Thursday, February 24, 2011
A manuscript of a previously unknown Enid Blyton novel has been discovered in a children's book centre.
Mr Tumpy's Caravan is a 180-page fantasy about a caravan with a mind of its own. The story features a princess in a foreign land, a dog-headed dragon and a pet dog called Bun-Dorg.
It was included in a collection of manuscripts auctioned by the Blyton family in September and bought by the Seven Stories centre in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Initially, staff believed it to be a version of a comic strip collection entitled Mr Tumpy and His Caravan, which was published in 1949. However, after consulting experts they realised that the characters and plot were entirely different, and only the name remained the same. The address on the typescript - ''Old Thatch, Bourne End, Buckinghamshire'' - dates it to early in Blyton's writing career, as she left there in 1938.
Tony Summerfield, of the Enid Blyton Society, said: ''This story had been sitting unnoticed in a pile of manuscripts, I guess in a bottom drawer, and I don't think anybody fully understood what it was. The chapter titles are pretty naive and I think this was a very early attempt at a novel, perhaps one that was sent to a publisher in the early 1930s and rejected. It is unique. I am certain there are no other Enid Blyton manuscripts sitting around.''
Seven Stories paid £40,000 ($65,000) for the archive, which includes draft copies of the Famous Five, Secret Seven, Noddy and Malory Towers stories. It was auctioned following the death of Blyton's elder daughter, Gillian Baverstock.
Blyton's younger daughter, Imogen Smallwood, told the BBC: ''There's always excitement when an unknown typescript is found of anybody's who is well-known. Because this wasn't even known about, it has to rank quite high.''
Blyton died in 1968 at the age of 71.
The first time I celebrated Christmas was in 1968. I thought like Chinese New Year I would get the usual red packet (ang pow)instead to my surprise,I got a book titled "Five On A Treasure Island" written by Enid Blyton.
I finished reading the book within a day and got hook on the Famous Five. So every month I look forward for my pocket allowance to buy a Famous Five book.
So imagine my surprise that none of my children bother to read or found it interesting enough to finish reading a single book by Enid Blyton, though I have the whole series for their reading purpose. Children nowadays are too engross over Television and Computers.
So if you are like me whose first story book was written by Enid Blyton and have a collection, keep them for your grandchildren.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
PETALING JAYA, Feb 11 — The business community should strive to be more competitive and focus on economic growth instead of fighting over the country’s economic distribution, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today.
“We want to grow the economic cake. It is pointless fighting about how this cake is split when the real issue that we should be addressing is how we can make the cake bigger, in a world where business borders are becoming irrelevant,” the prime minister said after meeting members of the Small and Medium Industries (SMI) Association of Malaysia.
Najib went to great lengths today to maintain that the government would do its best to cater to all sections of the business community, stressing that negativity towards the government’s economic reforms was counter-productive.
“It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness,” he said.
Najib also assured the business community today that his administration was ready to provide opportunities to create “new wealth” but pointed out that technological innovation was the only way to maximise profits.
The launch of the government’s Special Innovation Unit (Unik) will help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) achieve that goal, he said.
Najib said Unik will assist the commercial owners in finding new forms of technology or innovations from universities and research institutes, so that the discoveries can be marketed for profit.
“You, the SME sector, have to change your approach regarding innovation... you have to make technology adoption an integral part of your business strategy,” he added.
Najib has come under fire recently over the launch of a new unit created to enhance Bumiputera economic participation, Teraju, which Pakatan Rakyat (PR) claimed contradicted the spirit of New Economic Model (NEM).
DAP publicity chief Tony Pua accused Najib of abandoning the purpose of the NEM, which is to restructure the affirmative action programmes to benefit the bottom 40 per cent of income earners regardless of race.
When launching Teraju on Tuesday, Najib had said that the unit will lead, co-ordinate and drive Bumiputera economic participation through new and existing initiatives, propose institutional reform to increase effectiveness and act as the secretariat for the Bumiputera Agenda Supreme Council (MTAB) that oversees Bumiputera economic development.
Najib had in the past promised that reforms to the economy would still see to the needs and interests of the Bumiputera community, which is comprised of the majority Malay population as well as indigenous people such as the Orang Asli.
He had said Bumiputeras account for 73 per cent of the 2.4 million households in the lowest 40 per cent income bracket.
Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin also denied accusations that the NEM had been “watered down” with the launch of Teraju.
In 2009, Najib had done away with regulations requiring a 30 per cent Bumiputera stake in 27 service and financial sub-sectors and limited the purview of the Foreign Investment Committee that oversees Bumiputera equity.
A 30 per cent Bumiputera stake in the national economy has been an objective of the government since the implementation of the NEP in 1970.
Official statistics state that Bumiputera-held equity in the country stands at 18.7 per cent as of 2004. - Malaysian Insider
At the recent SMI meeting Najib was asked by the public how to grow or share an economic cake when there is not a slice in sight since the whole cake had been given to the APs holders and UMNOPutras? Everyone present cheered and clapped in support of that question. Najib turned red and was shocked. Najib then timidly asked the public to give him more time as he started his premiership not too long ago.
No matter how rich a person may be, there comes a time when money cannot buy back health or the past.
Samsuddin first wife had been in coma for the past 18 years. She had not witness her children growing up nor known of her grandchildren.
