Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Well Done, Ellen!

Two years ago, I blogged about the achievement of Winnie, our eldest daughter getting good grades from Taylor's SAM programme.

Winnie is going to her 3rd Year in Actuarial Science degree course in Australia National University (ANU) this February, 2009.

Our second daughter, Ellen also attended Taylor's SAM programme and similarly achieved good grades.

She has been accepted into ANU for Bachelor of Finance course beginning February 2009!

To borrow the phrase from the beautiful song "Butterfly Kisses":

"For all that I have done wrong, I must have done something right!"

Yes, Diana and I are so blessed with good kids and we are ever so thankful to YOU!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Fight Recession

Apparently, this piece of advice comes from CIMB Group:

Recession is coming ... make your own judgment, don't panic !! Do what is wise.
The recession looks very eminent. It is really time to take pro active steps to avoid a painful time in the next two years which is how long the recession is expected to last.

Suggestions:

1. Don't take any loans, buy homes, properties with loans, or even cash. Keep as much cash as possible.
2. Pay off as much of personal loans, private loans, as debt collection will be hastened.
3. Sell any stocks you can even at lower prices.
4. Take money off from Trust Funds.
5. Don't believe in huge sales forecast from customers, be extremely prudent, lowest inventories, reduce liabilities.
6. Don't invest in new capital.
7. If you are selling homes/ properties/ cars , do it now, when you can get good prices, they are going to fall.
8. Don't invest in new business proposals.
9. Cancel holiday plans using credit cards.
10. Don't change jobs, as companies will retrench based on 'last in first out'.

Stay cool, wait, and if you took all of the above actions and more, you probably will be better off then many.
This is not a rumor. Bear Stearns is the first of many banking and financial institutions that will start falling in the not too future. If Bear Stearns can fall, so can JP Morgan, Citibank, HSBC, and the whole world.
US economy falls, the rest will crumble. India and all those self economies will be the most protected, but not gullible. Europe may be a little stronger, but not China , another giant! Malaysia will see significant impact.

Make sense, isn't it?
No wonder KL stock market is taking a beating this morning... down 27 points after 15 minutes!!

Sell now, especially stocks of GLC Companies!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

New NS Expressway 3rd Lane Highly Dangerous!

Received this from a friend.

Dear TV3 and The Star,
I am a frequent user of our North-South Expressway and I have this
IMPORTANT experience to highlight and share:-
I was driving back to Penang yesterday afternoon (24 June 08) when I saw
the unfortunate accident in the opposite direction involving the passenger
bus that skidded and overturned at Tanjung Malim. I didn't know that the
skidded bus was from hometown Penang untill I watched TV3 news later in the
evening and was shocked to learn that the accident took two lives.
Now, this is what I need to share:-
I am a building contractor with over twenty years of experience and I have
been driving my 5 series BMW (latest generation and a dammed solid road
holding car) each time
I travelled to KL. Lately, the new extended 3 lanes highway had been opened
up for use and since then, I have also been using it quite oftenly.
HOWEVER, when I used it each time it is WET, I can really 'feel' that
the
new road surface is extremely SLIPPERY! To share with some of you, my car
comes with a built-in traction control mechanism (skidding prevention
mechanism) and you can feel it each time it is activated. Previously, I
don't come across this kind of slippery feel except when I drive over a
paddle of water at certain speed.
From my observation as a building contractor, the 'wearing course' of
the
new road surface could be TOO FINE OR TOO SMOOTH and TOTALLY UNSUITABLE for
highway use!
The wearing course (top premix layer) mix design for highways should be of
minimum 20mm coarse aggregate mix that will give us the required bond
between the surface and our tyres. Fine wearing course (14mm coarse
aggregate size and below) is only suitable for normal road. (A proper test
need to be carried out to determine the mix design of the wearing course).
Since the opening of the three lanes highway, I had seen cars skidding in
front me or in the opposite direction and approximately 2 weeks ago, one of
my friends who is also a frequent user of our NSE, came to share with me
about his slippery feeling as well as the many skidded cars he had seen
lately.
I am highlighting this to TV3 and The Star with the hope that a thourough
investigation could be carried out immediately to find out how or what
causes the bus to skid. A proper and independent test need to be carried
out urgently to determine the design mix of the wearing course. THIS CAN
SAVE LIVES.
FOR THOSE BCC RECIPIENTS, PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH ALL YOUR FRIENDS.
IF YOU ARE USING THE NEW LANES AND IF IT IS WET, MAKE SURE YOU DRIVE
SLOWLY!!!!
Regards,
Jensen Yeoh
012-4826163
Penang.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Girl students and their white blouse uniform

I would like to share this excellent article written by a fantastic writer , Foong, from Penang.
It is so "relevant". (These days, everybody is talking about being "Relevant", so do pardon the pun, which is definitely intended).

