014 MYT 3:45:02 AM
U.S. forecasts more than 500,000 Ebola cases in West Africa
by Sharon Begley and Tom Miles


(note 1)
THE events of the past few weeks have shown that democracy has many faces and variations. And of it, many supporters and detractors. Some look to America's version of democracy as the frontrunner while there are those who dispute that. What does it take to make a democracy and how do we get it right?

Scotland's independence referendum vote last week was deemed "the largest democratic event in the history of Britain". For a brief moment it felt as if part of the world was holding its breath while the votes were being counted. Perhaps Queen Elizabeth's private comments to "think very carefully about the future" were resounding in the minds of many.

While Spain might have breathed a sigh of relief at the nay outcome, for many perhaps more so for the Catalonia Independence movement that has ambitions to secede from Spain, it has added to their plight to vote and push for their version of democracy.

A few days after the Scottish vote, India's Modi in an interview about democracy in his country told CNN: "It is our great legacy, a legacy we simply cannot compromise. Democracy is our DNA."

He went on to say that India's strength in democracy has allowed a chaiwalla (tea seller) to become prime minister. While this itself seems to be an epitome of democracy, India's version of democracy has produced shoddy infrastructure while its neighbour, authoritarian China has not only grown economically but boasts fancy highways, skyscrapers, fast trains and new cities.

In an interesting twist of things, Hong Kong students began a week-long protest demanding free and open nominations for the chief executive, Hong Kong's top official while China has proposed rules to screen candidates. How does a demand for democratic process fit into China's authoritarian regime?

Thailand's Junta stopped scholars who had been attending an event entitled Democracy Classroom: Fall of Foreign Dictator in Bangkok's Thammasat University. Thai democracy has definitely zigzagged in the last few years while Indonesia has shown to be a thriving growing democracy after its recent elections.

So what makes a democracy?
...
For a country that established the global movement of moderates, sits on the UN Human Rights Council and is vying for a non-permanent member seat in the United Nations Security Council, we need to put into practice the tenets of such affiliations or risk being mocked.

Not only do we need to clearly define what Malaysian democracy looks like, we also need to get it right.

The Sun Daily posted on 23 September 2014 - 08:34pm
Defining our democracy and getting it right
By Natalie Shobana Ambrose
As well as her role of Senior Analyst with ISIS (*), Natalie is also a columnist with the Sun, a Malaysian daily, and has published regularly under her fortnightly column On Pointe which highlights social concerns and issues of social injustice.
(*)
The Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia

(note 2)
...The economy of the 1% is destroying the planet, flooding our homes, and wrecking our communities...
http://floodwallstreet.net/


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2014年09月21日

Book First/First Book

Our columnist shares her passion for putting books into as many young hands as she can connect with.

I HAVE a rather peculiar habit, a fetish of sorts that my husband initially viewed as a disorder: I love to buy books and give them away to the kids who come to my reading session every week.

If a child says he does not know what to read, I will go get him a book or two right away. The thought of thrilling a young soul with books is exciting and gratifying. And if I know a kid hardly gets to go to the library because her parents are way too busy to think of reading as a priority, I will go on her behalf and return with enough books to last her at least a week. (Since libraries limit the number of books you can borrow, though, I inevitably end up visiting more than one library.)

I remember visiting two libraries earlier this year before leaving for a holiday. I took with me two empty bags and returned with three filled with books four hours later. As soon as I got home, the books were divvied up among different kids to enjoy during their holidays. Minutes later, parents arrived to pick them up, their faces showing gratitude and their hands holding a bag of fruits or desserts.

I do not do this for the gifts, though. I do it simply because I want kids to read.

Kyle Zimmer, a former corporate lawyer and now president of First Book, a Washington DC-based organisation that helps disadvantaged children get their first book, once said this: “You give books to children and good things happen.” The words, so succinct and plainly simple, moved me to tears, as I wished someone had given me books when I was a poor child...

The Star published: Sunday September 21, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Making more readers
by Abby Wong, who is travelling back to Kuala Lumpur with her son this week; with money they have saved for the last 10 weeks, they are on a mission to buy more books for her old secondary school.

When was First Book founded?
First Book President, Kyle Zimmer, founded First Book with 2 friends in 1992 to create an organization dedicated to providing new books to children in need. In that first year, First Book distributed 12,000 books in three communities – we are now proud to deliver more than 35,000 new books on average per day.

Putting new books in the hands of the children who need them most
42% of children in the United States − more than 30 million − live in low-income households. Most of these children have no age-appropriate books at home, and the classrooms and programs they attend are woefully under-resourced. Approximately two-thirds of these schools and programs cannot afford to buy books at retail prices.

That’s where we come in
A recognized leader in social enterprise, First Book has pioneered groundbreaking channels to provide new books and educational resources at deeply reduced prices − and for free − to schools and programs serving children in need.

We provide teachers and program administrators with greater purchasing power and access to high-quality books that otherwise would not be available to them. Through First Book, educators can create enriched learning experiences for their students, and the children can enjoy an ongoing supply of wonderful new books.

http://www.firstbook.org/first-book-story/our-impact

LAST week, on Westminster bridge in the heart of London, I was reminded of Wordsworth on a bright morning at summer’s end in 1802. He later wrote: “This City now doth, like a garment, wear/The beauty of the morning; silent, bare” of Westminster that was now in a tumult of frenzied cars and haughty cyclists and buses blazing red, haunted looks of passengers looking out from dusty windows. “Dear God,” Wordsworth wrote, “the very houses seem asleep;/And all that mighty heart is lying still!”...

Have you noticed the look of a newscaster, the voice coming out from your radio, checked if your clothes matched, looked out of the window to see if it was a nice day or a dreary day? asks Ribeiro (note 1). If you have, then how can you deny beauty?

Our memory of beauty and order and our experience of it wherever we are are life's essentials. Let us teach that to all our children at school. Let them read literature and words of poetry and note the rhythm of our action and the pauses and the nuances of our words, the resonance of speech and the beauty of not saying anything at all. What has logic got to do with all that? Note then that there are areas of our life that are not touched by logic at all.That is the truth discovered by Plato and by Aristotle, the note that still rings true to all of us rich and poor. We have to teach that to everyone, administrators, planners and shopkeepers. Let us teach that in schools.

New Straits Times published: 21 September 2014 8:08 AM
Beauty in words immeasurable, but real
By Wan A Hulaimi (note 2)


(note 1)
Anna Christina Ribeiro is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Texas Tech University. She is currently on leave as this year’s Philip L. Quinn fellow at the National Humanities Center, where she is working on a book that has gone through various titles, the latest iteration of which is Stealing the Strings of Sappho: Essays in the Philosophy of Poetry.

Stop and think for a moment about the things you have done and said, and the thoughts you have had today...

"Aesthetics' Philosophical Importance" by Anna Christina Ribeiro
http://www.aestheticsforbirds.com/2014/03/the-philosophical-importance-of_22.html

Welcome to my web page. I am an associate professor of philosophy at Texas Tech University, where I have been since earning my Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in 2006. I specialize in aesthetics and the philosophy of art.

I have been working on a comprehensive philosophical theory of poetry for several years now, drawing on cognitive and evolutionary psychology, pragmatics and metrical phonology in linguistics, and work in disciplines such as classics, anthropology and archaeology on oral literary traditions ancient and contemporary. The resulting book, tentatively entitled Stealing the Strings of Sappho: Essays in the Philosophy of Poetry, is nearly complete. My work on it has been funded by two fellowships, one from the Mellon and Woodrow Wilson Foundation and one from the National Humanities Center...

https://sites.google.com/site/annachristinaribeiro/

(note 2)
For Hulaimi, “it all began with a blog. It ran for three years before a publisher in Singapore approached me to compile it all into a book. I didn’t take him seriously, he was a man of few words.”

Within a month, the compilation of "Growing Up In Trengganu" was completed.

“It was easy, really. When the publisher came back and requested I shorten it slightly, that was also easy.

“I wrote it for my children. I wanted them to know where I came from, a place they don’t know.”

After he and his wife Zaharah Othman were posted to London in 1979 by the New Straits Times to open a branch there, they never returned to Malaysia.

“We’ve been living in London for 28 years and all our four children were born and raised there, you see.”

A father of two boys and two girls, Hulaimi sees his book as, “a letter to my children.” ...

"Growing Up In Trengganu", some would say, is a travelogue.

It is a collection of tales on growing up in a Malaysian village, of small town charm and a sense of pride at being part of it.

While Hulaimi looks back nostalgically at Trengganu, one wonders if he wishes it had remained unchanged through the years?

“Yes, I do,” he admitted.

Isn’t development necessary for a community’s economic growth?

“I agree but development without wisdom is futile. Mindless development is what gets me. For instance, a hotel that blocks the view of the sea or development that does not please the community but merely tourists. What is the point in that?”...

New Straits Times published: Thursday December 27, 2007
Memories of Trengganu
By SU AZIZ


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2014年09月20日

China and Korea

Abe is proud of his “globe diplomacy”, expanding diplomatic activities beyond traditional bilateral diplomacy with neighbouring countries. He has visited as many as 49 nations, including Malaysia last year, and recently Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. But Japan’s relations with its closest neighbours, China and Korea, have remained quite confrontational over territorial and historical issues.

With his revisionist faith over modern wartime history and wish to revise Japan’s pacifist postwar constitution, Abe repeatedly visited the controversial Yasukuni shrine, which honours war criminals, despite intense protests from China and Korea.

So far, Abe has indicated his hope for a summit meeting with Chinese and Korean top leaders “to discuss challenges”, but he has shown little sign of reconciliation or concession in his viewpoints. He appointed a few China-friendly officials last week in cabinet and his party, but he has more conservative revisionists, too, including two of the five female ministers.

Abe has an abundance of other issues to tackle in the long term, such as Japan’s graying population, and consequent labour shortage, as well as Japan’s defence and security in a changing geopolitical landscape.

It will take time to see how effectively the new cabinet can perform, while Abe aims to be reelected a year from now to continue as the head of his party and premier.

New Straits Times published: 20 September 2014 8:06 AM
Abe bets on new cabinet for a fresh start
By Mutsuko Murakami, a Tokyo-based journalist

THE 17th Asian Games taking place over the next fortnight in Incheon, South Korea seems a friendly affair if the official slogan for the meet, “Diversity Shines Here”, is anything to go by. While South Korea is seeking to extend its dominance over Japan on the final standings, Japanese officials have admitted that making ground on the final medal tally against South Korea, which has pipped Japan for second behind China, at the last four Games is their top priority...

Yet, a July 2013 Pew Survey is instructive. Around 80 per cent of populations from Southeast Asian countries that suffered at Japanese hands during World War 2 such as Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Australia viewed Abe’s Japan favourably...

In contrast, 77 per cent of surveyed populations in South Korea joined the 90 per cent of Chinese surveyed who viewed Japan unfavourably.

The point is that the region clearly wants to move on from the past as the great challenge now and in the future is how best to coax or else coerce China into becoming a satisfied, constructive and non-threatening great power in the region.

A confident Japan has to play an essential role in this project. As a result, many capitals and their populations will grow increasingly tired of countries focusing on past grievances, driving wedges between what ought to be strategic allies and partners which is to China's advantage.

This brings us back to the Asian Games in Incheon which is South Korea’s chance to show-off to the region. As a political-economy and society, South Korea like Japan is a superb illustration of what we hope China will look like in the decades ahead. But to be a leader in what many are predicting as the Asian Century, it needs to find a way to forgive past slights, secure common interests and look to the future.

New Straits Times published: 20 September 2014 8:07 AM
Healing old wounds and moving on
By Dr. John Lee, Adjunct Prof at the Univ of Sydney

Back to the Asian Games in Incheon...

BADGES handed out by Japanese competitors at the Asian Games in South Korea revived antagonism yesterday over their country’s harsh colonial rule of its neighbour.

The organising committee of the event in Incheon sent a protest letter to the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) over the badges which appear to show Japan’s wartime rising sun flag.

The flag is seen by many Koreans as a symbol of Japanese cruelty during the occupation up to 1945. The flag was changed after World War II.

Japanese hockey players training at a high school in Incheon handed out the badges as souvenirs to about 20 schoolgirls.