Meantime Samsuddin had gone from being a nobody to a millionaire then a pauper and now almost a millionaire again. Thanks to his good fortune of being one of Daim's nominees he is what he is today a pariah. Sam lost his head and became arrogant when he married his South African maid, Allah then taught him a beautiful lesson. The maid cheated and stole all his assets, took the children and got Sam kicked out from South Africa.
When he came back to Malaysia, he had to borrow money from his relatives and friends. Since Samsuddin knows of Daim's dirty dealing, the former got a second chance. So has Sam learnt his lesson? I don't think so.
Sam's first wife does not need our pity. The children should have the courage to let her go. Whatever she has done in the past, time has long gone.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
February 1 2011
Petronas awards US$800mil first ever risk service contract
PETALING JAYA: Kencana Petroleum Bhd and SapuraCrest Petroleum Bhd, together with Petrofac Energy Developments Sdn Bhd (PED), have bagged an estimated US$800mil contract from Petroliam Nasional Bhd to jointly develop and operate an oil and gas field in Berantai.
This would mark the first time the national oil company has awarded a risk-service contract (RSC) (as opposed to a production-sharing contract) for the development and production of petroleum resources in the country.
The joint operating agreement (JOA) will be 50% owned and led by PED, part of London-listed Petrofac Ltd Group of Companies, while Kencana's wholly-owned Kencana Energy Sdn Bhd and SapuraCrest's wholly-owned Sapura Energy Ventures Sdn Bhd would each hold a 25% interest, said both companies in an announcement to Bursa Malaysia.
The operating parties will be jointly responsible to provide field development plan, execute and complete the plan including its funding and carry out production of petroleum resources from the Berantai field over the course of the RSC, which is for a nine-year period starting from Jan 31. The project is targeting first gas by end of December 2011 with the first development phase of 18 wells expected to be completed by end-2012.
“This is a very fast-track project to be delivered by year-end (for the first gas production). It's not a normal timeline but with the concerted effort of all the three parties ... (we are quite confident of meeting the timeline).
“We do not own the concession but we are proud Petronas has given Malaysian companies a chance to participate and take on more risks. We estimate the development cost to be a minimum US$800mil. It all depends on the first phase of production ... there may be a second phase, so the expenditure could go up,” Kencana's group chief executive officer Datuk Mokhzani Mahathir told StarBiz.
SapuraCrest executive vice-chairman Datuk Shahril Shamsuddin said: “We need to work very fast as the timeframe is tight. But it's not unachievable. We have allocated resources to ensure this project is completed on time. The whole idea is to bring local companies into the value chain.
“There are no freebies in this. The risks are real and it's a serious project.”
The rights and liabilities of each party will be in proportion to their respective interest in the JOA. Kencana Energy and Sapura Energy's contribution into the development cost would be approximately US$200mil each. Kencana Petroleum said it will fund this via internal funds, borrowings and proceeds from equity/debt fund raising exercise.
As at end-July 2010, Kencana Petroleum Group's borrowings stood at RM225.9mil. Assuming that 50% of Kencana Energy's cost to develop the project is funded through borrowings, the total borrowing of Kencana Petroleum Group will increase by RM310mil to RM535.9mil.
Accordingly, the company said its gearing, after adjusting for the private placement of 166.70 million new shares, would increase from 0.30 times to 0.47 times.
Sapura, for its part, said it would fund the job through a combination of internal funds and external borrowings.
The operating team undertaking the project shall comprise personnel from each of the operating parties.
“Overall supervision and direction of the operations are vested in a management committee consisting of representatives from each of the operating parties. Each of the operating parties shall have the right to deploy works and services to the project,” said the companies.
Kencana said the contract presented the opportunity to expand its service offering within the upstream oil and gas services and move up the value chain as a field developer and operator while extending the group's earning visibility.
For SapuraCrest, it said the contract would mark a “step change in ascending the oil and gas value chain and developing new competencies in new areas of the oil and gas industry.”
The project is expected to improve both companies' net asset, net asset per share and earnings per share over the duration of the contract.
The companies pointed out that the risk factors included execution risks such as availability of technical expertise, skilled manpower, materials, changes in prices of materials, and changes in political, economic and regulatory conditions.
The Berantai field is located about 150 km offshore Terengganu. The development of the Berantai field will involve the provision of one well-head platform with 18 wells together with related pipeline linking it to another existing platform and a provision of a floating production, storage and off-loading vessel. A second well-head platform is expected to be installed in a subsequent phase.
March 25 2010
Petronas denies oil field find
KUALA LUMPUR: Petronas has strongly denied reports that it has made a big discovery of an oil field which is said to be one of the biggest in the world.
“We adopt a well-established reporting process whereby we make progress report to the board and stake holders as well as to the Government.
“There is no way we are hiding any information with regards to the discovery as we have no intention to hide any news,” exploration and production business vice-president Ramlan A Malek told a media briefing yesterday.
He added that an announcement would have already been made if the company had found a big oil field.
Former Petronas chairman Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah had reportedly claimed that Petronas had discovered a huge tract of oil reserve that could significantly reduce oil prices.
Razaleigh said it was the prerogative of the Prime Minister to give Petronas the green light to start extracting oil from newly-discovered fields.
To this, Ramlan said although the company did not rule out the possibility of discovering a huge oil field in the future, it was unlikely to find such an oil field in the country.