That’s right, blame the white blouse for social ills and sex crimes



"While you are at it, why not blame little children for daring to play in playgrounds as they are inviting perverted pedophiles to kidnap them by blatantly displaying themselves in such a public place.

Also, blame the women for even daring to step out of their homes as it could be construed as they are ‘inviting’ attention to themselves by blatantly displaying themselves in public places.

Don’t forget to blame all the clothes manufacturers for their audacity in producing clothes of any colour except for black such as yellow, blue, red, pink, purple, green or any other shades lighter than black could be construed as sexy.

While we are on a roll here, might as well reintroduce the chastity belt and impose laws to lock up all women and girls behind windowless rooms so that they do not tempt any men just by being there.

Finally, blame God for creating women in the first place to tempt men to commit evils of all kinds.

Seriously.

The root of social ills and sex crimes is more than just a white blouse. It is more than pirated porno materials available everywhere. It is more than the so-called negative western culture presented through the television, internet, etc.

Does this uptight, ignorant Munirah Bahari of the National Islamic Students Association of Malaysia even know what nonsense she is spouting before opening her mouth?

Other bloggers, Lilian and PabloPabla, have already pointed out her foolishness and blatant ignorance.

I however wish to point out that she is but an example of many others in the society who tend to blame everyone and everything from clothing to the victims EXCEPT for the perpetrators and lack of education when it comes to sex crimes.

So, the rapist / pervert / sexual predator were not pinpointed for their sick aversions but the victims were pinpointed for their dressing and their looks.

No rape / sex crime victim ever ‘asked for it’ no matter how she looked like or dressed like. Do you think Nurin asked for it? Do you think the countless young children who were sexually abused and raped asked for it?

In rape cases, it is often about control and not about sex. Even in sexual abuse cases, it is often about control and less about sex. How could raping an eight year old be about sex when the poor child hardly have any breasts? Rape was also one of the main actions in times of war, again, it is about power and control. Not about sex.

It is sad indeed that despite efforts by womens’ organisations like Women’s Centre for Change to change the mindset of the people to think about educating the people to respect women to reduce sexual crime rates, there are still those in society who preferred to blame it all on the victims than on the lack of education to prevent the perps from doing this.

It is also the same for social ills. Education and religious teachings play an important part to curb these. It is not about clothing or lack thereof. If adults, parents and teachers alike, do not play their roles to teach the young and lead by example, what could a simple white blouse do?

If I remember correctly, the Sisters (nuns) in the convent school I went to were dressed in white habits too. I hardly think those are sexy in any way!

On another note, I wore white blouses throughout my schooling days. So did my classmates and schoolmates. Amazingly, none of us were raped or sexually assaulted because of our ’sexy’ attire.

Shucks, if we knew white blouses are sexy, we would not have bothered going to all that trouble smuggling our own clothes in our school bags to change into so that we could go lepak-ing after school in ‘cool’ attire!

Shiissshhhh…how come no one ever told us this all those years ago? Ceh, the guys then must have been blind while the guys now must probably have x-ray vision which can only be thwarted by black or darker coloured clothing."

By Foong.

Please visit her blog here.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Lali, the girl with two faces



SAINI SUNPURA, India - A baby with two faces was born in a northern Indian village, where she is doing well and is being worshipped as the reincarnation of a Hindu goddess, her father said Tuesday.

The baby, Lali, apparently has an extremely rare condition known as craniofacial duplication, where a single head has two faces. All of Lali’s facial features are duplicated except for her ears–she has two. Otherwise, she has two noses, two pairs of lips and two pairs of eyes.

“My daughter is fine–like any other child,” said Vinod Singh, 23, a poor farm worker.

Lali has caused a sensation in the dusty village of Saini Sunpura, 25 miles east of New Delhi. When she left the hospital, eight hours after a normal delivery on March 11, she was swarmed by villagers, said Sabir Ali, the director of Saifi Hospital.

“She drinks milk from her two mouths and opens and shuts all the four eyes at one time,” Ali said.

Rural India is deeply superstitious and the little girl is being hailed as a return of the Hindu goddess of valor, Durga, a fiery deity traditionally depicted with three eyes and many arms.

Up to 100 people have been visiting Lali at her home every day to touch her feet out of respect, offer money and receive blessings, Singh told The Associated Press.

“She is the reincarnation of a goddess,” said Lakhi Chand, a 65-year-old farmer who came to see Lali from neighboring Haryana state.

“Lali is God’s gift to us,” said Jaipal Singh, a member of the local village council. “She has brought fame to our village.”