The triangle-shaped badges bear the initials of the Japan Hockey Association and its controversial logo.

Angry teachers at the school reported the case to the Asian Games organising committee demanding action, a school official said...

The JOC insisted the badge has no connection to Japan’s militarist past.

“The badge represents the sun’s rays shining − a positive image,” JOC international relations director Yasuhiro Nakamori said.

“It has no connection to any Japanese nationalistic emblem or Japan’s militaristic past. The JHA is affiliated to the Japan Sports Association and they have used the emblem for more than 100 years,” he said.

Last year, some Japanese football fans came under fire in South Korea after they waved the rising sun flag while cheering their national team during the East Asian Cup in Seoul.

Relations between Tokyo and Seoul are at a low ebb over disputes related to Japan’s colonial rule.

South Korea feels Japan has not done enough to express remorse for colonial abuses or to compensate victims.

New Straits Times published: 20 September 2014 8:03 AM
Protest over Japan wartime flag

Evil leaders want the following:

THEY want to change society radically;

THEY use ideology, race, religion and language;

THEY have obsequious circles of followers;

THERE is disdain of law and order, but they create their own codes and “laws”;

THEY do not respect others;

THEY are racists, bigoted, extremists or simply sick;

THEY have psychological problems and may be misogynic;

THEY suffer miseducation and are ignorant in significant ways;

THEY can be myopic or with megalomaniac ambitions; and

THEY do not really accept divine teachings.

...Society has a responsibility towards the successive generations to sensitise them to the realities of various kinds of leaders, including good as well as toxic and evil leaders.

New Straits Times published: 19 September 2014 8:05 AM
Tyranny of the lesser leaders
By Datuk Dr Ibrahim Ahmad Bajunid, deputy vice-chancellor of INTI Laureate Int'l Univ



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2014年09月19日

Negaraku

Not that our nostalgia for the past is blinding, or that we would deny that there was, even then, the traces of sectarianism that was budding in our midst. But one cannot help but look back to that past and ask how and why the nation we grew up in has changed so much in so short a space of time.

My memories of childhood include the recurring memory of the evenings on the swing in our garden in the house in Ampang, where I would look at the sea of stars in the sky at night (in those days you could actually see stars in the sky at night as KL was not so lighted), and listening to her talking about the past; about the Japanese invasion, about the colonial era when she had to sing “God Save The King”, and the story of how she cried when she sang “Negaraku” for the first time in 1957.

That a song could elicit tears was a novel idea for me, for it was the same song being drummed into us at school at St John’s on a daily basis. But two decades on as I braved the hostile winters of London, Paris, Leiden and Berlin that memory returned to me again and again. Like a novel that one returns to years after reading it the first time, upon a second reading new meanings are suddenly laid bare. Could it be that I was, after all, a patriot?

...I simply wish to remind all of us, Malaysians of the same national family, that we are all citizens of the same nation − negaraku. Our nation has to come to terms with the fact that we are a complex family, with many different viewpoints.

Unity and homogeneity are not the same thing, and in our desire to see a united nation let us accept the fact that we have to also accept our differences. This simple recognition of the inherent plurality and diversity is a fundamental fact of life, and cannot be overcome by a flattening of Malaysian society into a singular, homogenous Malaysian subjectivity. Nor can it ever succeed for no nation has prospered under such conditions. Our greatest asset, in my opinion, is precisely that diversity that prepares us for the complex world beyond our shores, making us global citizens even without the benefit of travelling.

Tonight I watched a video of tens of thousands of Malaysians singing “Negaraku”. Once again, I returned to the anthem of my youth, and found a new meaning to it. It taught me that despite our differences, we all love this country that is our home.

When Malaysians sang “Negaraku” together tonight, it was not because they felt that theirs was a superior country. It was not sung in the spirit of jingoism or bellicosity. It was sung out of a simple, sincere love for a nation that we call home, for we have no other. I have lived abroad for 27 years of my life, but tonight from the confines of my study in my academic’s flat in NTU, I was brought home for a while. I was brought back to that Malaysia that was born in the midst of a Cold War, in the midst of uncertainly and existential angst, and a Malaysia that was saved only because Malaysians loved it so.

Yes, we differ; and we defend the right to differ. Yes, we are diverse and we cannot help being so. Malaysia is big enough for 30 million hearts to share. For we are, above all, Malaysians and whatever our ideological, ethnic and religious differences may be, there can be only one home for all of us: Negaraku.


The Malaysian Insider published: 9 May 2013
Negaraku
by Farish A. Noor

Mr Yahho thinks today also about the deep thought of Farish A. Noor who told us almost one month ago his comment as follows:

OVER the past few weeks, the chorus of disapproval against the radical Islamic State (IS) movement in Syria and Iraq has grown, with important leaders from all across the Muslim world chipping in: Indonesia’s Minister for Religious Affairs Lukman Saifuddin was one of the first to denounce the movement as being un-Islamic, which was a theme later taken up by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono himself, and then by the influential Majlis Ulama Indonesia that likewise condemned IS’s wanton acts of brutal violence as beyond the pale of Islam.

In the Arab world, prominent scholars, including the mufti of Saudi Arabia, have voiced their concern about the growth of the movement and the negative effects it has had, radicalising Muslims and besmirching the image of Islam.

These condemnations are righteous and to the point, and they ought to be repeated time and again in order to underscore the strong disapproval among the majority in the Muslim community who reject the ways of IS and see it as an outrage against the norms of Muslim religiosity.

But the condemnation cannot simply stop there, without addressing the equally pressing need for objective analysis...

The Muslim world today is in a state of crisis, with political upheavals across the Arab world, North Africa, South Asia and parts of Southeast Asia, too. It is in these societies that an entire generation of young men − angry, tired, cynical and void of hope − feel that they have nothing left to lose by giving their lives to one last brutal fight to the finish.

The same can be said for the hundreds of Muslim migrants from Europe and other developed countries who have likewise come to regard themselves as pariahs in their adopted countries: unloved, unwanted and with no hope for the future.

There is frankly no point telling angry, unemployed and unemployable people to be calm and patient with their lot, when they can see all around them other actors in society moving up the social ladder while they stagnate and rot.

In this global age where our communications infrastructure provides us with constant stories of economic success and social capital being gained by others, to fall by the wayside and find oneself in a country with no future is harrowing indeed.

So while it is vital for Muslim leaders − notably religious scholars and statesmen − to stand up to IS and to denounce their excesses as un-Islamic, it is also vital to address the very real socio-economic inequalities that exist in many parts of the developing world, and among minority groups that have not been able to fully integrate into their host societies and economies.

Religious extremism has a political-economy of its own, and like more mundane but equally dangerous instances of urban crime and lawlessness, it is the net result of uneven power and economic differentials that create that vast pool of angry men in the first place.


New Straits Times published: 25 August 2014 8:05 AM
Radicalism’s pool of support
By FARISH A. NOOR

Words as Radicalism, Extremist, Separatist, Terrorist are flying over and over nowadays and Mr Yahho is thinking that the meaning is also becoming unclear like flying in the foggy sky.

BEIRUT – From Washington and Paris to Tehran and Damascus, it seems everyone agrees on the growing need to fight “terrorism.” What exactly the word means is another matter entirely.

For the United States and its partners in the West, there is no doubt the Islamic State militants who have seized swaths of Iraq and Syria count as terrorists.

For Syria’s President Bashar Assad, the “terrorists” are all the opponents of his government − armed and unarmed. They, in turn, have branded his regime a “terrorist state.” (note 1)

Secessionists in eastern Ukraine, separatists in China’s restive Xinjiang region, student protesters in Venezuela − the terrorist label has been applied to them all.

Two centuries after the term first appeared and more than a decade after the Sept. 11 attacks, however, a clear definition of a “terrorist” remains elusive.

“The term ‘terrorist’ has expanded to the point that it just means ‘my enemy,’ ” said Marc Sageman (note 2), an ex-CIA agent, psychiatrist and author. “So we see things from our own perspective. If one of us, ‘freedom fighter’; if one of them, ‘terrorist.’ “


Who are the 'terrorists' the world needs to fight?
The Star published on Wednesday 17 September 2014


(note 1)
President Bashar al-Assad gave an interview to Agence France Presse. Following is the full text of the interview:

Mr. President, what do you expect from the Geneva conference?

President Assad: The most basic element, which we continuously refer to, is that the Geneva Conference should produce clear results with regard to the fight against terrorism in Syria. In particular, it needs to put pressure on countries that are exporting terrorism, – by sending terrorists, money and weapons to terrorist organisations, – especially Saudi Arabia and Turkey, and of course the Western countries that provide political cover for these terrorist organisations...

Bashar al-Assad Interview: The Fight against Terrorists in Syria

President Bashar al-Assad’s interview with Agence France Presse

Global Research published January 21, 2014

(note 2)
* "Understanding Terror Networks" (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004)
* "Leaderless Jihad, Terror Networks in the Twenty-First Century" (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008)

After graduating from Harvard, he obtained an M.D. and a Ph.D. in sociology from New York University. After a tour as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Navy, he joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1984. He spent a year on the Afghan Task Force then went to Islamabad from 1987 to 1989, where he ran the U.S. unilateral programs with the Afghan Mujahedin, and New Delhi from 1989–91. In 1991, he resigned from the agency to return to medicine. He completed a residency in psychiatry at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Since 1994, he has been in the private practice of forensic and clinical psychiatry and has had the opportunity to evaluate about 500 murderers.


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2014年09月18日

Iraqi child born in 2000

NOW that the international campaign against the radical group Islamic State (IS, formerly known as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) is under way, there is much talk of military strategy and the methods that may be contemplated and used against the group to contain its advance across the Arab world. While many governments in the region and beyond have come to see IS as an existential threat to their own states and governments, there seems to be less consensus as to what to do and what kind of military pressure ought to be asserted upon it. There has been talk of the use of airstrikes, drones, high-technology weapons and the like to prevent the movement from solidifying into a semblance of an armed force akin to an army, but this approach takes IS to be a military threat, primarily.

The problem with such an approach is that it does not take into account the political economy of radical movements, and how they often thrive and grow in states of crisis and violence in the first place...for thousands of Iraqis, violence has become a commonplace and routine part of their daily reality for more than a decade. We need to understand that an Iraqi child born in 2000 would have, by now, experienced violence on a regular basis for almost 1½ decades. These are children who have lived in war zones and for whom the spectacle of shootings, bombings, suicide attacks and indiscriminate violence have become normal, daily occurrences, and for whom violence is the new norm. Under such circumstances, it is not difficult to understand how and why so many young people who live in those parts of the world view militancy as a run-of-the-mill alternative to their lives that are already bereft of hope and prospects for the future...

What these countries need is not only peace, but in real terms − they need teachers, social workers, doctors and other assorted human resources to restore to them a sense of normality that has been denied for so long. Failure to address these concerns may simply lead us to another military campaign that may succeed on the battlefield, but fail in the hearts and minds of the people themselves.


New Straits Times published: 15 September 2014 8:09 AM
Normality comes before moderation
Comment By Farish Noor, Senior Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of Int'l Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Penang-born Farish, 42, is a mildly prolific writer and a wildly prolific traveller. We first “met” in 2003 when he was based in Berlin and I e-mailed him some questions upon publication of a collection of his writings entitled The Other Malaysia – which grew from a malaysiakini.com column into a published book, to a website (othermalaysia.org) and, finally, a series of lectures!

Farish comes from quite the cosmopolitan family as he has Jawi-Peranakan (ie, Javanese and Eurasian-hybrid) and Indian and Arab blood. His mother, Noraishah Che Teh, was the first woman announcer to appear on RTM TV in the 1960s, while his father, Ahmad Noor, worked for Radio Malaysia. Farish and his younger brother studied mainly at St John’s Primary and Secondary school before Farish went off to Britain via a four-year detour in Sabah.

Indeed, Farish is said to be something of a “rock star” within Malaysia’s intellectual community – and the man makes no effort to deny it!

“I suppose it takes time to get to know me, as I still don’t really know myself, and I’m learning more all the time.

“The only thing that matters to me now is to remain on that path of honest discovery and to be truthful with myself.

“I’m not interested in politics even though it’s the subject of my research and teaching. I’m not impressed by wealth. I don’t have a television and have not watched anything on one for two decades now. I hate technology invented after 1945 and I still post letters that I write by hand.