“At this moment, there are no announcements of huge oil field discovery in this region. The most recent discovery was in Brazil of a huge oil field that can produce about five to eight billion barrels,” he said.
He added that Malaysia’s current oil production of about 600,000 barrels per day was just a fraction of the total world oil production and this would unlikely affect global crude oil prices.
For future plans, Ramlan said Petronas would venture into deep-water reservoir exploration in the country.
“This will involve a huge amount of investment as we are dealing with quite a challenging environment. An average investment to drill in shallow water is about US$10mil (RM33.2mil) but for deepwater it can go up to as high as US$100mil (RM333.2mil),” he said.
Ramlan said Petronas would continue to drill an average of 30 wells per year in Sabah, Terengganu and Sarawak.
The country’s oil reserves can last until 2017 if there is no new discovery.
March 20 2010
Tengku Razaleigh makes a claim
Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah today claimed he was told that the national oil company, Petronas, has made a “very big discovery of an oil field, probably the biggest in the world”.
This discovery, he asserted, meant that Petronas would have a very good future. However, the founding chairman of Petronas declined to go into details.
tengku razaleigh speech 110310 02"I was told... no announcement (was) made (about) a very big discovery of oil. I was told there was a big discovery... which could depress the oil price. I was also told it is the biggest oil field or oil well (not only) in this part of world but also in any part of the world.
"I cannot disclose the (location)... I cannot tell you," he said when asked repeatedly about the discovery, which he mentioned in his talk titled, 'Conversations on the Constitution and Oil Royalty - A Constitutional Right?' organised by the Bar Council today.
He also did not identify who had told him of the developments in Petronas.
Razaleigh had recently spoken against the federal government's stand that the Kelantan government had no right to demand royalty for the oil extracted from the state's offshore area.
Razaleigh, a former finance minister, said a large oil find means Petronas had a good future but added, it must be properly managed.
"I hope Petronas will be managed well... no leakages, so that money will come back to the people," he added.
Tengku Razaleigh announced that an oil field was found in Malaysia and probably the biggest in the world on March 21st 2010. Four days later Petronas denied such rumour.
But Tengku Razaleigh is too dignified to be a rumour monger so bingo 11 months later Petronas now come out with the news of the oil field discovery in Sarawak.
Why 11 months later? Like every business in Malaysia that rings Easy Ringgit, the division of spoils must be agreeable by the UMNO elites on who eats first and how much per bite.
So who are the priviledge ones. They are none other than : Taib, Mahathir, Ananda, Rosmah and Daim. But since they are old farts the second generations have been groomed to continue to grab on their behalf.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Under sweeping privatisation policies, they appropriated profitable public enterprises and vast areas of state-owned lands. A small group of businessmen seized public assets and acquired monopoly positions in strategic commodity markets … While crony capitalism flourished, local industries that were once the backbone of the economy were left to decline. At the same time, private sector industries making environmentally hazardous products … have expanded without effective regulation at a great cost to the health of the population.
A tiny economic elite controlling consumption-geared production and imports has accumulated great wealth. This elite includes representatives of foreign companies with exclusive import rights in … automobiles. It also includes real estate developers who created a construction boom in gated communities and resorts for the super-rich. Much of this development is on public land acquired at very low prices, with no proper tendering or bidding.
It is estimated that around a thousand families maintain control of vast areas of the economy. This business class sought to consolidate itself and protect its wealth through political office. The … party was their primary vehicle for doing so. This alliance of money and politics became flagrant in recent years when a number of businessmen became government ministers with portfolios that clearly overlapped with their private interests.
(The leader) presided over a process in which the national wealth passed into a few private hands while the majority of the population was impoverished, with 40% living below the poverty line…. In the last few months of 2010, (citizens) protested for an increase of the minimum monthly wage… This, at a time when the prices of food staples and utilities tariffs increased at very high rates. Indeed, as one local economist asserted, every single commodity and service cost significantly more…
The legitimate social and economic demands of the people were repressed and denied, and the regime used the police to control the population. Under emergency laws, the police acquired extensive powers and engaged in surveillance and monitoring of the population. Torture and abuse in police stations became routine…
(The country) was governed as a private estate… These beneficiaries do not want to leave their palaces, beaches and resorts, lucrative businesses and extreme riches. These are fixed assets that could not be transferred outside the country – although it should be noted that the ruling elites have siphoned off much capital to foreign banks. Nonetheless, it is the country-turned-private-estate they do not wish to abandon – that’s why they deployed the thugs … to terrorise the population. This is a tactic that the … party has used on many previous occasions…. Thugs have become an arm of the police and they have been used as informants in popular quarters of the city.
Those are excerpts from a Guardian report ‘A private estate called Egypt‘.
So what were you thinking?
Monday, February 7, 2011
So Mr Rosmah has given a warning and threat “Don’t try Egypt-style power grab in Malaysia. Don’t think that what is happening there must also happen in Malaysia. We will not allow it to happen here.”
Well Mr Rosmah I do not believe that you are greater or higher that the wrath of the people nor are you immune to Allah’s punishment. Thinking that because you are in the position to control, buy and bribe certain people, you cannot be unseated. Today PDRM, AG, Army, MACC, Judiciary, EC and cronies are behind you but the moment you stop giving them projects, land and money they are the very ones who will strip and hang you to dry. One cannot run away from the RAHMAN belief, plus you have the old fart and that first lady whore who is constantly out to compete with your position, shaking the boat. The people are not blind and deaf, it is you, the arrogant bastard who cannot see that.