Village chief Daulat Ram said he planned to build a temple to Durga in the village.

“I am writing to the state government to provide money to build the temple and help the parents look after their daughter,” Ram said.

Lali’s condition is often linked to serious health complications, but the doctor said she was doing well.

“She is leading a normal life with no breathing difficulties,” said Ali, adding that he saw no need for surgery.

Lali’s parents were married in February 2007. Lali is their first child.

Singh said he took his daughter to a hospital in New Delhi where doctors suggested a CT scan to determine whether her internal organs were normal, but Singh said he felt it was unnecessary.

“I don’t feel the need of that at this stage as my daughter is behaving like a normal child, posing no problems,” he said.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Japanese Buffet Dinner

Yesterday was my darling wife's birthday and we decided to go for Japanese dinner. We had tried Tropicana Kin Shui Tei Japanese Restaurant during our 21 Anniversary. The kids suggested to go for buffet... all-you-can-eat dinner... so I googled for the information. Listed below the restaurants serving Buffet Dinner, in no particular order:

1. Saisaki Japanese Restaurant, Unit 1-9 1st Flr, UOA II, Kuala Lumpur
Tel 03 21663728 RM43++ (No Oyster)

2. Shin Nichi Japanese Restaurant, Grd Flr, Kompleks Antarabangsa
Tel 03 21423318 RM49++

3. Jogoya Japanese Restaurant, 3rd Flr, Starhill Shopping Centre
Tel 03 21421268 RM88++

4. Ichi Ban Japanese Restaurant, Grd Flr, Wisma MPL, Raja Chulan
Tel 03 21488988 RM40++

5. Miyako Japanese Restaurant, Sheraton Subang
Tel ?? RM85++

6. Eyuzu Japanese Restaurant, 4th Flr, Eastin Hotel, Petaling Jaya
Tel 03 76651111 RM68++

7. Momo Japanese Restaurant, 1st Flr, Centre Point, One Utama
Tel 03 77259688 RM49++

8. Gen Japanese Restaurant, Legend Hotel
Tel 03 40429888 RM62++

As we lived near Bandar Utama, our first choice was Momo. I called to make reservation but the phone was ringing off the hook and no one answered. So we decided the next nearest, Eyuzu at Eastin Hotel. We got our table reserved at 8pm.




The setting was so so, and due to the crowd, it was quite cramp as the tables were very near to each other. But the food was so good, especially the SHUSHI! Here's some pics and I will let the food do the talking!










The bill came to about RM390 after adding 10% for service tax and 5% for government tax.

Good value for money as we paid more than RM500 for the a la carte dinner at Kin Shui Tei restaurant in Tropicana last December.

Go check it out!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Petition for our rights for safer roads and travel

Please post this on your blog now to help:

Chung Lern and Nian Ning’s families would like all families and friends of the victims, dead or alive, in the Slim River Bus Crash to come forward and join them in taking action against the bus company. Stand up to seek justice for these three innocent individuals, who were all so young and full of life.

If you have a blog, please call out to ANYONE who knows someone who survived or did not survive the crash to come forward to join the Lee family.


Make a huge difference, make a huge fuss.

For now, you may contact Lee Chung Lern at chunglern@gmail.com or preferably on his handphone at 012-6670368.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

What a laugh !

May God save us all if this is TRUE!
(click to enlarge)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Human Rights Walk and Street Protests

The recent street protests and Walk for Peace, Walk for Justice were unusual for Malaysia. How did they come about?

Why were there protests? For folks who rely on the mainstream newspapers for their daily feed of news and information or misinformation, they must have brushed aside these as annoying events that disrupt their daily routine and lifestyle.

Today is a Selangor Public Holiday but not for folks working in KL but the jam into the city was so bad. It started at 7.30am from One Utama all the way to Jalan Parliament. All of us were caught in the massive jam from One U and thought that it might be due to an accident. But no, it was the numerous road blocks reducing the many highways and roads into one lane!

I did not see the police checking on any cars at all. They just stood there watching us struggling to jostle from 4 lanes into one lane. Infact, I dared say I noticed sinister smiles from our friends in blue!

So After queuing for more than 40 minutes, I decided to turn back and headed back to One Utama and used the MRR 2 and it took me less than 20 minutes to reach the office which is just outside the city centre.

Why were the police so determined to frustrate and cause hell to us working folks, I don't know. May be they are trying to portray to the public that it was due to the protests by BERSIH or the Human Rights Walk, and we should all get angry with these groups?

I hope I am wrong.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Q. E. D.

Q.E.D. = Quite Easily Done?

At least this is what I have been taught or told.