“I suppose that makes me a historical object. Like an artifact. Or maybe a fossil.”

So there you have it, Farish Ahmad Noor, in his own words.


The Star published: Sunday February 21, 2010 MYT 12:32:00 PM
The rock star professor
by Martin Vengadesan

As Farish Noor is telling us with his sincere concerns about the current circumstance of the children in the war zone, Mr Yahho wants to give them a happy childhood, plenty of hope and future with big and smiling faces just like the youth in Malaysia:

PETALING JAYA: Music, sports and books are the unifying theme that helped the younger generation of various races form a good friendship with one another, said cartoonist Datuk Mohammad Nor Khalid, who is better known as Lat.

Growing up as a kampung (village) boy, he said no one told him to mingle with the other races but it was done of his own accord.

“We were free before and we felt that music, sports and the books, like literature that we read, made us bond with one another,” he told a press conference after attending the closing ceremony of the #SaySomethingNice 2014 campaign yesterday.

Lat said every generation in this country had faced various challenges but it could be overcome if the people remained united.

Fostering unity was akin to teaching a young child to draw, he said.

“If we don’t give them the freedom, then they will feel restricted. When I was young, I disliked those who commented about my cartoons or asked me to do corrections because I have my own style.

“Similarly, we must be gentle so we can build a better relationship with one another,” said Lat, who is known for his depiction of Malaysian life through his drawings about the kampung boy.

Lat said the world now was not as simple as it was then and despite the advancement of technology, people seemed to be more apart.

There were many barriers and distractions that made it harder for Malaysians and their children to understand one another better, he said.

“This is a crucial element in maintaining and improving the unity in diversity that we enjoy in Malaysia,” he added.


The Star published: Wednesday September 17, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
‘Music, sports and books united us’
by Hemananthani Sivanandam



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2014年09月17日

US strikes IS

Mr Obama, I am just an ordinary citizen of the world. I am now 60 and in my life I have witnessed violence and terrorism increasing over the years. I am beginning to see it is going to escalate beyond control.

Instead of reacting to the Islamic State (IS), why not reflect on why IS exists. If you react, I have no doubt the reaction by these kind of people would be worse than now. If you reflect, you may get to the solution.

Reflect on why there is so much aggression among people who call themselves Muslims. Reflect on why many so-called Muslim men and women “hate” the US and are willing to sacrifice their lives to get acknowledged.

Reflect on why the aggression began to increase when the issue of Israel taking over lands belonging to Palestine was never resolved. Reflect on the grave mistake the US and its allies made in invading Iraq to find weapons of mass destruction. Reflect on the bigger mess you have left behind. Reflect on why Libyans have not seen peace after the death of Muammar Gaddafi. Reflect on what is happening in Syria. Reflect on why the Taliban are all out to destroy Pakistan...

Reflect on why the geo-politics of the world was fairly quiet before 1948.​ If you truly reflect, I think you will find the answer. Please do not take the rash decision to bomb North Iraq to get rid of IS. IS exists because of you and the presidents before you.


Open letter to President Obama by Dr N.H.O., Kubang Kerian, Kelantan
New Straits Times published: 17 September 2014 8:06 AM

WASHINGTON: The Defence Department says the U.S. military today pressed its expanded campaign against Islamic State militants with five airstrikes across Iraq...

The strikes are part of the new broader military mission in Iraq authorized by President Barack Obama that began Monday. Under the new mission, U.S. forces are going after Islamic State militants wherever they are. Previously, the strikes were limited to protecting U.S. interests and personnel, assisting Iraqi refugees and securing critical infrastructure in Iraq.


US airstrikes against Islamic State
New Straits Times published: 17 September 2014 9:48 AM

CodePink (note) anti-war activists interrupting a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing with Defence Secretary, Chuck Hagel and Army General, Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in Washington yesterday.

The placard carried by CodePink has had a message: "MORE WAR = MORE EXTREMISM".

The series of hearings will measure congressional support for President Barack Obama's strategy to combat Islamic State extremists in Iraq ans Syria.


US strikes IS in Iraq
New Straits Times published: Wednesday, September 17, 2014


(note)
Washington, DC: CODEPINK activists (*) will gather at the White House to protest during the President’s speech in which he will outline a proposed 3-year US military involvement in Iraq. They will hold large banners and there will be an Obama impersonator in a large bobblehead and costume.

Activists are staunchly opposed to renewed US military intervention in the region. They maintain that ISIS gained strength because the American-backed sectarian Iraqi government alienated the Sunni population of Iraq. Further involvement would be counterproductive and result in the loss of even more lives.

“We can be a part of the solution this time, not the problem, but that won’t happen with bombs. We’ve been there, done that, and it didn’t work,” said CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin. “The American people are sick of war and the Iraqi people have suffered enough from our military aggression.”

“The US is not the target of ISIS, but if we become involved, we will be,” said CODEPINK National Coordinator Alli McCracken. “We are deeply worried for the safety of the people in Iraq and Syria as ISIS gains traction across the area, but this is a crisis that needs a political solution, not a military one. We can't afford to spend more money on more wars.”

(*)
Medea Benjamin, Jodie Evans, Diane Wilson, Starhawk and about 100 other women kicked off CODEPINK on November 17, 2002. We set up for a 4-month all-day vigil in front of the White House during the cold of winter.

The vigil inspired people from all walks of life, and from all over the country, to stand for peace. Many organizations joined us, including Global Exchange, Greenpeace, WILPF, WAND, Public Citizen, NOW, Women for Women International and Neighbors for Peace and Justice. The vigil culminated on March 8, International Women's Day, when we celebrated women as global peacemakers with a week of activities, rallies and a march to encircle the White House in pink.

http://www.codepink4peace.org/


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2014年09月16日

Happy Malaysia Day

PETALING JAYA: There is no country that can compare to Malaysia in terms of harmony and peace, says a widely travelled retiree.

Pritam Singh, 84, who has visited numerous countries all over the world in the course of his work with the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), said there was no country like Malaysia.

“There is plenty of peace and harmony here. For a country with a large racial mix, we can surprisingly get on well with one another and respect the different cultures,” he said at his residence here.


The Satr published: Tuesday September 16, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Malaysians co-existing peacefully despite differences, say unity advocates

With picture by Zulazhar Sheblee
Unity in diversity: Multi-racial Malaysians gearing up to celebrate in Miri, which hosts the 51st Malaysia Day national-level celebrations today.

GEORGE TOWN: It was in 2009 that Sarawakian Brendan Lo Rick, then an undergraduate student, fell in love with “the beautiful sights and scents of Penang” while on vacation here with his closest friends.

“Before the trip, I had heard many wonderful stories about the state, like its reputation as a foodie’s heaven. I was blown away when Penang exceeded my expectations.

“I even began making plans to start my working life here after graduation,” said the 26-year-old from Kuching, who is now a mathematics and economics lecturer at SEGi College Penang.

Lo, who is also pursuing his Masters degree at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), said it was not difficult adapting to life in a different state, especially one like Penang where the people were warm and friendly.

“Although I am from Sarawak, it doesn’t feel like there’s a gap because everyone here is warm and welcoming to each other,” said Lo, who has been living here for about two years.

Sharing the same sentiment was his colleague and fellow Sarawakian from Miri, Lee Chin Ching, 31, who has been in Penang for about eight years.

The tourism management lecturer said Penang was rich in various aspects in terms of culture, heritage and food, and did not discriminate against visitors.

Third-year USM economics student Mary Voon, 23, described living in Penang as a blessing, where its friendly people made her feel at home.

“It’s not a challenge for me as a Sarawakian to be living here on my own.

“I don’t feel like an outsider because everyone is so friendly,” said Voon, who is of Chinese and Bidayuh parentage.

She was also grateful for those who fought for Malaysia and on this Malaysia Day, like all birthdays, she felt hopeful for the nation’s future.

USM sophomore Adriel Sison Churchill said he enjoyed being in Penang which was a melting pot of cultures.

“When I first came here last year, I had culture shock because I had never met so many different types of people in one place. But it was a good kind of shock,” he quipped.

Churchill, 20, a Kadazan who is studying English for Professionals, observed that peninsular Malaysia had “lots of individuality” in terms of culture, compared to Sabah.

“It is unique in that sense whereas in Sabah it’s like meeting your teman sekampung (village friends) because we’re all quite similar in terms of culture.

“Here, we are a diverse group and everyone has a sense of individuality but yet are able to mix freely.

“It’s amazing how people learn about each other’s culture here and that’s what I do too,” he said.


The Star published: Tuesday September 16, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
How Sarawakians fell in love with Penang
by Cavina Lim

Her dream of studying abroad to experience a different culture came true for Japanese student Ayumi Koike, 20, when she was offered a month-long internship in Penang.

“I truly enjoyed the stay and the experience of the Malaysian culture which I’ve heard of a lot before.

“I also liked the food prepared by the locals, which cannot be found elsewhere,” said Ayumi, who completed her internship at Globetronics Technology Bhd last week.

Itsuke Ueda, 21, who was attached to United BC Team Sdn Bhd during his internship, said he enjoyed travelling from Penang to Langkawi and Ipoh using the public transport during his off-days.

“It was challenging at first as I could not understand some of the signboards. The language barrier was also a stumbling block,” he said.

Ayumi and Itsuke were among four Japanese students from the Asia University Junior College in Tokyo who were in Penang.

The others were Hitomi Saito, 20, and Narumi Ijima, 21. Both completed their internship at Jabil Circuit Sdn Bhd.

The college’s International Relations faculty professor Takao Arai said that the programme was under the Education Ministry.

“This is our first time embarking on such a programme. We have four students in Penang from a total of 20 spread around the world. Some of them are in China, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea,” he said during their farewell ceremony at Penang Skills Development Centre in Bayan Lepas.


The Star published: Monday September 15, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Dream come true for Japanese student Ayumi



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2014年09月15日

Penang Starwalk gathering

Islamabad (AFP) - Talks to end a month long sit-in by anti-government protesters in Pakistan were deadlocked Saturday after authorities arrested dozens of demonstrators, some of whom were accused of storming a TV station.

Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and populist cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri have gathered thousands of supporters in Islamabad since August 14 calling on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to resign over what they claim was massive rigging of the 2013 election...

"We will not end our protest until Nawaz Sharif resigns," he added.

Hundreds of protesters briefly seized the state broadcaster on September 1 intensifying a political crisis that had already gripped the nuclear-armed nation.

Meanwhile thousands have gathered for the last month inside Islamabad's government zone, sparking frequent clashes with the police.


The Star published: Monday September 15, 2014
Pakistan protest talks deadlocked after arrests

Edinburgh (AFP) - Thousands of members of the Protestant Orange order marched through Edinburgh on Saturday in a show of strength against Scottish independence, as the final weekend of campaigning for the referendum got underway with everything to play for.

Up to 15,000 supporters of retaining the United Kingdom were expected to join the march, which has sparked fears of clashes with nationalists as tensions rise ahead of Thursday's vote.

"We are proud to be part of Great Britain. We are passionate about the union. We are here to galvanise the 'No' vote," Henry Dunbar, Grand Master of the order's Grand Lodge of Scotland, told a rally in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle.

Across Scotland campaigners from both sides were pounding the streets, after a week that saw the unionists step up their efforts following a surge in support for independence that now puts the two camps neck and neck.


New Straits Times published: Monday September 15, 2014
15,000 march for UK as vote nears

In Penang, also...

GEORGE TOWN: More than 20,000 people turned up for the Penang Starwalk, with many attired in the colours of the Jalur Gemilang to mark Malaysia Day (*).

Hotel housekeeper Zamduka Mat Kamis and three family members wore their custom-made costumes with the occasion in mind.

“We want to show our love for the nation as Malaysia Day is on Tuesday.

“This is the best platform to spread patriotism as the walk involves people of all races. We are 1Malaysia,” said the 37-year-old participant, who came with wife Rozita Rahim, 30, son Muhd Akif, four, and year-old daughter Balqis Zulaikha.

They came to enjoy the morning breeze and be part of the biggest recreational event that was flagged off by Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas at the Penang Times Square at 7am yesterday.


