Friday, April 25, 2008

DAP Bidor Service Centre Opening Ceremony

(DAP Bidor service centre opening ceremony speech on 24th April 2008)

The March 8th general election was not about Sivanesan’s victory and neither it was the DAP’s victory. But it was the people’s victory! Makkal Sakti!—which means people’s power, and it was people’s power that created 3 historical event in Bidor.

Firstly, the people of Bidor has elected a DAP representative as their “wakil rakyat” which was not seen since 1969 when the late Loh Jee Mee was elected as the DAP MP for Batang Padang.

Secondly, the people of Bidor is part of the history to vote in the DAP as the new state government which was never happen since our independence. (or the people of Bidor is part of the history in voting out the BN state government)

Thirdly, the people of Bidor have voted in a state executive counselor (exco)—the first DAP state exco for Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) Sungkai.

Unlike, the MIC whereby their candidate, Datuk Veerasingam, immediately pack his bag and close-shop by 7:30 pm on the 8th of March; Sivanesan of DAP remains committed to Bidor and the people of Bidor despinte loosing the 2004 general election. His service center remains open from 2004 until now.

Today, we are here to officiate the opening of Sivanesan-DAP service centre. The service center will not be officiated by an assembly or an MP, but in recognition of a local personality. Madam Lee, the late Loh Jee Mee's wife will officiate this service centre.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

DAP Temoh branch member down with Parkinson's disease

(Photo taken by wife on 12th April 2008 at Temoh, Perak. From left: Madam Lee Chai King--my mother, Kam Weng's wife and Loh Kam Weng)

Visited DAP Temoh, Perak members on Saturday 12th of April for afternoon tea and to sample the famous home made Temoh's “pa0” of various variety.

The main purpose of the trip was to pay a courtesy call to Loh Kam Weng, who has been a DAP member since 1979. Kam Weng was diagnosed with the Parkinson’s disease since last year. He is not fit to work. He has to take medication every 4 hours and struggling with his medication fees of approximately RM400 per month. The DAP Perak team will find ways to help his predicament.

DAP Temoh branch was founded by the Loh Jee Mee back in the 70s. Most of the members are in their 60s now. They have not lost hope or given up the struggle towards a better Malaysia since the 70s despite not having an MP or an elected assemblyman since 1969.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

MCA is a hypocrite

The MCA has once again proven themselves to be hypocrites. The party often acts in contradiction to their statements and The Star on 12 April 2008 alone reported two instances that proved MCA of its hypocrisy.

MCA supports Islamic State, DAP opposes it. MCA asks DAP to apologise.

Firstly, the MCA president, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting demanded the DAP Secretary General Lim Guan Eng to make a stand and apologise to the people with regards to the Hudud goal.

If there was apology to be made, should it not start with the MCA?

When the former premier, Tun Dr Mahathir’s announced on 9 September 2001 that Malaysia is an Islamic state, MCA betrayed their members and its founding fathers by not making a stand against the statement. In fact, they fully supported the decision. The MCA was once again in silence in 2007 when deputy prime minister Najib declared Malaysia as an Islamic state. Where was MCA when prime minister Abdullah Badawi formally confirmed in parliament that Malaysia is an Islamic state? Why didn’t the MCA challenge UMNO’s statement on Islamic state then and now?

The MCA has no honor and not worthy to talk about Islamic state until they first amend their wrongs by first sending a formal protest letter to the prime minister on his endorsement of Malaysia being an Islamic state.They proved themselves to be cowards for not making a stand in the above three mentioned occasions. In so doing, their silence was an act of support for Malaysia as an Islamic state. In any case, MCA was a true blue hypocrite for asking the DAP to make a stand when they couldn’t. Perhaps MCA was talking to their own conscience.

The DAP did not and will never support the statement about Malaysia as an Islamic state; and that his party MCA has been supporting that all this while. The DAP stand has been clear, consistent and simple. It sets itself to defend the federal constitution set by our founding father of this nation: Malaysia is a secular state with Islam as the official religion. It is not an Islamic state.

In and outside of the parliament, DAP has been expressing its opposing views towards claims stating Malaysia as an Islamic state. In fact, unlike MCA, DAP has launched numerous campaign in protest against Islamic State declaration be it PAS Islamic State or UMNO Islamic State such as the “No to 929” campaign.