In actual fact, as it turns out, Q.E.D. is the acronyms of a Latin phrase:

Quod Erat Demonstrandum meaning "this is what I set out to prove"

Example of Q.E.D. being used:

".....thus, the
square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the two legs. Q.E.D."


Friday, November 30, 2007

Political Debate

Watching the US Democratic and the Republican Debate on YouTube these past couple of days really enforces the notion that we are indeed living in a borderless world today and how important internet has become very much part of our everyday life.

The way those Presidential candidates answered and handled challenges/rebuttal/remarks thrown at them spoke volume of their maturity and ability to hold their composure and demeanor in front of millions of live audience both in the auditorium and on national TV. No calling of names, no shouting and gesture of profanities, no threatening words.

Unfortunately, the same could not be said of our Dewan Rakyat/Dewan Negeri debate.

Yet, these debates are being viewed, side-by-side, with the American Democratic/Republican Debate on the same YouTube.

Blogger Josh wrote from US:

Being here in the US and having the TV on all the time except when I am asleep, I couldn't help watching first, the Democratic Presidential candidates' debate then just two days ago, the Republican debate. I like the way people post Youtube videos and pose tough questions to the candidates. And I must say, most of the candidates are able to respond well and maintain their composure. They are even civil to each other although they are trying to snuff out the competition.

We in Bolehland do much better than them, ya? Ya? Ya??!

So to stir my pot of patriotism, I went to search for some videos of our dear leaders having intelligent, civil debate in Parliament. I was amazed by their intelletual capabilities and how eloquently they express their views. My my my. I feel so renewed, so refresed and of course, so patriotic.

You deserve the MPs and the Government you voted for !








Thursday, November 22, 2007

Is this our Malaysia's Way?

A well written article by Michael Backman of The Age, Australia:

Truth and justice are no longer Malaysian way

Recent street protests have highlighted the self-serving nature of Malaysia's Government.

THE Government of Australia will probably change hands this weekend. There will be no arrests, no tear gas and no water cannons. The Government of John Howard will leave office, the Opposition will form a government and everyone will accept the verdict.

For this, every Australian can feel justifiably proud. This playing by the rules is what has made Australia rich and a good place in which to invest. It is a country to which people want to migrate; not leave.

Now consider Malaysia. The weekend before last, up to 40,000 Malaysians took to the streets in Kuala Lumpur to protest peacefully against the judiciary's lack of independence, electoral fraud, corruption and a controlled media.

In response, they were threatened by the Prime Minister, called monkeys by his powerful son-in-law, and blasted with water cannons and tear gas. And yet the vast majority of Malaysians do not want a change of government. All they want is for their government to govern better.

Both Malaysia and Australia have a rule of law that's based on the English system. Both started out as colonies of Britain. So why is Malaysia getting it so wrong now?

Malaysia's Government hates feedback. Dissent is regarded as dangerous, rather than a product of diversity. And like the wicked witch so ugly that she can't stand mirrors, the Government of Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi controls the media so that it doesn't have to see its own reflection.

Demonstrations are typically banned. But what every Malaysian should know is that in Britain, Australia and other modern countries, when people wish to demonstrate, the police typically clear the way and make sure no one gets hurt. The streets belong to the people. And the police, like the politicians, are their servants. It is not the other way around.

But increasingly in Malaysia, Malaysians are being denied a voice — especially young people.

Section 15 of Malaysia's Universities and University Colleges Act states that no student shall be a member of or in any manner associate with any society, political party, trade union or any other organisation, body or group of people whatsoever, be it in or outside Malaysia, unless it is approved in advance and in writing by the vice-chancellor.

Nor can any student express or do anything that may be construed as expressing support, sympathy or opposition to any political party or union. Breaking this law can lead to a fine, a jail term or both.

The judiciary as a source of independent viewpoints has been squashed. The previous prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, did many good things for Malaysia, but his firing of the Lord President (chief justice) and two other Supreme Court judges in 1988 was an unmitigated disaster. Since then, what passes for a judiciary in Malaysia has been an utter disgrace and the Government knows it.

Several years ago, Daim Zainuddin, the country's then powerful finance minister, told me that judges in Malaysia were idiots. Of course we want them to be biased, he told me, but not that biased.

Rarely do government ministers need to telephone a judge and demand this or that verdict because the judges are so in tune with the Government's desires that they automatically do the Government's beckoning.

Just how appalling Malaysia's judiciary has become was made clear in recent weeks with the circulation of a video clip showing a senior lawyer assuring someone by telephone that he will lobby the Government to have him made Lord President of the Supreme Court because he had been loyal to the Government. That someone is believed to have been Ahmad Fairuz Abdul Halim, who did in fact become Lord President.