The Star published: Monday September 15, 2014
More than 20,000 turn up for walk
http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2014/09/15/More-than-20000-turn-up-for-walk/

(*)
More than 20,000 people braved the morning breeze to be part of the 37th edition of the Penang Starwalk.

Happiness and joy were written all over their faces...

Many of them took selfies as they cruised past heritage buildings along the route including the recently refurbished The Star Pitt St. in Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling...

The Penang Starwalk 2014 is jointly organised by Star Publications (M) Bhd and the Penang Amateur Athletic Association...

Article from the Star News, Nation


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2014年09月13日

dengue fever

THE number of dengue cases in Penang (note 1) has increased by 870 (163.8%) between Jan 1 and Sept 6 this year compared with that in the same period last year.

State Agriculture and Agro-based Industry, Rural Development and Health Committee chairman Dr Afif Bahardin said 1,401 cases were reported in Penang since January.

Five dengue-related deaths (note 2) had been reported this year, compared with two during the same period last year, he said in a press statement.

Dr Afif said South Jalan Perda in central Seberang Prai had been identified as an uncontrolled outbreak locality.

“Greenlane Heights in the northeast district of the island has also been reported as a dengue hotspot,” he said.

Dr Afif reminded the public to continue taking preventive measures to safeguard themselves against Aedes.

“The public can check their homes and surrounding areas to identify and destroy Aedes mosquito breeding grounds once a week, and take part in gotong- royong activities in their housing areas to clean up potential breeding grounds,” he said.

He added that larvacide could be obtained from the government health clinics.

He also urged the public to give their full cooperation to health officers conducting fogging activities around their premises (note 3).

“Consult a doctor immediately if anyone experiences dengue symptoms such as fever, body ache, vomiting, rash or loss of appetite,” he added.

The Star published: Saturday September 13, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Sharp spike in dengue cases


(note 1)

The threat of a possible outbreak of dengue fever now exists in Europe and local transmission of dengue was reported for the first time in France and Croatia in 2010 and imported cases were detected in three other European countries. In 2012, an outbreak of dengue on Madeira islands of Portugal resulted in over 2000 cases and imported cases were detected in 10 other countries in Europe apart from mainland Portugal.

In 2013, cases have occurred in Florida (United States of America) and Yunnan province of China. Dengue also continues to affect several south American countries notably Honduras, Costa Rica and Mexico. In Asia, Singapore has reported an increase in cases after a lapse of several years and outbreaks have also been reported in Laos. In 2014, trends indicate increases in the number of cases in the Cook Islands, Malaysia, Fiji and Vanuatu, with Dengue Type 3 (DEN 3) affecting the Pacific Island countries after a lapse of over 10 years.

An estimated 500 000 people with severe dengue require hospitalization each year, a large proportion of whom are children. About 2.5% of those affected die.

Dengue and severe dengue
WHO (*) Fact sheet N°117
Updated March 2014
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs117/en/

(*) WHO World Health Day

KUALA LUMPUR: Sixty-three deaths from dengue fever was recorded nationwide for the period Jan 1 to April 4 this year, says Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.
He said 26,107 cases of dengue fever were reported nationwide during the period, and if no preventive measures were taken, it could be a major threat to the community and nation.

"In this regard, in conjunction with World Health Day this year, I hope that Malaysians will be more awarene of the threat of dengue, especially the Aedes mosquito, the bearer of a dangerous disease which can kill," he said in a statement, here, today.

World Health Day is celebrated with the theme 'Small Bite, Bigh Threat' in reference to the Aedes mosquito.

The World Health Organisation has estimated that more than 2.5 billion or 40 per cent of the world's population are at risk of being infected with dengue and 50 million to 100 million dengue infections are expected each year.

"This clearly shows that dengue fever has become a major burden to the world and showing a very prolific rate of increase," it said.

New Straits Times published 08 April 2014 at 12:04AM
63 deaths due to dengue fever from Jan-April this year

(note 2)

Two years ago, my friend died due to dengue fever. At that time no one was familiar with that disease. In starting, his temperature; got out of control. He had intense pain in his body. He had a high headache. After a day, he started vomiting with blood.

Everyone was very much worried about him. His parents took him to the hospitals.

Doctor suggested him to have some blood tests. After blood tests, doctor told his parents that he was suffering from dengue fever. He was admitted into the hospital for better treatment.

His condition got worse day by day and soon he died of dengue. I took his death to my heart because I was very much attached to him. Therefore, I decided to do a research on dengue fever. And able to spread the awareness about dengue to my loved ones, so that, I do not lose any more of my loved one’s to dengue as they might take appropriate precautions to save themselves from dengue fever...

The History Of Dengue Fever Biology Essay
http://www.ukessays.com/essays/biology/the-history-of-dengue-fever-biology-essay.php

(note 3)

I AM very passionate about fighting dengue due to a number of reasons.
Being a Rotarian, we have been trying to eradicate the disease which is claiming the lives of victims living in urban areas.

My friends have died from the deadly disease. My son, too, had dengue three years ago. I am lucky that my son recovered.

Since then, I have launched an all-out fight against the mosquitoes, regardless whether they are Aedes or not.

I am a fighter, by nature. And my fighting spirit was further fuelled when MCA handed me an allocation of RM10,000 three years ago to support my drive.

I am part of the Communication for Behavioural Impact (Combi), and I have used the allocation to organise seminars in schools to create awareness on the matter. I feel it is an issue that concerns everyone because health should be everybody's primary concern...

When I raised an issue about dirty drains during one of the meetings, do you know how one official replied?

He said: "We cleaned it up but the next day residents throw rubbish into it again."

I find this reply unacceptable. The local councils hire workers to clean the drains and they are paid to do the job. Perhaps the residents need to be educated on this, but the workers still have to clean up the drains.

Johor does not want what happened in Sungai Batu Ferringhi in Penang to happen to this economically thriving state, especially in Iskandar Malaysia.

I also have relevant authorities telling me that they only collect the rubbish in an area once a week. Do you know a larva can grow into a mosquito in seven days?

I hope rubbish collection can be done twice or thrice a week.

If there is a lack of manpower, then hire more people. If there is a lack of allocation, then get more funding...

New Straits Times published: 12 February 2014 at 10:35PM
All-out fight against dengue
By Chuah Bee Kim

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2014年09月12日

demand for energy

CYBERJAYA, March 16 (Bernama) – Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad reiterated his view on not having a nuclear power plant in this country.

“You know my view about it. We do not know enough about the reaction of this material,” he told reporters when asked on his view on building the plant.

Dr Mahathir said the radiation leaking from the stricken Japanese nuclear power plant due to the tsunami after the 9.0-magnitude earthquake seemed to lend support for his concern.

“Once it is activated, it becomes radioactive. People do not know how to get rid of the waste,” he said.

He noted that during his premiership the government had decided on four fuel strategies namely oil, gas, coal, hydro, and “nuclear was not included.”

“We have bad experience already with nuclear. I don’t know whether people are aware about it or not,” he said.

Asked whether he would advise Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak not to have nuclear power plant, Dr Mahathir said, “I’m not an advisor. That is why I use my blog.”

Malaysia plans to build two nuclear power plants that will generate 1,000 megawatts each with the first plant ready for operation in 2021 and the second plant, a year later.

It was part of the overall long-term plan to balance energy supply.

Dr Mahathir was met by reporters after launching Bangunan Lestari Kumpulan EMKAY, here.

BETTER NOT TO HAVE NUCLEAR POWER PLANT, SAYS DR M
Yahoo News Malaysia – Wed, Mar 16, 2011
https://my.news.yahoo.com/better-not-nuclear-power-plant-says-dr-m-20110316-023121-875.html

THE government plans to table the Atomic Energy Regulatory Bill in Parliament later this year. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Mah Siew Keong recently urged critics of nuclear energy to keep an “open mind” on the proposal...

Nuclear energy carries inherent health, security and environmental risks. Amory Lovins, an energy expert, has called it “the greatest failure of any enterprise in the industrial history of the world”, with a litany of financial disasters, including a loss of more than US$1 trillion (RM3.1 trillion) in subsidies, abandoned projects and other public misadventures.

For the sake of open-mindedness, I would strongly urge the minister and his cohorts in Malaysia Nuclear Power Corporation (MNPC) to study the recently published World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2014. In 139 pages, it analyses the rapid changes in nuclear economics, the technology revolution in the power sector, and the impact of renewable energy on the financial viability and status of nuclear power...

Cheap nuclear energy is a myth. Misleading claims that it is cheap are often based on unverifiable bottom-line results or “justified” by analyses with hidden assumptions that are highly favourable to the nuclear industry. The total economic cost of nuclear energy is difficult to determine.

The nuclear industry is in decline worldwide. Today, only 31 countries are operating 388 nuclear reactors, compared with 438 in 2002. Several nuclear reactor projects have been indefinitely delayed or cancelled...

Germany, Sweden and the US are closing down reactors because projected income does not cover operating costs. Debt levels remain very high amongst European nuclear power companies. The two largest French groups (EDF and GDF-Suez) and the two largest German utilities (E.ON and RWE) equally share a total of more than US$173 billion in debt. Since 2008, Europe’s top 10 utilities have lost half of their US$1.4 trillion share value...

Accidents are inevitable in nuclear power plants. Between 1952 and 2009, there were 99 minor nuclear accidents worldwide, each with the potential to develop into a major disaster. Major nuclear reactor accidents are not common, but when they do occur they can be catastrophic, as in Chernobyl and Fukushima.

The meltdown of three nuclear reactors in Fukushima in March 2011 has brought Japan to its knees, reinforced worldwide fears of nuclear accidents, and highlighted the nuclear industry’s failure to prevent accidents and near misses.

The truth is that no one in the world really knows how to deal with the Fukushima accident. It is a wake-up call for all 30 countries operating nuclear power plants and for those governments still planning to build nuclear reactors, such as Malaysia. Chernobyl and Fukushima have made it clear that there is no such thing as nuclear safety or a fail-safe nuclear reactor. Human error and unpredictable events are unavoidable.

Nuclear waste remains radioactive for thousands of years, making nuclear power inherently and irredeemably hazardous. There is still no way to safely and permanently dispose of the waste. This is the most dangerous and unacceptable feature of nuclear power plants...


Comment in New Straits Times published: 27 August 2014 11:26 AM
Nuclear energy fraught with risks
By Ronald McCoy, past president of the Malaysian Medical Association and the past co-president of Int'l physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War

In parallel, the following articles are in the Daily:

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s energy reserves have declined to an alarming level and the government should seriously take this into consideration, analysts said.

One of the steps the government could take is to urgently replace the ageing power plants, failing which they could be a strain on the energy reserves within the next 48 months, they said.

It could also jeopardise the country’s vision of becoming a developed nation by 2020, analysts added.

Mercury Securities head of research unit Edmund Tham said electricity is one of the key components that drives the global manufacturing and services industries.

“A sustained energy crisis will slow down the economic engine, while a prolonged energy crisis could force investors to look elsewhere,” he said...

In 2012, the-then Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) chief executive
officer Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh said the demand for electricity had exceeded supply with some industries not getting the power they needed.

“There is a need to plan carefully for power system development,” he was reported as saying at a forum entitled “Is Nuclear Energy An Option for Malaysia”.

New Straites Times published: 22 August 2014 11:43 PM
‘Urgent need to replace ageing power plants’

THE Malaysian Nuclear Agency has outlined a more effective training plan under the 10th Malaysian Plan to increase the knowledge and skills of the workforce involved in nuclear technology.

Director-general Datuk Dr Muhamad Lebai Juri said under the new strategy to be adopted, those involved in nuclear technology would have better access to nuclear know-how, where training and education would be upgraded with standardised training programmes for a more effective outcome.

“We are planning a better training curriculum to create a bigger pool of trained manpower in nuclear technology to supplement the government’s effort to become a high income economy,” he said when launching the Radiation Safety and Health Training programme at Royale Bintang Hotel Penang recently.

“We welcome anyone who is willing to work with us through the Public Private Partnership (PPP) to improve training and knowledge in nuclear technology,” he said.

“Countries such as Germany and Finland have used the PPP concept for a long time and found it to be very effective,” he said, adding that PPP could reduce costs incurred by government agencies.