The people’s numerous woes are cronyism and corruption. People like Mahathir, Daim, Pak Lah, Yaakob, Khairy, Nazri, Rais, Ng Yen Yen, Zambry and many more dinosaurs may have got away but it is you, who is destined to face the wrath of Destiny because of what first lady whore had done to Altantuya, Canny and others. It is just a matter of time before the files are open for public viewing that Altantuya was NOT the only one whose life was taken without mercy by both of you.
So continue feeding your cronies, threaten us, continue to use dirty tactics, use money to bribe and buy people’s heart. Be wary THE WRATH OF THE MALAYSIANS WILL BE WORST THAN THE EGYPTIANS.
Sunday, February 6, 2011
(Bernama) - LUMUT: The government has agreed to allocate RM6bil to build six second generation patrol vessels for the Royal Malaysian Navy, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Saturday.
The construction of the ships would boost the economy while benefiting 632 vendor companies, he told reporters here after a briefing on the project.
"Thus, we will ensure that at least RM2bil of the allocation will benefit these vendor companies which are strategic partners of Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd," he added.
Ahmad Zahid said that he would himself monitor the progress of the project, due to start next year, and ensure that all concerned benefit from it and that there was no delay in paying the vendors.
He said that Boustead Naval Shipyard had constructed several new generation vessels for the RMN and shown itself to be on par with other ship builders in the world.
Ahmad Zahid also said the Lumut-Bagan Datoh coastal area here has been identified for a world-class shipyard to be developed over the next 10 to 20 years.
He said the defence industry, including shipping, had immense potential in the Asean region and now generated income of US$25bil (RM75bil) a year.
If Malaysia could attract at least 20 percent of the defence spending, US$5bil or RM15bil could be generated by companies in the country, he said.
Ahmad Zahid the government was now trying to attract more defence industry-based projects, including ship building, to the country.
Zahid mentioned that the construction of the ships would boast the economy while benefiting 632 vendor companies. It would be good if Zahid can explain and tell us why build more vessels when global warming is showing its fury by way of cyclone, unusual heavy rain, earth quakes and eruption of volcanoes plus is there a need for it. Second if Parliament, Courts, Stadiums, Schools and bridges can collapse or leak, so how reliable will the vessels be? Will the vessels sink when it goes into operation and let our uniform men die in vain because of sloppy work and inferior material?
Then there is a big question mark of 632 vendor companies which I believe are all RM2.00 with Ah Kow and Samy as nominees. Also one must understand the standard rule that Zahid playing the donkey must be awarded his share of the commission which can be RM50 million and the first lady whore who will insist RM4 billion be diverted to her Swiss and America account.
So all these bullshit is just another scheme to help themselves to our money from EPF and Petronas.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Today, you are championing Malay Rights. You are angry that Non-Malays are questioning these rights. You are also angry that Malays themselves are questioning these so-called Rights. You want the other races to acknowledge that the Dominant Malays are the rightful heirs to this country called Malaysia. What an embarrassment to us Malays.
By Capt.Iskandar Dzulkarnain
Tun Dr Mahathir was Prime Minister of Malaysia for 22 years. All of us lived under his leadership during his tenure, and many of us have come to admire him and regard him with our deepest respect, for what he has done for the country. The Galleria Perdana in Langkawi is testimony to his achievements.
His Vision 2020, the Look East Policy, the Multimedia Super Corridor, the Internet and his efforts to industrialize the country has brought countless prosperity to our nation. We look upon him as the most successful leader since our nation’s independence.
Lately, we see a sudden about turn to his speeches and rhetorics. Many who listened with interest to his sermons, is alarmed at the vast distortion of everything he has tried to impress upon us in the past. He is beginning to sound incoherent, with a tinge of cynicsm. The great empire you built in the last 22years is slowly unravelling, crumbling, torn assunder by the words that spews forth from your mouth. Everyone, who knows you in the past, is becoming dissapointed in what you hold dear to.
At your age, we expect the Grand Old Vizier with bottomless wisdom, intellect, and wide political experience to advise us, and tell us where we went wrong, and to correct us. To bring continuous change, to unite us, and to tell us that we are all Citizens of this great nation, to warn us of the pitfalls of racism, corruption and to protect this country from tearing itself apart.
Lately, many of your speeches has been met with apprehension, and later with disgust as you keep on levelling criticism on the different races. Even Singapore was not spared. Your latest speech that Malaysia belongs to the Malays, that Malays think 1Malaysia is about abolishing vernacular schools, and that Chinese and Indians think that 1Malaysia means abolishing Malay Rights, is really hurtful and hard to swallow. I really wonder what is going through the mind of this once Great man?
Today, you are championing Malay Rights. You are angry that Non-Malays are questioning these rights. You are also angry that Malays themselves are questioning these so-called Rights. You want the other races to acknowledge that the Dominant Malays are the rightful heirs to this country called Malaysia. What an embarrassment to us Malays.
What special rights are you talking about? If the Malays have benefited from it, and given us a window of opportunity, and an edge over others, why has the Malays not advanced any further? All these years, the bragging and the promises about Special Rights has only led us to acknowledge that it is only a big pie in the sky.
