Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Instead, Najib said, the 30 percent bumiputera equity quota only hampered capable bumiputera entrepreneurs from developing their abilities.
“We want to do away with quotas, but we will support (bumiputera entrepreneurs) to grow.
“If we give quotas, they will rest on their laurels and not gain expertise to manage their businesses,” he said.
Answering a question from the floor at a question-and-answer session at the Khazanah Megatrends Forum 2011 in Kuala Lumpur, Najib said setting a quota “does not mean anything”.
“(The bumiputera entrepreneurs) will sell off their shares when the prices are high and only a small percentage of the amount allocated for bumiputeras will be left (in bumiputera hands),” he said.
As such, the PM said, the government will “go on a different footing” in affirmative action by finding “good, tested bumiputera who can succeed and to support them in ways so they will be more competitive”.
“We have identified more than 1,000 companies through Teraju, and we will see how to help these companies become bigger and better,” he said, referring to the government agency set up to oversee bumiputera economic affairs.
He said that by supporting the “bright bumiputera”, not only will it develop the talent pool in the community but also avoid resentment from their non-bumiputera counterparts.
Najib, who is also Umno president, added that the government also sought to move away from the culture of “know who” to “know how” within the community.
“Affirmative action will be based more and more on meritocracy.
“The new approach can hopefully build a new class of bumiputera entrepreneurs who are more resilient and can succeed in the long run,” he said.
Najib had previously announced the government's intention to liberalise the economy from race-based quotas via the New Economic Model (NEM), but received a severe backlash from bumiputera interest groups.
The equity target was reinstated in the final version of the NEM.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Copy from NurAina Syamimi....
CAKAP TAK SAMA BIKIN Change your image and do not flash your wealth in order to change the perception that the ruling coalition is corrupt, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad told BN leaders today.
Monday, September 26, 2011
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Mecca for the rich: Islam's holiest site 'turning into Vegas'
Historic and culturally important landmarks are being destroyed to make way for luxury hotels and malls, reports Jerome Taylor
Behind closed doors – in places where the religious police cannot listen in – residents of Mecca are beginning to refer to their city as Las Vegas, and the moniker is not a compliment.
Once a dusty desert town struggling to cope with the ever-increasing number of pilgrims arriving for the annual Hajj, the city now soars above its surroundings with a glittering array of skyscrapers, shopping malls and luxury hotels.
To the al-Saud monarchy, Mecca is their vision of the future – a steel and concrete metropolis built on the proceeds of enormous oil wealth that showcases their national pride.
Yet growing numbers of citizens, particularly those living in the two holy cities of Mecca and Medina, have looked on aghast as the nation's archaeological heritage is trampled under a construction mania backed by hardline clerics who preach against the preservation of their own heritage. Mecca, once a place where the Prophet Mohamed insisted all Muslims would be equal, has become a playground for the rich, critics say, where naked capitalism has usurped spirituality as the city's raison d'être.
Few are willing to discuss their fears openly because of the risks associated with criticising official policy in the authoritarian kingdom. And, with the exceptions of Turkey and Iran, fellow Muslim nations have largely held their tongues for fear of of a diplomatic fallout and restrictions on their citizens' pilgrimage visas. Western archaeologists are silent out of fear that the few sites they are allowed access to will be closed to them.
But a number of prominent Saudi archaeologists and historians are speaking up in the belief that the opportunity to save Saudi Arabia's remaining historical sites is closing fast.
"No one has the balls to stand up and condemn this cultural vandalism," says Dr Irfan al-Alawi who, as executive director of the Islamic Heritage Research Foundation, has fought in vain to protect his country's historical sites. "We have already lost 400-500 sites. I just hope it's not too late to turn things around."
Sami Angawi, a renowned Saudi expert on the region's Islamic architecture, is equally concerned. "This is an absolute contradiction to the nature of Mecca and the sacredness of the house of God," he told the Reuters news agency earlier this year. "Both [Mecca and Medina] are historically almost finished. You do not find anything except skyscrapers."
Dr Alawi's most pressing concern is the planned £690m expansion of the Grand Mosque, the most sacred site in Islam which contains the Kaaba – the black stone cube built by Ibrahim (Abraham) that Muslims face when they pray.
Construction officially began earlier this month with the country's Justice Minister, Mohammed al-Eissa, exclaiming that the project would respect "the sacredness and glory of the location, which calls for the highest care and attention of the servants or Islam and Muslims".
The 400,000 square metre development is being built to accommodate an extra 1.2 million pilgrims each year and will turn the Grand Mosque into the largest religious structure in the world. But the Islamic Heritage Foundation has compiled a list of key historical sites that they believe are now at risk from the ongoing development of Mecca, including the old Ottoman and Abbasi sections of the Grand Mosque, the house where the Prophet Mohamed was born and the house where his paternal uncle Hamza grew up.
There is little argument that Mecca and Medina desperately need infrastructure development. Twelve million pilgrims visit the cities every year with the numbers expected to increase to 17 million by 2025.