On the development of nuclear technology in the country, Dr Muhamad said 60% of the know-how was used in the medical industry with 40% in other industries, particularly the oil and gas sector...

The Star published: Thursday September 11, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
New strategy for training in nuclear technology

3 September 2014 - “ The 5th Steering Committee Meeting between Malaysian Nuclear Agency (Nuklear Malaysia) and Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) On Human Resources Development Cooperation In the Field of Nuclear Energy and Radiation ” telah diadakan selama 3 hari mulai 2 hingga 4 September 2014 di Dewan Persidangan, Aras 3, Blok 11, Agensi Nuklear Malaysia. Mesyuarat ini telah dihadiri oleh tiga orang pakar dari Jepun yang diketuai oleh Akhide Hidaka bersama Yukiko Yabuchi dan Kazuyuki Nakamara.
News and Events on the website of Malaysian Nuclear Agency
http://www.nuclearmalaysia.gov.my/

Using one page publicity of Toshiba in the Star published Wednesday 10 September 2014, Toshiba states with proud that:

Toshiba - No.1 Market Share
Nuclear Power Plants - 28% (2012)
Geothermal Power Plants - 23% (2013)
Gas Insulated Transformers - 40% (2012)

Through the years, Toshiba's techonology has become more and more innovative, its global highlights through the years include the world's largest power transformer at TEPCO Kashiwazaki Nuclear Power Plant and the Gas Insulated Transformer for the world's largest Australian trans-grid.

To date, Toshiba has an output of 181 GW of energy worldwide, commanding a significant portion of the global energy market putting it in the world's number one spot for nuclear energy and geothermal energy...

I had cause to go to a government office to submit a form, which entailed queuing up in a refrigerated waiting room until a government official in a jacket that was more suitable for the weather in Siberia than balmy, tropical Penang, deigned to attend to me.

Just when I was thinking that the icy cold air conditioning was about to lead to hypothermia, or at the very least, frostbite on my exposed toes, my queue number was flashed up on a screen indicating that I should go to counter 13...

Viewpoints in the Star published: Monday July 28, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Are you having a bad day or are you just angry all the time?
by Mary Schneider



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alcohol policies

PEOPLE from all ethnic communities contribute in their spheres of interest, influence and meaning. There are people who support their causes and there are people who diminish, dismiss or even despise their causes. Whatever the consequences of their actions, good leaders engage in the conscious raising of virtues and rights, and confront policies and practices considered unjust...

At a time when the people had no voice and consumers had no rights, the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) was speaking on their behalf. For 40 years, S.M. Mohamed Idris, president of CAP, steadfastly alerted society to the issues of the rights of fishermen in Juru, factory girls, endangered aborigines, species at risk, environment degradation, polluted rivers and seas, road safety and food poisoning in schools. Utusan Konsumer has educated millions of Malaysians on consumerism, health, rights and the environment. CAP has worked closely with Sahabat Alam Malaysia and other NGOs championing consumerism. Mohamed raised awareness on the dangers of smoking, sugar in carbonated drinks, and oppression of small and medium enterprises by middlemen. CAP has provided scores of opportunities for law and science students to learn about law and have access to scientific literature on consumerism and health. CAP has published many books that are affordable and set the standards for a good quality of life through the protection of the people’s health by prevention, rather than cure. Examine the literature of CAP and we will see that issues that were raised decades ago and denied by the authorities are now key in the formation of government policies and have become matters of public awareness.

Mohamed is a role model, being a humble, outspoken and committed leader, a person of integrity devoted to a cause, altruistically. He did not expect anything from the authorities, except for them to formulate policies, take action to protect the people and uphold the people’s rights.

Comment in New Straits Times published: 12 September 2014 8:07 AM
Making a difference in lives and society
By Datuk Dr Ibrahim Ahmad Bajunid, deputy vice-chancellor of INTI Laureate International University

THE sale of cheap alcohol must be controlled because it contributes to many social problems, reported Malaysia Nanban.

The drinks are packaged in small bottles at low prices, making it very easy for people to buy, said Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) president S.M. Mohd Idris at a press conference in Penang.

He claimed that even children as young as 12 had become addicted to cheap alcohol. Mohd Idris said previously Indians were the ones drinking cheap alcohol, but now it was being consumed by other races and foreign workers as well.

He called on the Government to stop issuing licences for liquor shops in “Little India” areas and ban the sale of liquor on weekends.


The Star published: Thursday September 11, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Control sale of cheap alcohol, Govt urged

KOVALAM: British tourist John Packer flew out to the tropical beaches of Kerala for a leisurely six-month break, but news of an imminent alcohol ban across the southern Indian state has made him rethink his destination.

“It won’t cut it for me,” said the 41-year-old tiler, drinking a beer at one of the laid-back seafront restaurants in the resort town of Kovalam.

“When I come away I want a nice few beers to enjoy myself. I’ve worked hard for it,” he said.

With its sweeping coastline, riverboats and emerald tea plantations, Kerala has become a leading tourist draw in India, promoting itself as “God’s Own Country”.

But behind the paradisiacal slogan, the state has a damaging drinking problem among its 34 million population, leading the government to opt abruptly for near complete prohibition – alarming the tourism industry.

As of Friday, more than 700 Keralan bars will lose their licences. Only five-star hotels will be allowed to keep serving booze and even they will have go dry on Sundays.

Government-run liquor stores, where men queue up for their daily fix, will be phased out at a rate of 10% a year for the next decade, leaving a big hole in the state coffers after alcohol taxes and fees generated more than US$1bil (RM3.2bil) in the 2012-2013 financial year.

“Kerala should get ready to imbibe the essence of (a) total liquor ban,” said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy last month.

Temperance activists may be happy but Suman Billa, a top civil servant in the tourism ministry, said the ban was a “major concern”.

“We take about a million international tourists every year for whom wine and beer are a part of their diet,” Billa said.

Along with holidaymakers’ spending, the state has been raking in earnings from conferences and other business events at hotels.

“There’s always a cocktail and dinner that goes along with it. So I think it would be particularly unattractive if we were to say: ‘Do come but sorry, we won’t be able to serve you any alcohol’,” Billa said.

His fears were backed by a recent survey from travel portal HolidayIQ.com, based on 5,000 Indian respondents, of whom 58% said the booze ban would affect their travel plans.

Bar owners are hoping for an 11th-hour change to the policy and have taken the matter to court, fearing tourists will start opting for other regional destinations – perhaps the beaches of nearby Goa or Sri Lanka.

However, with the government standing firm on the issue, they are only hopeful the law might be moderated somehow.

“We’ve got a lot of competition,” said G. Sudhiesh Kumar, chief executive at Hotel Sea Face in Kovalam, which has already started getting cancellations from repeat European customers.

Kumar worries that youngsters in Kerala’s crucial IT sector may start looking for work in other regions, while investors will be spooked by the sudden change to the laws.

“Who’s going to come and invest his hard-earned money here in Kerala? That is the wrong message,” Kumar said.


The Star published: Thursday September 11, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Tourists turned off as Kerala declares alcohol ban

To encourage a safe and welcoming environment in our public places there are alcohol bans in certain areas of Auckland.

These alcohol bans are a measure to reduce the negative impacts that drinking alcohol has in public places in a particular area.

They also provide the police with an appropriate tool for dealing with the antisocial behaviour caused by drinking alcohol.

Although alcohol can form a positive aspect of the enjoyment of our parks, beaches and other public spaces, we need to balance this with keeping our communities safe and helping create the world's most liveable city.


Alcohol bans in Auckland, New Zealand
http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/licencesregulations/alcohol/drinkresponsibly/Pages/alcoholbans.aspx



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posted by fom_club at 12:51| Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2014年09月11日

cheap liquor

CONSUMERS Association of Penang (CAP) has urged the authorities to stop the sale of cheap liquor with high alcohol content which has become a menace.

Its president S.M. Mohamed Idris said cheap liquor contained 20% to 42% of alcohol and a 150ml bottle was being sold at a minimum price of RM2.

“The Government should at least impose a minimum requirement of a 1 litre bottle at RM15, which would discourage a drinker from continuing the habit,” he said in a press conference at the CAP office on Tuesday.

Mohamed Idris said that the low price, small bottle, high alcohol content and easy availability made cheap liquor popular.

“It has become the favourite alcoholic drink, particularly for foreign workers from India, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Indonesia.

“There is also a trend of drinking cheap liquor by mixing it with other soft drinks to conceal the smell of liquor,” he said.

Mohamed Idris also said that some shops selling cheap liquor were open as early as 6am, which made it convenient for the drinkers to come early and have their drinks.

“Such shops should have their licences revoked immediately and the shop owner be penalised,” he said.

The Government, he said, should ban sundry shops, supermarkets and medicine shops from selling cheap liquor or halt the issuance of new licences.

He said the Singapore government did not allow the sale of alcohol on weekends and had also banned alcohol consumption in public (*).

CAP further recommended that shops selling cheap liquor should not be allowed to operate after 5pm in the country.

This is because long hours would make a drinker spend his time drinking in the shop.

The Star published: Thursday September 11, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
‘Ban cheap booze’ Impose sale restrictions or halt issuance of new licences, says consumer group

During 2 months, Mr Yahho has been stopping taking his favourite drink, juice, before the dinner and he did go cap in hand to CAP after reading today's newspaper as above.


(*)
SINGAPORE − The authorities are considering designating some public places as “no-alcohol zones” and shortening the sale hours of alcohol at retail outlets, to address a growing problem in the heartlands − the congregation of inebriated youths or foreign workers at common areas like void decks and parks, as well as places near pubs.

These proposals were announced yesterday by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in a press release, as it began a five-week public consultation to tackle the problems of alcohol intoxication and public drinking in the long term. In particular, it is seeking to “reduce public nuisance and mitigate law and order concerns arising from liquor consumption” by groups at public places.

Noting that intoxicated drinkers “act violently, or create public nuisance such as littering and vomiting”, the MHA singled out the availability of cheap liquor at shops in the vicinity as contributing significantly to the problem. “For instance, young revellers are often seen congregating at public entertainment belts and drinking liquor purchased more cheaply from retail outlets, enjoying the atmosphere and attempting to achieve a level of intoxication before entering entertainment outlets,” it said.

The MHA is proposing designating some common areas − including void decks, parks, playgrounds and areas around MRT stations − as “permanent no-alcohol zones” where people are not allowed to consume or carry open bottles of liquor. This approach has been taken in jurisdictions such as Australia, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. In Sydney, for instance, local police officers have the power to confiscate and dispose of alcohol without first warning those in possession of the alcohol.

Places like void decks and parks may be declared no-liquor zones to protect public
By Amanda Lee & Tiara Hamarian
Today published: 4:02 AM, November 26, 2013

Comment by Shanthan Selvakumar, Michigan (November 25, 2013 at 9:54pm)

Alcohol driven disorderliness, whether from locals or foreigners, in private establishments or in public, is a big no - no !

But is this knee jerk reaction to issues which maybe more systemic.

Are we bringing in too many foreign workers? Is there education on responsible drinking? Are the stresses of daily life so great in Singapore that people are driven to alcohol at even an early age to unwind? Are designated nightspots in Singapore only affordable to foreigners and high income earners and if so , where do lesser income earners unwind or is that only a privilege for the wealthy?

What are the records and studies conducted to show proof of escalating alcohol driven disorderliness which has given rise to this discussion?

Are we addressing the symptoms of systemic issues within our society here or should we be addressing root causes?

I am grateful that there are discussions nowadays as there is much to ponder before making a decision which impacts the civil liberties of responsible Singaporeans.
http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/tighter-rules-alcohol-sale-drinking-offing


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2014年09月10日

Ebola

THE first time I saw Tewa was in the triage tent. She had come to the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), or Doctors Without Borders, Ebola hospital with her mother, baby sister, and several other extended family members. She sat hunched over in a plastic chair, her legs too short to reach the ground.

I gave everyone a snack while they waited and she smiled shyly at me. We admitted her because she had a fever and her father had died from Ebola. Happily, her blood test came back negative for the virus and she came out, showered and smiling and treated for malaria.

I breathed a sigh of relief and we chatted a bit in the counselling area as she proudly practised her schoolgirl English. I sent her home with her aunt and baby sister. Her mother tested positive but recovered quickly and followed them a few days later. I saw Tewa back in her village when I brought two of her family members home − survivors of Ebola. She smiled at me and went back to playing with the other children.