Through 3 generations, we have come to accept that we are all Malaysian Citizens, and everyone is equal to everyone, and now we find out that we indeed do have Special Rights accorded only to us, and not to the others. We must also fight for our Rights and not let the other community take it away from us. But what are these Rights??? If we had Special Rights, why are the Malays still lagging behind? Did anybody actually accorded the Malays these Rights in the past? Did the Malays reject these Rights, so much so that they are now living in utter poverty? Can someone start going around and bestow this Rights upon us right now? When are we going to get these Rights? As far as we know, we never had any Rights!!! Ony the Chinese and Indians think we have Special Rights.
Most Malays don't give two hoots about Tanah Melayu, Ketuanan Melayu or Special Rights, because it does not exist. We also got bored waiting for these rights to be transfered to us. We just want a decent life, job, a brighter, predictable future. And the Right to practice our Religion free of encumbrance. We are a loosely knitted race that comprises mixed Javanese, Sumatran, Indian, Hunanese, Thai, and Middle East blood bound together by our Religion Islam. And yet in the INTERLOK novel we branded other communities as Pariahs.
And if there is a Special Right, I think I would want to have the Right to mingle freely with our Chinese and Indian friends, step into a church and listen with interest to their choirs singing Christmas Carols, drop by a Chinese temple, and observe the monks chanting their mantras, or to an Indian Temple to see how they worship. And to drop by the Pub, for a glass of cold Coke, withourt feeling a little peculiar. I want the right to tell all our fellow citizens that we do not harbour any ill will against them, that we are just like them and that we will always stand by them.
22 years in power, and yet so many of our kin still live in misery. We are not asking for utter riches, just a decent life, but many Malays still lives in utter misery, and in such contrast to the Super rich UMNOPutras. And in the last election, many Malays were abandoning BN in droves, and now the ruling elite are not confident any more of retaining their power and has started to take drastic measures to regain their support.
Lastly, keep this in mind. There is no racism in Malaysia. 99 percent of Malaysians are not racist. We are too busy living our lives than to check on our neighbours. It is the one percent who is desperately clinging on to power, bent on staying, and who will do anything at any cost,even selling their souls to the devil, that is causing all this ruckus about Racism in this country. The one percent of Malays, Chinese and Indians who are about to be given the boot are shouting Ketuanan Melayu and Ketuanan What not!!
Malays, in their right minds are not going to support this bunch of losers. That is why they say that the Malays are split between UMNO and PAS. And the blame was put on poor old Nik Aziz, who became the scapegoat for splitting the Malays.
They really must go!
In April 1974, Sadat presented what he called the October Working Paper, which described his vision of Egypt's future. The paper committed Egypt to building a strong country, continuing the confrontation with Israel, working toward Arab unity, and playing a leading role in world politics. Perhaps the most important part of Sadat's paper was the announcement of a new economic policy that came to be called infitah [Literally open door; refers to Anwar as Sadat's policy after the October 1973 War of relaxing government controls on the economy so as to encourage the private sector and stimulate the inflow of foreign funds.].
This new economic policy allowed increased foreign investment in Egypt, greater participation by the private sector in the Egyptian economy, more freedom for individuals to develop their own wealth and property, and relaxed currency regulations so that Egyptians could have access to foreign currency. The new direction gradually changed Egypt in many ways: the shops filled with foreign consumer goods; foreign companies built huge modern hotels; and new wealth was displayed in a way that had not been seen in Egypt since before the 1952 Revolution. Doubts began to be expressed, however, about how much all this was actually doing for the Egyptian people since foreign investment in long-term agricultural or industrial projects was lacking.
In January 1977, Egyptians took to the streets in antigovernment riots that demonstrated their disillusionment with infitah and the nepotism and corruption it spawned. The cause of the riots went back to late 1976 when Sadat, in an effort to solve the country's economic problems, asked the World Bank for loans. In response to the bank's criticisms of public subsidies, the government announced in January 1977 that it was ending subsidies on flour, rice, and cooking oil and canceling bonuses and pay increases.
The result was immediate and shocking. On January 18 and 19, there was rioting in towns from Aswan to Alexandria, variously described as the biggest upheaval since the 1919 riots against the British, or a second Black Saturday. It was the first time the army had been brought into the streets since 1952. For thirty-six hours, the rioters unleashed their pent-up fury on targets that symbolized the yawning gap between the haves and have-nots, the frivolity and corruption of the ruling class, and the incompetence and insensitivity of the administration. The rioters shouted slogans like, "Hero of the crossing, where is our breakfast?" and "Thieves of the infitah, the people are famished." There were also shouts of "Nasser, Nasser." In the clashes between demonstrators and police, 800 persons were killed, and several thousands were wounded, according to unofficial estimates. The rioting ended when the government canceled the price increases while retaining 10 percent wage increases and other benefits for public sector employees.
Memories of 1977
Do public protests about the increased cost of basic commodities have overtones of the bread riots more than three decades ago, asks Mohamed El-Sayed
Egyptians are generally not rebellious people though when their stomachs are empty the government should beware. That, at least, is the feeling of many commentators who felt a sense of déjà vu when looking at the demonstrations that hit the streets of Cairo, Port Said and Mahalla in a week when the public finally began to protest against increases in the price of basic commodities.