A protest march organised by the Malaysian Bar Council was staged in response to this, and corruption among the judiciary in general. But the mainstream Malaysian media barely covered the march even though up to 2000 Bar Council members were taking part. Reportedly, the Prime Minister's office instructed editors to play down the event.

Instead of a free media, independent judges and open public debate, Malaysians are given stunts — the world's tallest building and most recently, a Malaysian cosmonaut. Essentially, they are given the play things of modernity but not modernity itself.

Many senior Malays are absolutely despairing at the direction of their country today. But with the media tightly controlled they have no way of getting their views out to their fellow countrymen. This means that most Malaysians falsely assume that the Malay elite is unified when it comes to the country's direction.

Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, a former finance minister and today still a member of the Government, told me several weeks ago in Kuala Lumpur that he could see no reason why today Malaysia could not have a completely free media, a completely independent judiciary and that corrupt ministers and other officials should be publicly exposed and humiliated.

According to Tengku Razaleigh, all of the institutions designed to make Malaysia's Government accountable and honest have been dismantled or neutered.

It didn't need to be like this. Malaysia is not North Korea or Indonesia. It is something quite different. Its legal system is based on British codes. Coupled with traditional Malay culture, which is one of the world's most hospitable, decent and gentle cultures, Malaysia has the cultural and historical underpinnings to become one of Asia's most civilised, rules-based, successful societies.

Instead, Malaysia's Government is incrementally wasting Malaysia's inheritance.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sweet Pickles Vs Anthrax Powder

This is a funny story carried by IHT today:


"A Malaysian diplomat has apologized to the Iraqi Embassy for mistaking a gift parcel of sweet pickles as anthrax powder, a news report said Saturday.

Zakaria Sulong, the newly appointed ambassador to Germany, sent a fax to the Iraqi mission offering his "sincere and deepest apologies" for the misunderstanding which he "deeply regretted," the New Straits Times said.

The Iraqi Embassy sent the parcel to Zakaria as a gift on Sept. 13 to mark the Islamic holiday of Ramadan. He only saw white powder when he opened it and fearing it might be anthrax, placed the box in a barrel outside his house and called the police, the newspaper said.

Police discovered the powder was sugar sprinkled on top of the pickles to preserve them, it said.

Iraq's envoy lodged a complaint with Malaysia's foreign ministry over Zakaria's "panic-stricken behavior," the report said.

Iraq's charge d'affaires Hoshiar Dazayi was quoted as saying the fruit pickles were an Iraqi delicacy and were also sent to the offices of the Malaysian king, prime minister and foreign minister as Ramadan gifts.

"It is such a special sweet and this year I wanted to show my appreciation to the Malaysian government, the ministry and my friends," he said.

Zakaria's apology was personal and fell short of an official apology from the Malaysian government, he added.

Zakaria and Iraqi Embassy officials could not be reached Saturday for comment."

Perhaps our Diplomatic Corp should train all new Ambassadors on how to differentiate between pickles and anthrax and learn to be less panicky.


Friday, September 21, 2007

Farewell, Nurin and Start of the Blame Game !

Pic courtesy of Bodohland


UPDATE (22 Sept 07): While we all grieved for little Nurin and felt for her parents, Jazimin and Norazian, our "heartless" IGP, Tan Sri Musa Hassan was quoted by mStar to have suggested that the parents be charged for negligence under "Children's Protection Act" !

This was also the view of the Women, Family and Community Development Minister as quoted by NST suggesting that parents whose negligence leads to their children being harmed risk being jailed.


Here goes another favourite game of the people we had voted and given full trust in the last election, to protect and to serve the nation and rakyat. This "Blame Game" is denial syndrome of the highest degree. Instead of going in full force to nab the perpetrators or conspirators, they seemed to be more interested in nailing the reporting parties or the whistle-blowers.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Have you seen little Nurin Jazlin Jazimin?

UPDATE: Heartbroken...The latest news is that the girl in the bag is Nurin after all. See The Star. We convey our heartfelt condolences to the parents, Jazimin and Norazian for their lost...

Original Post: En Jazimin Abdul Jalil, the distraught father of little Nurin, has put up a blog appealing to the public to help find Nurin who had been missing since 22nd August 2007.

Someone somewhere must have seen Nurin. Please please help to provide any information to the police or to En Jazimin.

It will be the best Hari Raya gift anyone could give to the family!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Wise Words from a Wise Man : Remembering Bob Hope

May 29, 1903 - July 27, 2003

Bob Hope, born Lesli Townes Hope, recipient of US Congressional Gold Medal


ON TURNING 70 "You still chase women, but only downhill".