A week later, however, my heart dropped when I saw the patient register...

We’re all sorry.

We’re sorry that we don’t have a medicine proven safe and effective to kill the Ebola virus. We’re sorry that we don’t have a vaccine. We’re sorry that we’ve failed to stop the epidemic. We know we should be doing more but we don’t have the resources, we don’t have the capacity, we don’t have the staff.

Some days it feels like it doesn’t matter how hard we work because there aren’t enough of us. We’re fighting a forest fire with spray bottles...

Children like Tewa aren’t rare… today I saw another young girl in triage for the second time. Tomorrow I will look for her name in the patient register and I will hope that when the lab results come back, she will be negative and I can take her home once more. But even if she goes home, she will go to a village where everyone is dying. She will go to a house that has not been disinfected. She will go home, but she will not be safe.

Comment in New Straits Times published: 9 September 2014 8:11 AM
After 5 months, where’s the response?
By Ella Watson-Stryker

An American aid agency announced on Thursday that it will donate US$75 million to fund 1000 more beds in Ebola treatment centres in Liberia and buy 130,000 more protective suits for health care workers.

West Africa's struggling health systems have buckled under the pressure of an Ebola outbreak that has already killed about 1900 people. Nurses in Librria are weraing rags over their heads to protect themselves from the dreaded disease, amid concerns that shortages of protective gear throughout the region were responsible for the high Ebola death toll among health workers...

New Straits Times published: Saturday, September 6, 2014
US$75m aid to fight Ebola

DOLO TOWN, Sept 7 − Trapped since officials placed them in quarantine two weeks ago, the residents of Dolo Town are becoming increasingly resentful over their incarceration in Liberia’s open “Ebola jail”.

Around 17,000 increasingly hungry residents in the settlement, close to the international airport, are forced to queue for rations of rice while soldiers blockade them in at gunpoint.

The usually-packed streets are almost empty, as residents observe quarantine measures in a bid to halt a particularly severe outbreak of a virus which has killed 2,000 west Africans, half of them in Liberia.

Dolo Town, 75 kilometres (47 miles) east of Monrovia, was placed in lockdown on August 20 at the same time as West Point, a slum in the capital...

“I am used to going out every day to hustle for my family to eat. Now look at me, sitting here like a kid, looking at my wife and children all day,” carpenter Jallah Freeman, 56, tells AFP as he sits in front of his house.

“I am tired. I am fed up with this quarantine. We beg the government to lift this thing.”

Most of the working age inhabitants of Dolo Town are employed at a nearby plantation owned by US tyre maker Firestone, the largest natural rubber operation in the world, covering almost 500 square kilometres (200 square miles).

‘We are in jail’

“We have not been going to work. We will not be able to go until the quarantine is lifted. It is regrettable but what can we do? We want to be free. We are in jail,” Firestone employee Mohamed Fofana told AFP.

Firestone contained a possible outbreak when an employee’s wife became infected in April, and has its own hospital with an isolated Ebola treatment ward. The company has scaled back production since the quarantine.

The Malay Mail Online, September 7, 2014
Resentment simmering inside Liberia’s ‘Ebola jail town’

The UN agency said the country, worst-hit in the outbreak with almost 1,100 deaths, faced "many thousands" of new infections in the next three weeks.

"WHO and its director-general will continue to advocate for more Ebola treatment beds in Liberia and elsewhere, and will hold the world accountable for responding to this dire emergency with its unprecedented dimensions of human suffering," it said in a statement.

The deadliest Ebola epidemic the world has ever seen is spreading across west Africa, with Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone the worst affected...

Before the outbreak, Liberia had only one doctor to treat every 100,000 patients in a total population of 4.4 million people.

Now that 152 healthcare workers in the country have been infected and 79 have died, the WHO said the ratio had worsened significantly.

"Every infection or death of a doctor or nurse depletes response capacity significantly," it said.

The WHO said on Monday that one of its doctors in Sierra Leone had contracted the disease and would be evacuated.

..View gallery Health agents check a passenger leaving Liberia at the Roberts International Airport near Monrovia, …The doctor, whose nationality was not given, is the second WHO staffer to be infected in the country. They were working at the Ebola treatment centre in Kenema, whose head doctor -- and the country's only virologist -- died from the virus in July...

The 17,000 residents of Dolo Town, 75 kilometres (47 miles) east of Monrovia, have been trapped since officials blockaded them in more than two weeks ago following a spike in cases.

Sierra Leone announced plans to visit every home in the country of six million to track down people with Ebola and remove dead bodies.

Ebola, transmitted through bodily fluids, leads to haemorrhagic fever and -- in over half of cases -- death. There is no specific treatment regime and no licensed vaccine...

Yahoo! News published: September 8, 2014 11:30 PM
Ebola infections set to soar in Liberia: WHO.
By Zoom Dosso
http://news.yahoo.com/african-union-calls-ebola-travel-bans-lifted-163924718.html


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2014年09月08日

Cool

PATRIOTISM: Much to love about being Malaysian.

“SO, where are you from?” The question was directed at me. “Malaysia, I arrived yesterday,” I said. “Oh, that’s near Thailand,” someone said.

“Yes, that’s right.”

“I like Thailand. What’s Malaysia like? I’ve never been there.”

“Well, the weather is pretty much like what you have in south Thailand, but the people are different, the food is different. The language is different, too.”

“Cool.”

“It’s a great place that you really should visit. We’ve got great food and the people are really nice. Just as long as you’re not on the road driving,” I snickered.

“Yeah? Why’s that?”

“Most Malaysians are terrible drivers. They’re always in a rush to go somewhere and they cut into other people’s lanes without signalling.

“We’re really nice when we’re not on the road, though,” I laughed again.

Someone in the group looked up from his phone.

“Hey, it says here on Wikipedia that you’ve just celebrated your National Day?”

“Yeah, that’s right. Aug 31.”

“Are you patriotic?”

“I can be and I am, most of the time, yes. When someone from home does or says something stupid, though − that’s when I get annoyed and embarrassed that I’m Malaysian.”

The American with the phone spoke up again.

“Wait, it says here you have an Independence Day and a Malaysia Day? How does that work?”

I turned to him. “Can you see the map?

“There are two parts − there’s Peninsular Malaysia, where I come from, and there’s East Malaysia on Borneo island.

“Aug 31 was when Peninsular Malaysia, or Malaya, gained independence.

“Malaysia Day, celebrated on Sept 16, was when the whole country was formed, together with Sabah and Sarawak in East Malaysia.”

“Okay. So, East Malaysia joined you guys and made Malaysia?”

“Oh, don’t say that. The people from Sabah and Sarawak won’t like that at all.

“They didn’t join us on Sept 16 because there was no Malaysia yet; we came together and made Malaysia in 1963.”

“That’s kind of confusing, don’t you think? Two celebrations?” the first guy said.

“Not really. Aug 31 is to celebrate Malaya’s independence from the British, while Sept 16 celebrates how we came together.

“I mean, I’ve heard a few people from Sabah and Sarawak say that Aug 31 isn’t relevant any more and that Malaysia Day is more important for us to move on as a country, but I don’t really see why.”

“What did you say to them?”

“No one’s asked for my opinion, so I’ve never said anything. But if they did, I would say: ‘Look, if Malaysia Day is important to you, then Aug 31 or Merdeka Day is important to a lot of us in the peninsula, and I don’t see why one should blot out the other.’”

“Whoa, heavy stuff. Okay. Have you ever been to East Malaysia?”

“Sure I have. It’s wonderful. Sabah and Sarawak have way better sunsets than we do, the air is cleaner, people there smile more than we do and they’re very nice. They have more time to be nice to people over there.

“If you like the outdoors and clear blue skies, you’ll like Sabah and Sarawak. You should go there one day.”

“I hope to. Is the food good?”

“Of course, the food’s good. It’s good everywhere back home.”

“Is it better than the food in Singapore?”

“God yes. Miles better. Miles,” I laughed.

Laughs all around.

“You’re just biased though, right?” someone asked.

I thought about it.

“Not at all.”
Viewpoint in New Straits Times published: 7 September 2014 8:05 AM
Beauty of 2 countries in 1
BY Anis Ibrahim

Mr Yahho is updating this Blog from a room of RECSAM (Regional Center for Education in Science and Mthematics, *) in Penang, because 8chan is giving a talk as lecturer to trainee from Viet Num about Food Safety and Food Security.
So Mr Yahho is now utilizing this very good opportunity to study in RECSAM Library to introduce you Anis Ibrahim to read more. She contributed the stories based on her own experience and Mr Yahho recommends you to listen to her through 2 other articles from the Daily, New Straits Times and the last one from Yahoo News Malaysia also as under taking just some recent examples:

SO much has been written about Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 that nothing I say or write will add merit to what has been said. Of this, I am aware.

But one thing the tragedy has done is that it has reminded me of how fragile our existence is. That we can only do so much to look after ourselves and the people we love...

Live day before travels to the fullest
24 August 2014

A FEW months ago, I received an email from an 18-year-old Malaysian reader. She said she had been reading my articles for a couple of months, and in her own words, was disillusioned and bored with life and wanted to do what I do, which is to travel and write.

She said she often felt lost and wanted to disappear and be a nomad and beach bum for the rest of her life, travelling the world.

I didn’t reply to her email immediately because when I read it on my phone, I decided this was an email that warranted a proper sit-down reply at my desk on my laptop...

Work, save, travel. Repeat
22 June 2014

Assuming that we travel to learn more about the world we live in, taking your time and travelling slowly is the best way to benefit from your travels. And if you write, draw or paint for a living, you don’t need anyone telling you that you'll get more material and inspiration in three weeks than two days.

At the end of the day, the operative word should be 'time'. If you don't have the time to travel extensively, concentrate on a smaller area. Don't be obsessed about covering a lot of countries if you have limited time.

The art of slow travel by Anis Ibrahim
Two Shoes and a Backpack – Thu, Aug 28, 2014
Yahoo News Malaysia
https://my.news.yahoo.com/blogs/two-shoes-and-a-backpack/the-art-of-slow-travel-054717801.html

She is surely one of inspiring peoples in Malaysia!


(*)
Established by the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation (SEAMEO) in 1967, RECSAM is committed to nurturing and enhancing the quality of science and mathematics education in the SEAMEO Member Countries of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste and Vietnam.
http://www.recsam.edu.my/


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2014年09月07日

The Star Pitt St

GEORGE TOWN: The building that once housed the head office of The Star (note 1) is now a vibrant arts, culture and heritage centre to keep alive Penang’s heritage legacy.

Now known as The Star Pitt St. in Jalan Kapitan Keling Mosque here, it is also home to Penang-based publisher Areca Books and venue for the Penang Philharmonic for its rehearsals and concerts.

Keeping alive The Star’s presence, it continues to operate its northern region editorial and advertising office.

Behind the white facade of the majestic three-storey building, is an interior bursting with a colourful myriad of activities and programmes.
The Star published: Sunday September 7, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
A hub for the Penangites
by winnie yeoh AND chong kah yuan

Yes, Mr Yahho visited "The Star Pitt St" office yesterday.

In the corner "Community Connecting", Mr Yahho encountered the following panel with photo of Consumers' Association of Penang (CAP) president S. M. Idris who:

calls for the prohibition of the use of calcium carbide in the ripening fruits. 2011.

I recall people holding demonstrations outside the meeting hall to protest when they were not satisfied with certain decision made. 2006.


And then in the corner "Artistic Expression", Mr Yahho read two portraits as follows:

The Penang, where I was born in 1947 and where I loved my formative and impressionable years up tp 1968, reminds me always of the halcyon days of simplicity, joy, warm friendships irrespective of ethnity, and the confidence that all my friendfs and I had that tomorrow will be better than today.

For us Xaverians, there was also the much-looked-forward-to picnics by the beach with the girls from the Convent Light Street!

For old-timers like me, Penang continues to be the first love.

Tun Sri Dato's Nor Mohamaed Yackop, Deputy Chairman of Khazanah Nasional Berhad (note 2) reflects on his youth in Penang


Tan Sri Lim Phaik Gan (Miss P. G. Lim, note 3) in her sitting room in Kula Lumpur. Miss Lim, known as the "people's lawyer", fought many legal battles on behalf of workers and the underpriviledged.