Memories of the bread riots that broke out when President Anwar El-Sadat attempted to cut subsidies on a range of basic foodstuffs were never far away when, beginning last Thursday, the Egyptian Movement for Change (Kifaya) attempted to stage the first demonstration in Cairo's Sayeda Zeinab Square. Security forces arrested around 50 Kifaya members along with a number of journalists covering the event. While those detained were held in Central Security trucks the rest of the protesters headed to the Press Syndicate to continue the protest. The heavy-handed approach adopted by the police towards the protesters prompted the Washington-based Human Rights Watch to criticise the Egyptian authorities. "Egyptian authorities are taking every opportunity to signal to citizens that when it comes to peaceful criticism of government policies forget about exercising your rights," said Joe Stork, deputy director of Human Rights Watch's Middle East division.
On Saturday, the Ghad Party organised a demonstration in the Mediterranean city of Port Said, about 220 kilometres north east of Cairo. Blaming the government for the increase in prices of basic foodstuffs they carried bread and cooking oil bottles and warned the government against removing subsidies on basic commodities.
A day later 5,000 people attended a demonstration in the industrial city of Mahalla, Gharbiya governorate, 123 kilometres north of Cairo, organised by Wafd, the Nasserist Arab, Ghad and the frozen Labour parties and the Muslim Brotherhood. Raising anti-government and anti- National Democratic Party slogans, protesters accused the government of failing to raise salaries to keep pace with inflation. They warned government officials that another bread uprising could be in the offing.
The same governorate was the site of another demonstration by 300 people protesting a shortage of flour at the only bakery in the village of Kafr Hassaan.
"The government is scared of another hungry riot," argued Kifaya general coordinator Abdel-Wahab Elmessiri, who was forced by a group of plainclothes security personnel into a van and then driven with seven others to the outskirts of New Cairo. "They prevented our protest because we raised slogans that were closely related to the livelihood of people."
The prevention of peaceful demonstrations calling for a reduction in basic commodity prices, Elmessiri continued, could lead to "a populist uprising in the form of catharsis that could destroy everything". He had hoped that the government would be more rational in its response to such protests and work on reducing basic commodity prices. "This [rebellion], if it happens, will not be to the benefit of any party, the people, the government or the opposition."
Elmessiri concedes that skyrocketing commodity prices are a global phenomenon but insists that the sufferings of ordinary Egyptians are compounded by government corruption.
But could Egypt really see a repeat of the January 1977 bread riots?
"Since the 1977 bread riots political awareness among the people has been in decline. However, they have been restoring it step by step of late," says Elmessiri, citing the series of labour strikes that hit the country last year. "Even [Egyptian] pilgrims organised sit-in strikes during the pilgrimage season in Mecca, and strikes have been organised by civil servants, unheard of in Egypt's modern history."
While opposition leaders are using an alarmist tone, Mohamed Kamal, member of the ruling National Democratic Party's Policies Committee, told Al-Ahram Weekly that the warnings against potential riots are exaggerated.
"Egyptian society is going through a period of political and economic mobility. Our society is witnessing an unprecedented degree of freedom of expression, and it's normal for societies in a state of transition to experience what's happening in Egypt."
Kamal dismisses the notion that Egyptian society is on the verge of "social upheaval" and defended the government, arguing that the rise in prices was a global phenomenon. "The government continues to subsidise basic foodstuffs, and at the same time increases salaries, the problem is that the increase in salaries hasn't matched inflation."
The string of protests still sounds alarm bells for many observers. "The atmosphere that prevailed before and during the 1977 bread riots is similar to now, especially in that there is no confidence in the government," Ammar Ali Hassan, director of the Middle East Studies and Research Centre, told the Weekly. "The desire to protest has overwhelmed a large sector of society."
That said, Hassan argues that although current living conditions are "much worse than 1977, the ordinary Egyptian nowadays is unable to stage wide protests because he has become fragile. Egyptians in 1977 were more politicised than now and the regime's security grip was less strong," he said.
I met Egyptian Mohammed in 1977, then a final Medical student. A typical youth, who is full of dreams but also, mature enough to know that his future was a hopeless one as an Egyptian who has no connection with the Ruling Party.
Mohammed’s family was considered well off during the time of First Egyptian President Gamal Nasser. Mohammed’s father was a trader who did his work and was never involved or took interest in politic. Mohammed has five sisters and one little brother.
In Egypt consanguineous marriage is practice. So Mohammed’s sisters leave home once they reach puberty. Mohammed’s family assets were two three-room apartments, ten minutes from Cairo and a beat up American trunk that has seen better days. The apartments were stolen from them by Mubarak’s cronies similar to what happened in Selangor under UMNO before PKR took over.
When Sadat took over as President of Egypt, he wanted to be a transformer like our Mr Rosmah. He talked and talked about KPI, transparency, NEM and whatever alphabets you can name. But like Mahathir, Sadat divided the people and introduced cronyism and corruption.
Mohammed’s father business collapsed because of cronyism and corruption and so he spent his remaining days praying that the Government would change. Mohammed in the meantime had to find the funds for his study, so like most Egyptian youth he became MOAT – man of all trade. Show the cash and he is all yours, no matter how undignified or humiliating the job requires. Graduated as one of the top three students in Egypt, Mohammed thought he could find work and later specialized and be a surgeon but things took a drastic turn when Mubarak took over as President. From then on Mohammed failed to get a decent job and his dream shattered because he had no connection to any member of the cronies of Mubarak.
Mohammed like most Egyptians has since make the valley of the dead their home now. As more and more people are unable to get a job or afford proper housing or pay for exotic price for food.