ON TURNING 80 "That's the time of your life when even your birthday suit needs pressing."

ON TURNING 90 "You know you're getting old when the candles cost more than the cake."

ON TURNING 100 " I don't feel old. In fact I don't feel anything until noon . Then it's time for my nap."

ON GIVING UP HIS EARLY CAREER, BOXING "I ruined my hands in the ring ... The referee kept stepping on them."

ON GOLF "Golf is my profession. Show business is just to pay the green fees."

ON HIS FAMILY'S EARLY POVERTY "Four of us slept in the one bed. When it got cold, mother threw on another brother."

ON HIS SIX BROTHERS "That's how I learned to dance. Waiting for the bathroom."

ON HIS EARLY FAILURES " I would not have had anything to eat if it wasn't for the stuff the audience threw at me."


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Intimately Beckham Nights, the New Fragrance for MEN

David and Victoria in a strikingly raunchy pose

They are famous for their clean-cut family image. But David and Victoria Beckham pose in a sultry, semi-pornographic embrace under crisp white bed linen to show their 'dark side' while launching a new perfume.

This advert was shot by Terry Richardson, infamous for his semi-pornographic pictures, to promote their scent Intimately Beckham Night.

Beckham, 32, said: 'Not many people see this side of us and I think that's what's great about having a fragrance like this. It's a way of us showing our dark side.'

Touching and cooing each other, the Beckhams insisted the fragrance was a joint effort.

It was created by French perfumer Coty, the firm behind scents for Kylie Minogue and Kate Moss.

Daily Mail

Monday, September 10, 2007

Proton Oh Proton - Part II


Apparently this launch car in Kuching was found to be fitted with two fuel gauges instead of one for fuel and one for temperature.

No wonder the Proton bosses were all red faced. Anyone who bought this model could confirm this?

Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Looting of Kenya

The looting of Kenya

The Guardian: The looting of Kenya

Link
http://www.guardian.co.uk/kenya/story/0,,2159757,00.html
Country
United Kingdom
Date
2007-08-30 (Friday)
Source
The looting of Kenya under President Moi
By
Xan Rice

The breathtaking extent of corruption perpetrated by the family of the former Kenyan leader Daniel Arap Moi was exposed last night in a secret report that laid bare a web of shell companies, secret trusts and frontmen that his entourage used to funnel hundreds of millions of pounds into nearly 30 countries including Britain.

The 110-page report by the international risk consultancy Kroll, seen by the Guardian, alleges that relatives and associates of Mr Moi siphoned off more than £1bn of government money. If true, it would put the Mois on a par with Africa's other great kleptocrats, Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) and Nigeria's Sani Abacha. The assets accumulated included multimillion pound properties in London, New York and South Africa, as well as a 10,000-hectare ranch in Australia and bank accounts containing hundreds of millions of pounds. The report, commissioned by the Kenyan government, was submitted in 2004, but never acted upon. It details how:

· Mr Moi's sons - Philip and Gideon - were reported to be worth £384m and £550m respectively;

· His associates colluded with Italian drug barons and printed counterfeit money;

· His clique owned a bank in Belgium;

· The threat of losing their wealth prompted threats of violence between Mr Moi's family and his political aides;

· £4m was used to buy a home in Surrey and £2m to buy a flat in Knightsbridge.

Kroll said last night it could not confirm or deny the authenticity of the report.

The Kroll investigation into the former regime was commissioned by President Mwai Kibaki shortly after he came to power on an anti-corruption platform in 2003. It was meant to be the first step towards recovering some of the money stolen during Mr Moi's 24-year rule, which earned Kenya the reputation as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

But soon after the investigation was launched, Mr Kibaki's government was caught up in its own scandal, known as Anglo Leasing, which involved awarding huge government contracts to bogus companies.

Since then, none of Mr Moi's relatives or close allies has been prosecuted. No money has been recovered. Three of the four ministers who resigned after the Anglo Leasing scandal was exposed have since been reinstated.

Last night, the Kenyan government confirmed that it received the Kroll report in April 2004. But Alfred Mutua, the government spokesman, said it was incomplete and inaccurate, and that Kroll had not been engaged to do any further work.

"We did not find that the report was credible. It was based a lot on hearsay." He said the leaking of the report was politically motivated and insisted Kenya was working with foreign governments to recover the stolen money. "Some of the money is in UK bank accounts. We have asked the British government to help us recover the funds, but so far they have refused."

The report was obtained by the website Wikileaks, which aims to help expose corruption. The document is believed to have been leaked by a senior government official upset about Mr Kibaki's failure to tackle corruption and by his alliance with Mr Moi before the presidential election in December.