(note 1)
Built in 1906, The Star Pitt St has a storied past, with many more chapters to be written ahead.

The Star Pitt St is a reporter’s second home. And that's why any journalist who's done time there will feel a pang of nostalgia when they return. In the hallowed halls of this venerable building, innumerable dilemmas, events and incidents were received and transmitted to the public. There was no Internet then, so before the streets went wild over something important, journalists at the old Star building would go wild first.

“This was where I sat!” says retired journalist Anna Cheah, 67, while standing in a spot in front of an art gallery wall. Cheah joined The Star in 1977 – The Star started in 1971 – and rose up the ranks from feature writer to sub-editor to chief sub-editor to regional associate editor, before she threw in the towel (and before labour law made her retire) at age 60.

“The Star started poor,” she recounts while walking through the first floor where the Newsdesk was located over 20 years ago but is now an art exhibition space.

“We sat on coffee shop chairs to type out our stories. Many of the chairs were broken, and some reporters resorted to tying the good chairs to their tables with raffia string to deter colleagues from pinching them. We worked so hard to make the paper a success, and now I feel so happy to see this building being used for the promotion of arts and culture,” Cheah says, choked up with emotion.

The Star published: Thursday September 4, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
The Star Pitt St, a building with a past and a future
by arnold loh

(note 2)
Khazanah Nasional Bhd is Malaysia Airlines' (MAS) largest shareholder and is now executing its restructuring plan. Yesterday's opening event marked a three-year working partnership between The Star and Think City, established in 2009 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Khazanah Nasional Berhad to spearhead community based urban regeneration in Penang.

(note 3)
PG Lim was born in London and alumnus of Convent Light Street in George Town, died in Perth, Australia at the age of 97 in 2013.

PG Lim was among the founding members of the Labour Party of Malaya and in 1967, sealed her reputation as a fearless lawyer when she represented 11 young men sentenced to death as enemy collaborators in the 1964 to 1966 “Konfrantasi” campaign by Indonesia in protest against the formation of Malaysia...

In 1969, after the May 13 riots in Kuala Lumpur, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein appointed PG Lim as one of two women representatives in the National Consultative Council to draw up a national reconciliation programme in the form of the Rukunegara and the New Economic Policy.

Razak also appointed PG Lim as Malaysia’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations with the status of ambassador.

This appointment marked the beginning of a decade-long diplomatic career that included appointments as ambassador to Yugoslavia, Austria and the European Economic Community (the precursor of the EU) in Belgium.

She returned to Malaysia in 1980 and was invited to join the board of Star Publications by the paper’s chairman Tunku Abdul Rahman. She provided legal advice to the board and left The Star after Tunku’s death in 1990.

In 1982, PG Lim was appointed by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to head the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre of Arbitration.

The Star published: Thursday May 9, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Malaysia's first woman envoy dies at 97


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2014年09月06日

as if Penang is being raped

GEORGE TOWN: NEWS that another massive development is planned in Batu Ferringhi (*) has shocked not only non-governmental organisations here but also caught DAP’s elected representative in Tanjung Bungah by surprise.

Yesterday, Consumers’ Association of Penang and Sahabat Alam Malaysia president S.M. Mohamed Idris said he read with disdain the New Straits Times report that another proposed mammoth development project had been planned for the area.

He said the island was no longer able to absorb the burden of development.

“Penang has lost its charm... It has become a paradise for developers and no longer a haven for locals.”

Noting the state government’s defensive stance whenever questions about happenings in Penang were raised, he said it was not surprising that residents adjacent to the project envisioned in the Sungai Mas area in Batu Ferringhi had voiced their objections to the Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP).

“The problem here is developers get away without doing a comprehensive social and environmental impact assessment (EIA) for projects that are not considered prescribed activities under the EIA Order.”

Tanjung Bungah assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu, who is known to be outspoken on environmental issues, had also been caught off guard by the proposed project.

Teh said he was not aware if the relevant authorities, especially MPPP, had approved the project.

“Given the size of the proposed development, there must be proper guidelines for the developer to adhere to.

“The project will lead to the destruction of Batu Ferringhi’s natural beauty.

““The authorities should explain to the people if they want to approve the project.” (**)

New Straits Times published: 6 September 2014 8:09 AM
NGOs, residents oppose new project
By Muhamad Syakir Abdul Wahab


(*)
GEORGE TOWN: A MAMMOTH development project comprising of multiple high-rises, a hotel and high-end and low-cost housing is set to alter the image of the island’s tourism belt in Batu Ferringhi.

The proposed project that would sprawl over 13.3ha of land had raised concern among nearby residents and business operators.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, when asked about the project yesterday, was coy and claimed that he was unaware whether local authorities had approved any plans for the project.

“There is a proposal but nothing is approved as yet, since the views of the neighbouring lots must be obtained by the council.

“I understand your concerns,” he said in response to a question from the floor during a Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry (northern branch) luncheon at Traders Hotel here...

Consumer and environmental groups such as the Consumers Association of Penang and Sahabat Alam Malaysia voiced their concerns. However, the grouses seem to have had little impact on the pace of development that is taking place all over the island, with numerous projects set to take off as the state government rallies to turn Penang into an international city.


New Straits Times published: 5 September 2014 @ 8:10 AM
Big high-rise project irks Penang folk
By Marina Emmanuel

(*)
I AM very concerned over the rise of many multi-storey shopping malls, office buildings, apartments and condominiums on Penang Island

Staying in Tanjung Bungah, I am very disappointed that not far from Gurney Shopping Mall and Paragon, another shopping mall opposite Island Plaza is being built. My concern lies mainly in the fact that when that mall opens, the pressure on traffic along Gurney Drive and Tanjung Bungah roads will increase.

When traffic congestion increases, unavoidably air, noise and sound pollution will increase in that vicinity. Let us remember that Tesco and Straits Quay are nearby.

Therefore, I ask if developers and the state government had conducted proper surveys and studies before such enormous projects were given the green light.

In striving to make Penang Island a more liveable, cleaner and greener city, we need to ensure that the needs of those living on the island are met. Perhaps a survey must be made to identify the wants of those already staying in Penang and those who will stay in Penang in the future.

As an individual, I will not desire to stay for long in a place where there are no green spaces or where available green spaces are constantly developed into unwanted projects...


Letter written by Bro Kenneth M Gan, Tanjung Bungah, Penang
Sent to the Star and Published: Thursday September 4, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Concern over mega projects in Penang

(**)
GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Government has come under fire for failing to give priority to core issues like heritage conservation and environment protection to safeguard the people's quality of life.

The newly-formed Penang Citizens' Awareness Chant Group listed 18 projects of “utmost urgency” such as demolition of buildings and illegal renovations within the George Town Unesco World Heritage site, swiflet farming in the inner city and the Penang Hill development.

Group member Prof Dr Jimmy Lim said they wanted “sustainable and responsible” development where the public was involved in the consultation process.

“At the speed that development is taking place on the island, it is as if Penang is being raped,” he said in an interview...


The Star published: Thursday October 20, 2011
Penang govt rapped
By WINNIE YEOH


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2014年09月05日

Washington Consensus

Mr Yahho is thinking about the importance of independence even today in Penang...

I am proud that my family was part of the struggle for independence. The person who lowered the Union Jack and hoisted our Jalur Gemilang at the stroke of midnight Aug 30, 1957, at Padang kelab Selangor (Dataran Merdeka) was none other than Tan Sri Mohd Tahir Abd Majid, my late maternal grandfather.

On my father's side, my late grandfather, Mohd Shariff Abd Manaf, was on the frontline fighting the communists.

This was then. The fight today is more psychological than physical. The military apparatus is no longer in a form of hardware. The struggle for economic power is in the form of cultural war. Occupation comes in a software called consumerism.

We have enslaved ourselves to our jobs to makek ends meet, to earn a living and to provide for the family. Add to that the maintaining of a lifestyle and the pursuit of happiness becomes materialistic. Contrary to poplular belief, Malaysians today are still "enslaved". We are slave to consumer culture. We are more net importers than an exporter and we believe western products are superior. This has led to an abundance of foreign products or services mushrooming nationaqwide.

Letter written by Izzee Suklaiman, Kuala Lumpur, and sent to New Straits Times published: Saturday, August 30, 2014.

Colonialism did a comprehensive uprooting of traditional systems and replanted them with new ways, methods and systems to produce a chaotic and confusing amalgam of people, social patterns and economic modes.

We are still shaking off the vestiges of that colonialism, whose shadows still fall large. We are still in the process of building independent policies, structures and systems.

This is so in post-colonial developing countries in general. As the leaders of the Group of 77 and China stated in their summit held in Bolivia recently, the process of de-colonisation is incomplete and on-going, even decades af-ter the winning of Independence.

That is a good reminder. In particular, the structures and levers of the global economy are still under the domination of the rich developed countries.

The former colonial masters may have let go of formal control of the colonies but they made sure to set up a system in which they could continue to control the important components of world finance, trade and economy.

For so many decades, even until now, the major economic and social trends and policies were set by the combination of the Interna-tional Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Group of 7 rich countries.

These policies, made by institutions based in Washington, became widely known as the “Washington Consensus” (*). Countries that were indebted especially had to abide by the rules, which were often against their own interests.

Some countries, including Malaysia, were fortunate enough not to have been caught in the debt trap and thus escaped the Washington Consensus. We had a close shave during the Asian financial crisis in 1997-99, but unlike other Asian countries, we did not have to borrow from the IMF, and could devise our own policies from the crisis.

Years after Merdeka, the economy was still under British domination. The plantations, tin mines, banks, wholesale trade, industry, were mainly in foreign hands. In 1970, 70% of the corporate assets were owned by foreigners.

A strategic policy was designed to reduce the foreign share while boosting the local share, and to restructure the participation of the various local communities in the economy. Society is still debating the effects and implications of that policy and its implementation.

However, there is appreciation that a successful part of the policies was the wresting back of control over the natural resource-based sectors and obtaining national benefits.

Malaysia has been one of the richest expor-ters of commodities. It helped make Britain rich during colonial times and its companies still dominated the sector long after Merdeka.

Through a series of policies over decades, Malaysia took back ownership of the biggest plantation and mining companies (through the famous “dawn raid” at the London stock market). It signed production and revenue-sharing agreements with the international oil companies.

These policies opened the road for more of the revenues from our important commodities to be retained locally. They also became major sources of government revenue that financed development projects...

In the years leading to the mid-1990s, external debt built up, the current account of the balance of payments went into high deficit, and the financial sector was liberalised, which made the country vulnerable to external shocks.

The 1997-99 crisis taught the lesson that excessive debt, a wide current account deficit and too much financial liberalisation can lead to a major crisis.

In the 2008-2010 global crisis, Malaysia had built up enough defences (especially foreign reserves and balance of payments surpluses) to be resilient.

Economic growth has recovered, but care has to be taken to address the significant budget deficit and increase in foreign debt...

Opinion presented by Martin Khor in the Star and published: Monday September 1, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
In defence of Merdeka
"Independence has been achieved, yet has to be constantly defended, continuously renewed and expanded as the process of de-colonisation is on-going and new threats arise."


(*) Washington Consensus
The phrase “Washington Consensus” is today a very popular and often pilloried term in debates about trade and development. It is often seen as synonymous with “neoliberalism” and “globalization.” As the phrase’s originator, John Williamson, says: “Audiences the world over seem to believe that this signifies a set of neoliberal policies that have been imposed on hapless countries by the Washington-based international financial institutions and have led them to crisis and misery. There are people who cannot utter the term without foaming at the mouth.”

Williamson originally coined the phrase in 1990 “to refer to the lowest common denominator of policy advice being addressed by the Washington-based institutions to Latin American countries as of 1989.” These policies were:

+ Fiscal discipline
+ A redirection of public expenditure priorities toward fields offering both high economic returns and the potential to improve income distribution, such as primary health care, primary education, and infrastructure
+ Tax reform (to lower marginal rates and broaden the tax base)
+ Interest rate liberalization
+ A competitive exchange rate
+ Trade liberalization
+ Liberalization of inflows of foreign direct investment
+ Privatization
+ Deregulation (to abolish barriers to entry and exit)
+ Secure property rights

Since then, the phrase “Washington Consensus” has become a lightning rod for dissatisfaction amongst anti-globalization protestors, developing country politicians and officials, trade negotiators, and numerous others. It is often used interchangeably with the phrase “neoliberal policies.”