Egypt since 1977 till 2011 and Malaysia today is similar in fate. We are controlled by a government who favour cronies, we have PDRM, MACC, Judiciary, AG and EC who are loop-sided, a first lady whore who is out to compete with her husband as Prime Minister, an ageing fart who is still glutton for projects in PETRONAS, bleeding it dry and have helped himself to billions of our money and Royal Households who does not know the meaning of STOP demanding for projects and land. The monthly increase of food, goods and services is one way of controlling us so that we have limited resources to fight the government. The life long issue of Religion and Race is constantly being used as a front line to divide the people so that we pay less attention to what the UMNO bastards are up to. We are constantly being told we should be grateful to UMNO for Malaysia Boleh, 1Malaysia and peace in this country, though we have been doing just that since Merdeka. But behind the screen lies destruction in the making by these same bastards who insist on dividing the people.
Egypt is surrounded by history and mystic. Millions and millions of tourists travel to see the Pyramids known as the Seven Wonders of the World even though the Ministers does nothing but spend lavishly on holidays in the name of promoting the country and enriching themselves similar in many ways to our own Tourism Minister Ng Yen Yen and Ministers before her. NYY and her entourage including her toy boy travels, stays in five stars hotels and eat first class. They spent millions and millions claiming it was necessary to bring in tourists. But one must never forget we do not need such unnecessary spending because Malaysia is already famous for easy access to drug, drug mule, human trafficking, imitation goods, pirated CDs, safe haven for terrorists and their money, money laundering, Royalties gambling, drinking and adultery, cronyism, corruption, injustice, killing and murders, forge Universities Degree, purchase of titles and anything else money can buy.
For the past 25 years I have seen acquaintances, friends and neighbours who share similar fate like Mohammed because they have no connection to projects, financial aid to business or study or run a decent trade. So how can you say UMNO can and has changed, UMNO/BN is the only government who is capable of running this country and whatever fart one can think of that UMNO/BN can do?
The only way to make a difference to our lives and have a better future is to get rid of UMNO/BN and their cronies before we lose our clothes on our back.
Friday, February 4, 2011
Thursday, February 3, 2011
A brave heart warning his leader Obama to make the right choice.
UMNO Government had been supporting Israel, terrorists and Red Shirts. They favour the same cronies and enriching the children of senior leaders.
The orang Asli, Indians, Chinese, discarded Malays and others are overlooked.
Today young generation cannot afford to buy a house and get a job. Young families cannot feed their families. Prices of essential goods and services are going up.
Crash UMNO now we can stop corruption, cronyism, injustice, we can be united, get rid of the first lady whore, jail the leaders and get back our RM250 billion hidden overseas.
Most important our dignity and pride restore.
Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, the Minister of International Trade and Industry has offered the ‘solution’ to the Kelantan people over their flood problems where he said that the problem would be ‘rectified if they reject PAS in the next general election’ during Galas by-election. He was criticizing the PAS led state government for failing to improve the drainage system in the flood hit areas which have been facing the problem recently.
Mustapa, who is also the chairman of the Kelantan Umno Liaison committee said that "This problem can be rectified if the people reject PAS at the next general election. More than 70 families had to evacuate their homes following flooding four days ago. BN had spent RM10 million improving the drainage system in Pengkalan Pasir after capturing the seat in 2005. The flood problem in Pasir Mas is not as bad as before. Kelantan people have to make a wise decision.”
Johor had turned into a big swimming pool for the past 1 week. Yet Johor was never govern by PAS. So who is talking cock.
You want jerks no need to look far. Just join UMNO.
Scientists can make paper clip invisible, here in Malaysia the UMNO government can make RM250 billion disappear
A paper clip which scientists can now make invisible using crystals.
Scientists are a step closer to creating a cloaking device after making an object visible to the naked eye disappear for the first time.
In the past, researchers have only been able to "cloak" microscopic objects using extremely complicated physics and so-called meta-materials made on a tiny scale.
But a new study at the University of Birmingham in the UK has taken a major step forward by making a paper clip invisible - an object thousands of times bigger than in previous experiments.
The research works by using a naturally forming crystal called calcite which has extraordinary light-bending abilities.
By placing the crystals over an object it "bounces" light around it rendering it invisible to the naked eye.
Dr Shuang Zhang, a physicist and lead investigator on the University of Birmingham team, said: "This is a huge step as, for the first time, the cloaking area is rendered at a size that is big enough for the observer to 'see' the invisible object with the naked eye.
"By using natural crystals for the first time, rather than artificial meta-materials, we have been able to scale up the size of the cloak and can hide larger objects, thousands of times bigger than the wavelength of the light."
The new technique is limited only by the size of the naturally formed crystals.
Calcite crystals can be up to 21ft long, so it could be used on a car or a military vehicle.
It may also be possible to manufacture crystals with similar qualities.
Dr Zhang explained: "Previous cloaks have succeeded at the micron level - which is much smaller than the thickness of a human hair - using a nano- or micro-fabricated artificial composite material.
"It is a very slow process to make these structures and they also restrict the size of the cloaking area.
"We believe that by using calcite, we can start to develop a cloak of significant size that will open avenues for future applications of cloaking devices," Dr Zhang said.
Making a paper clip invisible is nothing compare to what the UMNO under the leadership of Mahathir, Daim, Pak Lah, Nor Yaakob and now Mr Rosmah had expertly make over RM250 billion paper money disappear from our shore.