Didn’t the MCA read in the BN-controlled and nationwide-distribution newspaper that PAS will not implement Hudud in Perak? As stated in Sin Chew Daily on the 29 March 2008, the Perak Menteri Besar Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin announced again that “PAS will not bring in issues like Islamic state and the implementation of Hudud”.

Former Perak BN (MCA) government takes land; MCA demand PR (DAP) to give land titles within 6 months.

In another instance proving MCA’s hypocrisy, the MCA demanded the Perak state government to issue freehold titles to new villages within six months from date of announcement. Let’s remember that the MCA couldn’t get this job done in 50 years. Now they are demanding the DAP-PKR-PAS collision to get it completed within six months.

Perhaps MCA needs reminding that the brainchild of the initiative of issuing land titles to new villages was the DAP-PRK-PAS collision. It was not MCA. Had the people of Perak elected the MCA in the recent general election, we will not hear of such proposal. In fact, we would have seen the BN evicting land of new villages instead of proving one such as in the case of Tanah Mas village in February 2008.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Passing of Family Dog

Gho Bear or Gho Beh or Bo-Beh has been a great companion and a very good dog. He was a German Shepherd mix breed, highly trainable, intelligent, determine, protective, obedient, gentle and lovable dog. He left us yesterday afternoon, 9th of April 2008. It was just less than a week ago when he killed a 2ft monitor lizard.. He will be missed and remembered.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

First visit to Singapore National Library- Part 2.

(Retreat Garden at Level 10. Most plants at the Retreat Garden are herbs and spices. Tongkat Ali tree is found here.)

(Neem Tree or Divine Tree at Level 10. It is widely use as traditional medicine. It has anti bacterial and anti fungus properties that even plants close to this plant seldom fall ill)

(Do you know what is the National Flower of Singapore?)

(Bamboo. It is not a tree, not a fern, not a schrub, but a giant grass. There are more than 100 usage from Bamboo)

(Money Plant.)

(Peacock or prayer plant. The leaves of this plant is vertical at night and horizontal in the afternoon)

(Heliconia. There are 150 types of Heliconia in Singapore with most Heliconia spicies found at the Jurong Bird Park)

(Rain Tree. The leaves of this rain tree is yellow. It is an expensive and difficult tree to plant. Aprroximately 1 out of 1000 seed planted will get to grow. Leaves move daily depend on sunlight)

(Sweet paddle. The fruit of sweet paddle is said to be 15 times sweeter than sugar)

Singapore has positioned herself as garden city since the 60s. The garden concept is found in many places throughout the country including Singapore General Hospital and even at Libraries.

The Singapore national library provides programs conducted by volunteers such as the garden walk and art trail and I have participated the 1.5 hours garden walk. It is free of charge and guests may leave anytime at their convenience during the walk. This guided walk is available on alternate Saturday basis. The garden walk is my first botanical lesson in more than a decade.

There are too many plants in and around the national library area and I have only selected a few for sharing. Some other plants found at the national library include fig tree, aloe verra, wild pepper, banana tree (which is a tree by definition), and etc.

Have our state libraries or the national library evolved in tandem with the development of Malaysia?

I took the opportunity to visit the Singapore National Library (NLB) for the first time today as my wife’s company was running a community program there, and I am certainly impressed with the landmark library.

This building has great environmental features and was told more than 1/3 of its total site area is of gardens and vegetation. I am impressed not because of the smart building concept but their system in reaching the Singapore citizens and their on-going programs or campaigns in place.

A few thoughts came to my mind. Have our State libraries or the national library evolved in tandem with the development of Malaysia? Are we willing to admit if we are not? Are we humble enough to learn from Singapore or any other countries for that matter where there are things worthy of learning or improve on? Should we continue to compare with less developed countries such as Ghana, Indonesia and Vietnam or take a bolder stand to compete with develop countries such as Singapore and Japan?

I spent more than 2 hours at the Singapore NLB and had the opportunity to join a program where I learn without reading. It was an interesting program that Malaysia can emulate as part of our library event and I will share the details in my next posting.

The other thing I noted was the manner this library is operated—it is like a public listed company and transparent. The annual report with balance sheet is made available to public.

Have a look of the Singapore NLB website

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Wife's first birthday--as wife.