(Global Trade Negotiations Home Page, Center for International Development at Harvard University)
http://www.cid.harvard.edu/cidtrade/issues/washington.html

(*)
This is the set of 10 policies that the US government and the international financial institutions based in the US capital believed were necessary elements of “first stage policy reform” that all countries should adopt to increase economic growth. At its heart is an emphasis on the importance of macroeconomic stability and integration into the international economy - in other words a neo-liberal view of globalization. The framework included:

+ Fiscal discipline - strict criteria for limiting budget deficits
+ Public expenditure priorities - moving them away from subsidies and administration towards previously neglected fields with high economic returns
+ Tax reform - broadening the tax base and cutting marginal tax rates
+ Financial liberalization - interest rates should ideally be market-determined
+ Exchange rates - should be managed to induce rapid growth in non-traditional exports
+ Trade liberalization
+ Increasing foreign direct investment (FDI) - by reducing barriers
+ Privatization - state enterprises should be privatized
+ Deregulation - abolition of regulations that impede the entry of new firms or restrict competition (except in the areas of safety, environment and finance)
+ Secure intellectual property rights (IPR) - without excessive costs and available to the informal sector
+ Reduced role for the state.

These ideas proved very controversial, both inside and outside the Bretton Woods Institutions. However, they were implemented through conditionality under International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank guidance. They are now being replaced by a post-Washington consensus.

See also:

Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP)
Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs)

(Trade, foreign policy, diplomacy and health, World Health Organization, WHO)
http://www.who.int/trade/glossary/story094/en/


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2014年09月04日

between US and China

The year 2014 has been a most trying one; we were shocked by the tragedy of the missing Flight MH370 and the crash of Flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine. Both aircrafts were owned by our national airlines or MAS.

It remains fresh in my memory how we faced the challenging and difficult time. To date, I have succeeded in negotiating for three agreements with the separatists controlling the area: First: To remove all the remains of the MH17 victims out of the crash site. Second: To obtain the two black boxes for handing over only to the Government of Malaysia.

Additionally, in facing such a critical moment, all negotiations were conducted with caution. Sometimes, we must work quietly in the service of a better outcome, especially in dealing with a separatist leader, so as to ensure that the victims can be brought home to be accorded proper honours and a decent burial.

Therefore, in my opinion, every test that befalls the nation is none other than a preparation to test our resilience and guidance towards Malaysia’s progress to the top...


Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak during the 57th National Day is continuing to deliver the MERDEKA speech.

Yes, it is true that PM in Malaysia has had a great success in the international complicated geopolitics. The under is the Comment by a Daily, New Straits Times:

It is on this positive note that the PM urges the country to go forward, blind to differences and open to embracing shared values and aspirations.

He cites his risk taking when negotiating with Ukrainian separatist leader Alexander Borodai which was driven by his deep concern for the victims of MH17.

To consider even for a minute that this was a foolhardy stance is the thought of the mischievous.

As the Malaysian leader, he was very aware of the risk, but he weighed this against the high regard in which Malaysia is held for its strongly neutral stance.

These positive attributes must then be the springboard from which Malaysians will step into the future, confident in the knowledge that after more than half a decade of independence, nothing is beyond us as a single, united country, glorious in its constructive diversity.

The New Straits Times published: 25 August 2014 8:05 AM
Unity in adversity

He is continuing the similar speech adressed to the Malaysian people even today:

SERI KEMBANGAN: The Government remains committed to the 1Malaysia philosophy and will ensure "every citizen has a place under the Malaysian sun", says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Najib vowed that the Government would ensure that the 1Malaysia concept was fully accepted and carried out.

"To ensure our national unity is sustainable, we need to uphold our Federal Constitution and steadfastly commit ourselves to the Rukun Negara.

"As a nation, we need to come together and reconcile our differences for the sake of the future of Malaysia," he urged in a message at the National Unity Forum themed "Strengthening the Voices of Moderates, Moving Forward Together" at a hotel here on Thursday.

The forum was organised by the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli) as well as Centre for Public Policy Studies, with The Star as the media partner...

He said national unity was an important imperative for the nation to achieve peace, prosperity and stability that have contributed to the remarkable progress the country has made.

The Star published: Thursday September 4, 2014 MYT 11:39:00 AM
Najib: 'Every citizen has a place under the Malaysian sun'

And he said also about the importance of country's "neutral stance" in the international community as foolows:

KUALA LUMPUR: Choosing between China and United States is not as simple as picking one’s favourite football club, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

“We don’t have to make a choice between US and China, we’ll look at the strength of both countries,” said Najib, stressing that Malaysia was not beholden to United States as claimed by certain quarters.

Najib said while Malaysia would remain friendly with the two global players, it would not support policies that were not right.

Najib said United States’ strength included big market, technology and innovation and the best education institutes in the world, adding that it was also a superpower.

“Why do we need to confront US?” he asked.

As for China, he said the country was an integral part of Asia and Malaysia’s largest trading partner with two-way trade amounting to US$100bil (RM320bil).

“We plan to increase trading to between US$160bil (RM505bil) and US$170bil (RM537bil) in the next five years,” he said, adding that China was the fastest growing economy with future investment and business opportunities abound.

Najib said if Malaysia was beholden to the United States, it would not have struck a deal with non-state actors like the pro-Russian separatists who had agreed to allow investigators into conflict-ridden Eastern Ukraine where MH17 was shot down on July 17 (*).

The Star published: Monday August 25, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Najib: No preferred ally
by Sira Habibu


(*)
Abe has angered Beijing with his revisionist views on Japan's wartime conduct and robust claims to the Senkakus, as well as a visit in December 2013 to a controversial war shrine regarded by China and South Korea as a symbol of Japanese militarism.

The appointment of two men known for their close ties to China could advance efforts to set up the first meeting between Abe and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, at the Apec (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit in Beijing this autumn.

"He is sending a strong message to China that he wants to improve ties. Tanigaki and Nikai both have good ties with China," said political analyst Atsuo Ito...

Chinese officials said they hoped the personnel changes would help ease tensions. "We hope that Abe's cabinet members will all be active promoters of the improvement and development of Sino-Japanese relations," foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters.

Beijing will have been less pleased with Abe's choice of defence minister. Akinori Eto is a close Abe ally and member of a group of MPs who support visits by politicians to Yasukuni, a Shinto shrine in Tokyo that honours Japan's war dead, including 14 class-A war criminals.

Abe, a conservative who has raised defence spending to counter an increasingly assertive China, provoked outrage in Beijing and Seoul in December 2013 when he paid his respects at Yasukuni, although he has since stayed away.
(Japan's Shinzo Abe appoints pro-China MPs in bid to mend fences with Beijing
-Rare signal gets optimistic response from China while prime minister also puts five women in his 18-strong cabinet-
Justin McCurry in Tokyo)
theguardian.com, Wednesday 3 September 2014 13.26 BST


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2014年09月03日

come for coffee

The following phrase is just a last part of the talk from the English translation of the full text of the speech delivered by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak during the 57th National Day address at Tunku Abdul Rahman Hall, Malaysian Tourism Centre (Matic) in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday night, August 30, 2014.

Beloved Malaysians, lastly, I urge all of you, especially those present tonight, to rise.....to rise.... and together with me, place your right hand over the left side of your chest as a symbol of where your heart and feelings lie.

Say,say, that here is where love begins, a love sublime and pure for the motherland, and here we ensure that it continues to bloom in the heart as one spirit of patriotism. Indeed, we are all the bridge of the heritage.

Come on ... Come on ... Come on ... let’s proclaim the sacred word: MERDEKA,! MERDEKA! MERDEKA!

The Star published: Monday September 1, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
A peaceful and prosperous Malaysia

Malaysia may not have had the intellectual tradition that France has: there are no Sartres, Foucaults or Derridas who were treated like cult figures.

We did have our thinkers. The names of Ungku Aziz (note 1, 1922-) and Syed Hussein Alatas (note 2, 1928-2007) come to mind. The number of intellectuals of that sort is diminishing, both in number and quality.

We may have reached a critical situation, where all our thinking has to be done by foreign consultants. We may have achieved independence but have lost sovereignty of thought...

To use more trendy language: we need thought leaders. These are people who have at their disposal a large amount of knowledge, who are sensitive to the larger good of society, and who can contribute to the future direction of the country. It is equally important they be persuasive.

Cultivating public intellectuals, or, more correctly, allowing public intellectuals to flourish, is no less important than becoming an economically developed nation.

If freedom can be conceived as development, then the flowering of public intellectuals must be a part of it.

Policy and Public Intellectuals in Malaysia
Posted on 11 August 2014 - 05:39am to the Sun Daily
By Shankaran Nambiar

Shankaran Nambiar is a senior research fellow at the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER). He is author of the recently published book, The Malaysian Economy: Rethinking Policies and Purposes (SIRD, 2014).

As Malaysia enters into its final year of the 10th Malaysia Plan in 2015, and draws up its next set of policies for what would be the last five-year plan before the year 2020 – the 11th Malaysia Plan (2016 – 2020) – it is certainly worth examining Nambiar's publication that spans the last decade or so. Where exactly are we going? Will the problems raised in his book 10 years ago start to manifest themselves in the next 10? What happens to an economy that pays little attention to such recommendations, and fails to strengthen its institutions?
Reviewing the economy
Posted on 9 July 2014 - 07:54pm to the Sun Daily
Tricia Yeoh


(note 1)
The book entitled "Royal Professor Ungku A Aziz: The Renaissance Man" chronicles the icon’s life story and his contributions to both UM and the country.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who studied in UM between 1966 and 1970, described his former lecturer as “among the country’s genuine intellectuals” and a “nationalist at heart”.

He said among Ungku Aziz’s initiatives, which later became the benchmark for success of the country’s socio-economic programmes, were the setting up of the National Co-operative Organisation of Malaysia (Angkasa) and Tabung Haji to help the poor increase their income and save.
The Star published: Friday March 19, 2010
DPM pays tribute to education icon Ungku Aziz
(*) Ungku Aziz was born January 28, 1922, in London. Before he graduated with a PhD from Waseda University in Tokyo, he studied at English College Johore Bahru his secondary school.

(note 2)
Social scientist and academic Dr Lim Teck Ghee shares what he remembers most is Dr Syed Hussein’s sense of fairness and integrity.

Says Dr Lim who worked as a lecturer at UM when Dr Syed Hussein was VC from 1988 to 1991: “I remember the many long nights – often well past midnight – spent with him at his VC’s residence discussing how to improve the standard of scholarship and bring about educational excellence.

“He would call after his evening prayers and dinner and say ‘come for coffee’. But it was more than coffee that he was offering. It was to help in the search for solutions to deep-seated problems – in the university and outside.

“His insistence on the principles of excellence, justice and fair play irrespective of race made him unpopular in some circles. For this he paid a heavy price...”

Malaysian intellectual and JUST president Dr Chandra Muzaffar, who did his PhD under Dr Syed Hussein’s supervision at NUS, is saddened by the loss of his mentor.

“I first met him as an undergraduate at NUS and he became my supervisor when I did my PhD but our relationship was more than that of teacher-student. We were close and he had a profound effect on me. A lot of my ideas have been influenced by him,” says Dr Chandra, who shares that his interest in Islam was sparked after meeting Dr Syed Hussein.

“I’ve not told many people this but my name Muzaffar was given to me by him when I converted to Islam. Dr Syed Hussein was a progressive Muslim long before it became fashionable,” he says, adding that Dr Syed Hussein was influenced by his formative years in Indonesia.

He added that there are five areas of scholarship that Dr Syed Hussein should be recognised in: the study of corruption as a political phenomenon; contribution in developing progressive ideas and approaches towards Islam; contribution in the study of ethnic relations and integration in the country; studies on the phenomenon of psychological feudalism in Malaysia; and the study on independent, autonomous thinking.
The Star puiblished: Sunday January 28, 2007
Alatas the towering thinker
BY Hariati Azizan


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