What do stupid people do, they continue to support such criminal act and pray five times a day and sell their soul in exchange for a title and money.
Now they also jump for joy over a PR act of receiving SMS and email from Mr Rosmah.
No wonder this country is going down the drain and the cronies die laughing all the way to the bank.
UMNO is making us idiots.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Why are the Muslim in Malaysia so cruel?
Teoh Beng Hock, Kugan, Altantuya and many others who were tortured and murdered by them. Yet they are as free as a bird.
How long more are we going to stand and do nothing?
Many questions and worries. The future generation will turn into beast if this is allowed to continue.
55 years of UMNO regime is way too much and long.
The world is due for a major change so do we remain docile and be afraid.
I think NOT.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
All Egyptians are being liberated from the burden of history.
My birth at the end of July 1967 makes me a child of the naksa, or setback, as the Arab defeat during the June 1967 war with Israel is euphemistically known in Arabic. My parents' generation grew up high on the Arab nationalism that Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser brandished in the 1950s. But we ''Children of the Naksa'', hemmed in by humiliation, have spent so much of our lives uncomfortably stepping into pride's large, empty shoes.
But here now finally are our children - Generation Facebook - kicking aside the burden of history, determined to show us just how easy it is to tell the dictator it's time to go.
To understand the importance of what's going in Egypt, take the barricades of 1968, throw them into a mixer with 1989 and blend to produce the potent brew that the popular uprising in Egypt is preparing to offer the entire region. It's the most exciting time of my life.
I struggle with the magnitude of my feelings as my country revolts and I cry when I hear my father's accent in the English of Egyptian men screaming at TV cameras through tear gas: ''I'm doing this for my children. What life is this?''
And Arabs from the Mashreq to the Maghreb are watching, egging on those protesters to topple Hosni Mubarak, who has ruled Egypt for 30 years, because they know if he goes, all the other old men will follow, those who have smothered their countries with one hand and robbed them blind with the other. Mubarak is the Berlin Wall. ''Down, down with Hosni Mubarak,'' resonates through the whole region.
My Twitter feed explodes with messages of support and congratulations from Saudis, Palestinians, Moroccans and Sudanese. The real Arab League; not those men who have ruled and claimed to speak in our names and who now claim to feel our pain but only because they know the rage that emerged in Tunisia will soon be felt across the region.
Brave little Tunisia, resuscitator of the Arab imagination. Tunisia, homeland of the father of Arab revolution: Mohammed Bouazizi, a 26-year-old who set himself on fire to protest at a desperation at unemployment and repression that covers the region. He set into motion Tunisian protests that in just 29 days toppled Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's 23-year dictatorship. We watched, we said wow and we thought: that's it? It's that easy?
It took Mubarak just four days into Egypt's revolt to call the army. He unleashed the brutality of his security forces and their riot police, but they couldn't stem the determination of the thousands who continued to demand his ousting. He put Egypt under information lock-down by shutting down the internet but still they came.
Ben Ali's fall killed the fear in Egypt. So imagine what Mubarak's fall could do to liberate the region. Too many have rushed in to explain the Arab world to itself. ''You like your strongman leader,'' we're told. ''You're passive, and apathetic.''
But a group of young online dissidents dissolved those myths. For at least five years now, their blogs and Facebook updates and notes and, more recently, tweets offered a self-expression that may have at times been narcissistic but for many Arab youths signalled the triumph of ''I''. I count, they said again and again.
Most people in the Arab world are aged 25 or are younger. They have known no leaders but those dictators who grew older and richer as the young saw their opportunities - political and economic - dwindle. The internet didn't invent courage; activists in Egypt have exposed Mubarak's police state of torture and jailings for years. But we've seen that even when the dictator shuts the internet down protesters can still organise, can connect with ordinary people and form the kind of alliances that we're seeing on the streets of Egypt where protesters come from every age and background. Youth kickstarted the revolt, but they've been joined by old and young.
I know that each Arab watching this revolution does so with the hope that Egypt will mean something again. Thirty years of Mubarak rule have shrivelled the country that once led the Arab world. But those youthful protesters, leapfrogging our dead-in-the-water opposition figures to confront the dictator, are liberating all Egyptians from the burden of history. Or reclaiming the good bits.
In cracking down on protesters, Mubarak immediately inspired resistance reminiscent of the Arab collective response to the tripartite aggression of the 1956 Suez crisis.
Meanwhile, the uprisings are curing the Arab world of its obsession with Israel. Successive Arab dictators have tried to keep discontent at bay by distracting people with the Israeli-Arab conflict. Israel's bombardment of Gaza in 2009 increased global sympathy for Palestinians. Enough with dictators hijacking sympathy for Palestinians and enough with putting our lives on hold for that conflict.
Arabs are watching as tens of thousands of Egyptians turn Tahrir (or Liberation) Square into the symbol of their revolt. This is the square Egypt uses to remember the ending of the monarchy in 1952, as well as of British occupation. The group of young army officers who staged that coup claimed it as a revolution, heralding an era of rule by military men who turned Egypt into a police state.
Today, the army is out in Tahrir Square again, this time facing down a mass of youthful protesters determined to pull off Egypt's first genuine post-colonial revolution.
Mona Eltahawy is a writer and lecturer on Arab issues.
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