On Tuesday Mr Moi said he was backing Mr Kibaki for a second term, saying he was disappointed that "selfish individual interests have been entrenched in our society". Mr Moi remains an influential figure in Kenya and his endorsement is expected to go some way to ensuring his successor's re-election.

In the Kroll report the investigators allege that a Kenyan bank was the key to getting vast sums of money of out of the country via its foreign currency accounts. The same bank had already laundered $200m (£100m) on behalf of the late Mr Abacha, with the assistance of a Swiss-based "financier".

"It is believed that twice as much was laundered through the same system by the Mois," the report said.

Kroll confirmed last night that it had previously done work for the Kenyan government. A company spokesman was given extracts of the report seen by the Guardian. "We cannot confirm or deny that this report is what it purports to be," he said. "Nor can we talk about the scope, content or results of any work we have done for the government of Kenya, which remains confidential."

Gideon Moi is an MP and Philip Moi is a businessman. Daniel Arap Moi's spokesman did not return calls last night.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Breakthrough: A machine that cures Cancer!

Man invented machine that can cure cancer

A Florida man with no medical training has invented a machine that he believes may lead to a cure for cancer.John Kanzius, who turns 63 on March 1, is a former broadcasting executive from Pennsylvania who wondered if his background in physics and radio could come in handy in treating the disease from which he suffers himself.Inside his Sanibel Island garage, Kanzius invented a machine he believes sits on the brink of a major medical breakthrough.
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Kanzius explained that his machine uses a solution filled with nanoparticles, which measure no more than one-billionth of a meter. A test subject would be injected with either gold or carbon nanoparticles, which would make their way through the body and attach to the cancerous cells. The test subject would then enter the machine and receive a dose of radio frequency waves, theoretically heating and killing the cancerous cells in moments and leaving nearby cells untouched."That is the holy grail ... Research has shown that they're able to kill them once they attach to the cancer cells," Kanzius said.Kanzius said he hopes to begin human testing with his machine within the next two years.

go here for details!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Proton oh Proton !
















Proton Persona was launched by DYMM Agung yesterday (15 August 2007).


This article from Forbes.com caught my eye today:

Malaysia's Proton Pins Hopes on New Car

Malaysia's money-losing car maker Proton launched a new stylish sedan Wednesday that it hopes will lift its sagging sales and return the company to profit.

The new Pesona model, together with Proton's new ventures in China, will "mark the emergence of Proton from its low ebb," Managing Director Syed Zainal Abidin said in a company statement.

Proton has been losing money and market share in Malaysia, Southeast Asia's biggest passenger car market. Its domestic market share has plunged to around 23 percent from 60 percent in 2002 amid stiff competition from both domestic and foreign rivals.

Syed Zainal was quoted by national news agency Bernama as saying that Proton hopes to export the new car to Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Britain and Australia to reap economies of scale. Proton "cannot concentrate on the domestic market alone as it is getting smaller and smaller. That's why export is going to be the approach," he was quoted as saying.

Some analysts are not convinced the Pesona can greatly boost Proton's fortunes.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Michael Backman commented in his exclusive interview with Malaysia-today.net recently that Malaysia should NOT have a national car because one cannot get sufficient economies of scale with a population as small as Malaysia's when it comes to car manufacturing.

Whether this statement is true of not is not the subject of this blog.

The truth is, Proton car, especially GEN 2 is just too disappointing, to say the least.

My first Proton car was, unfortunately, a GEN 2. I was unlucky to have been the first batch GEN 2 owner, having awed by its sleek design and by the euphoria of the grand launch by PM. I received the car after six weeks and after resisting the countless offers to "jump queue" to be among the firsts to get the car.

The car "behaved" well for the first 3 months, if you did not count the complaints of creaking noise from my family as imperfections. Then one fine day while driving near our house, we noticed the car wobbled and jerked as if we had a flat tyre. But the tyres were fine.

We brought the car to Proton Platinum showroom immediately and upon arriving, we noticed the bonnet was dented by something protruding from below. It was the shock absorber which had come loose and now sticking up like a sore thumb! Imagine if we had been on the North South Expressway at night, far from civilisation or on the busy Jalan Tun Razak during peak hour... we could have caused a massive jam! And it was supposed to be a brand new car, for crying out loud!

The Proton mechanic knew the problem right away. He even suggested that I should have brought the car in earlier as they knew of this problem (probably by the numbers of car brought in for repair) and had informed their office to notify the other owners. Sadly, they "managed" to exclude our names.

Our "new" car had to be "hospitalized" for more than a week to replace the parts, to change to a new bonnet (I insisited I would not accept a re-knocked bonnet) and to do the painting job. And all these within 6 months of owning the new car !!