(For her birthday, 5th of April. Photo taken at Singapore)

A surprise for wife when she returned from work on Friday, 4th of April.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Land scam and frauds--"Head must roll"

During the Second World War, the Japanese restored law and order with iron fist when they defeated the British in Singapore. Singapore was in chaos during transition but not for long. The Japanese soldier showed no mercy in order to restore the situation. They would behead those who found stealing or looting and heads were displayed to public-- immediately looting stopped. This was the short story that I picked-up from a Singapore Minister whom I met at Moscow, Russia back in October 2005.

In today’s world of human rights and human treatment values, such act of literally chopping heads is definitely not applicable but “chopping of heads” can be in the form of removal from office or position.

The comparable model is being practiced by most Multinational Corporation (MNC) to instill ethics in to their corporation. For example in Du Pont, employee can be dismissed over a ten cents toll ticket and the incident will be make-known to their employees world-wide. It serves as a reminder and a lesson to all employees that the company does not give way when it comes to ethics. It is never about the value of the offence, but of the company’s code of conduct and core values world-wide—be it managers or general workers, Americans or Asians, male or female. Similar values are incorporated in Shell, Exxon Mobil, Dow Chemical and etc.

The question is whether our Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi is willing to “chop the heads” of those guilty of corruption and abuse of office position for personal gains, to show that he really mean business and not just lip service. Or will he spare those with strong political connections from prosecution in order to protect his position in UMNO? Does he have the courage and political will to display his commitments on combat against corruption?

The various alleged land scam or frauds are being investigated by states controlled by People’s Alliance. We should to see Penang and Selangor filling official reports to the ACA in months if not the next few years. However, can the ACA act on it? Are they free to act on it?

The Anti Corruption Agency (ACA) is now under the Minister in the Prime Minister department. Will the ACA investigate or act against the Minister if he is suspected of corruption? How about the Minister's boss-- the Prime Minister? There is obvious conflict of interest with the ACA set-up.

While I look forward for those who are corrupted be brought to justice, I have little confident that the big timers close to the Prime Minister's circle will face justice.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Is detention without trial or the Internal Security Act (ISA) part of Islam Hadhari?

Our Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has been promoting the principle of Islam Hadhari since 2004. It is said that Islam Hadhari is suitable UMNO and nation as a whole. Can someone answer me, is detention without trial part of Islam Hadhari principle that Abdullah or UMNO leaders trying to promote? It is high time for the Prime Minister to share with Malaysians on ISA role in Islam Hadhari.

During the public debate on ISA in July 2004 at Kuala Lumpur, the then Minister in the Prime Minister Department, Mohammed Nazri claimed that the people supported the ISA and therefore voted in the Barisan Nasional (BN). He went on to justify that there are procedures to follow before the home minister can sign in someone to detention without trial.

While the government claimed that there are processes involved before the home minister could endorse detention without trial, such claimed process has failed such as in the case of Abdul Malek and Guracharan Singh. How many more victims do the BN government intend to victimize before repealing the draconian law of detention without trial? What is the merit for signing in ISA detention orders for thousands of detainees over the years which include the late P.Patto, Lim Guan Eng, Yunus Ali and etc? What was Karpal Singh’s crime? What has Lim Kit Siang committed? The ISA has been abused in the past against opposition leaders such as Karpal Singh and Lim Kit Siang and will continue to do so!

The Law Minister Datuk Zaid said on Saturday, 29th of March said that the new administration of Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi and his able deputy want some change and that we should give them a chance.
If the BN government is sincere to change and restore values, they should repeal or abolish the ISA altogether. The 5 Hindaf leaders should be released unconditionally.

The Minister of Law went on to propose that the government issue an apology to the former lord president, Tun Salleh Abas who was sacked in 1998.

In addition to the proposed apology to Tun Salleh Abas, the government should tender a formal apology to:

Abdul Malek Hussin and Guracharan Singh, ex-ISA detainees who were proven unlawfully arrested, detained and beaten up during police custody. Both of them were awarded RM 2.5 million and RM1 million in damages respectively for the failure of the BN government to prove what they had done or intended to do would pose a threat to national security.

All the victims of 1988 operation Lallang which include the current Penang chief minister, Lim Guan Eng, current MPs such as Lim Kit Siang and Karpal Singh and etc. Lim Guan Eng, Kit Siang, Karpal Singh, the late P.Patto and other detainees were subsequently released; they were not proven guilty in the court of law of any wrong doings.