We are still trying to get rid of the GEN 2 but the price is so bad that we have no choice but to keep it as a spare car.

One thing is for sure... no more Proton car for us !

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Google Earth now in 3D

Google Earth is a wonderful tool. More and more people are using it for presentation, for advertising and even for promotion.

Now Google Earth is offering 3D views of buildings and bridges. This however is applicable only to major cities within the US; and only a few prominent buildings are rendered in great details such as the World Finance Centre, Jacob K.J. Federal Building etc.

The two images show the view at World Trade Centre in normal Google Earth view, while the other one show the superimposed 3D rendered buildings around the WTC.



I also found out that the Google Earth people had also rendered our Petronas Twin Towers quite beautifully in 3D!

The captured image in comparison with the one I captured while flying over the area here provide an interesting perspective!


Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia


Pic courtesy of Mob's Crib

Monday, August 06, 2007

Another Joke to Start the Week!

One day, a magic mirror was delivered to the Parliament Building.
This magic mirror will verify if something you think of will come true or not.

All one has to do is stand in front of it and say what you are thinking.
If it is the truth, it will let out a thunderous applause but if is not likely to happen or if it is a lie, the person asking the question will be given the boot and 'POOF!' he or she disappears.

So Ropidah Azis stood in front of the mirror and says:
"I think Mahathir and and I will become good friends again."
POOF! She disappears. Verdit : Not likely to happen.


Then Najis stood in front and says :
"I think I will become the next Prime Minister of Malaysia."
POOF! Given the boot and disappears. Verdit: Fact hope!


Well.. Abdol Bodowi walked past and decided to give it a try.
He stood in front of the mirror and says : " I think."
POOF!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

My Caricature by Samsudin Ismail


I wrote a few days ago about Samsudin Ismail. the very talented Sketch Artist who hails from Sik, Kedah and now lives in Melawati, KL. He had graciously consented to do a sketch for me, for FREE!

He just sent me my caricature complete with "work in progress" sketch. Wonderful effort.

You should get to know this guy; he is so humble and so immensely talented.

Thank you, Sudin !

Visit him here!

Hawaiian Love Song OR Our National Anthem?

AUGUST is here and our countdown to the 50th Merdeka Celebration has begun.

A friend sent me a link to this Hawaiian Love song named "Mamula Moon". The intro reminds me of our National Anthem.

Happy 50th Merdeka!










Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Jeff 4 Parliament : A New Galactico in Malaysian Politics


I am happy to extend my warmest and heartfelt congratulation to Jeff Ooi on his entering the political arena.

I used to read Jeff Ooi's Screenshots blog. I respected him for the ideology he stands for and for the articles he wrote. He is always sharp and insightful in current issues. He is tireless in uncovering the wrongs and the ills of our society. He is someone who really care for the country and the well being of all Malaysians.

Unfortunately, he sometimes could be short tempered and arrogant. Let me relate my brief experience with him.

I sent him an email in late December 2006 about an Air Asia B737 aircraft landed on its belly at one of our airports. This was forwarded to me by a friend from a neighbouring country. I did not read the report in the mainstream newspapers so I thought it was recent and an interesting lead for him to follow, all in good intention. Few days later, I got this from him:

* * * * * * * *

Jeff:
"Stop it!"

"This is almost 3 years old, and I have received it a dozen times since 2004!"

me:
"Sorry, I thought it was recent as I had just received in December 06.

Anyway, I hope you could be a bit more polite with your fellow bloggers. Your tone was reprimanding and intimidating, especially when we are just trying to provide you with good leads for your articles. "

Jeff:
"You should know I am a no nonsense person.

If you start spreading via email materials that are unsubstantiated with current evidence, you may be reprimanded by law, and I am not willing to be associated in anyway with you as I don't solicit rubbish like the one you sent me.

I ask in not uncertain terms to stop. You can take it as a frank but stern advice -- I don't give a damn if you say it's rude -- and feeling your ego is bruised. Your choice.

Rgds, but you are wasting my time."

* * * * * * * *

Even if I was wrong in forwarding the email to him, albeit with good intention, he did not have to practically shout at my face??

Anyway, I have put this episode behind me and have moved on. I still read his blog but had refrained from writing to him or commenting on them.

I wish Jeff all the best in his new undertaking !

Friday, July 27, 2007

Samsudin bin Ismail : Talented Local Sketch Artist

Li Ka Shin, Forbes' List of Top Ten Billionaire
Sketch by Samsudin bin Ismail

"Met" this talented Sketch Artist in Facebook today. This sketch of Li Ka Shin is one of his many sketches on the website.

If you are nice to him, he will even do one sketch of you for FREE! Go visit!