But critics fear that the desire to expand the pilgrimage sites has allowed the authorities to ride roughshod over the area's cultural heritage. The Washington-based Gulf Institute estimates that 95 per cent of Mecca's millennium-old buildings have been demolished in the past two decades alone.
The destruction has been aided by Wahabism, the austere interpretation of Islam that has served as the kingdom's official religion ever since the al-Sauds rose to power across the Arabian Peninsula in the 19th century.
In the eyes of Wahabis, historical sites and shrines encourage "shirq" – the sin of idolatry or polytheism – and should be destroyed. When the al-Saud tribes swept through Mecca in the 1920s, the first thing they did was lay waste to cemeteries holding many of Islam's important figures. They have been destroying the country's heritage ever since. Of the three sites the Saudis have allowed the UN to designate World Heritage Sites, none are related to Islam.
Those circling the Kaaba only need to look skywards to see the latest example of the Saudi monarchy's insatiable appetite for architectural bling. At 1,972ft, the Royal Mecca Clock Tower, opened earlier this year, soars over the surrounding Grand Mosque, part of an enormous development of skyscrapers that will house five-star hotels for the minority of pilgrims rich enough to afford them.
To build the skyscraper city, the authorities dynamited an entire mountain and the Ottoman era Ajyad Fortress that lay on top of it. At the other end of the Grand Mosque complex, the house of the Prophet's first wife Khadijah has been turned into a toilet block. The fate of the house he was born in is uncertain. Also planned for demolition are the Grand Mosque's Ottoman columns which dare to contain the names of the Prophet's companions, something hardline Wahabis detest.
For ordinary Meccans living in the mainly Ottoman-era town houses that make up much of what remains of the old city, development often means the loss of their family home.
Non-Muslims cannot visit Mecca and Medina, but The Independent was able to interview a number of citizens who expressed discontent over the way their town was changing. One young woman whose father recently had his house bulldozed described how her family was still waiting for compensation. "There was very little warning; they just came and told him that the house had to be bulldozed," she said.
Another Meccan added: "If a prince of a member of the royal family wants to extend his palace he just does it. No one talks about it in public though. There's such a climate of fear."
Dr Alawi hopes the international community will finally begin to wake up to what is happening in the cradle of Islam. "We would never allow someone to destroy the Pyramids, so why are we letting Islam's history disappear?"
When the Wahabis took Mecca in the 1920s they destroyed the dome on top of the house where the Prophet Mohammed was born. It was thenused as a cattle market before being turned into a library after a campaign by Meccans. There are concerns that the expansion of the Grand Mosque will destroy it once more. The site has never been excavated by archaeologists.
Ottoman and Abasi columns of the Grand Mosque
Slated for demolition as part of the Grand Mosque expansion, these intricately carved columns date back to the 17th century and are the oldest surviving sections of Islam's holiest site. Much to the chagrin of Wahabis, they are inscribed with the names of the Prophet's companions. Ottomon Mecca is now rapidly disappearing
For many years, hardline Wahabi clerics have had their sites set on the 15th century green dome that rests above the tomb holding the Prophet, Abu Bakr and Umar in Medina. The mosque is regarded as the second holiest site in Islam. Wahabis, however, believe marked graves are idolatrous. A pamphlet published in 2007 by the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, endorsed by Abdulaziz Al Sheikh, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, stated that "the green dome shall be demolished and the three graves flattened in the Prophet's Masjid".
A mountain outside Mecca where Mohammed received his first Koranic revelations. The Prophet used to spend long spells in a cave called Hira. The cave is particularly popular among South Asian pilgrims who have carved steps up to its entrance and adorned the walls with graffiti. Religious hardliners are keen to dissuade pilgrims from congregating there and have mooted the idea of removing the steps and even destroying the mountain altogether.
Sound familiar, yeah?
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
But Singapore expatriates (above) Thorsten Tatzki, 41, and Ni Hao, 21, were forced to spend an extra two nights - in detention.
They spent two nights in separate cells at the immigration office before they were released on Jan 4, after paying a fine of RM3,000 (S$1,270) each and another RM100 (S$40) each for a special pass to leave Malaysia.
When contacted, an officer from Johor's Immigration office, confirmed that the couple were detained, but declined further comment. Our queries were routed to the director of immigration, who could not be reached for comment at press time.
On Dec 30 last year, Mr Tatzki who is from Germany, drove to Malaysia with his girlfriend, a Chinese national, in a rented Toyota Altis.
"We drove past the Malaysia's immigration checkpoint at about 5.30pm and headed to Kuala Lumpur (KL) for the night," recalled Miss Ni, who has been living in Singapore for the past five years. "We did not realise that our passports were not stamped."
The couple spent a night in KL and the following two nights in Port Dickson before heading back on Jan 2.
Added Miss Ni, who works as a business development executive: "When we arrived at the Malaysian checkpoint, the officer told us that she could not find any stamps on our passport to prove that we have entered Malaysia legally.
"We showed her our hotel and shopping receipts and also the receipt for topping up our Touch N Go card, hoping to convince her that we were there for a holiday and were not involved in any illegal activities."
But things were not so simple.
Said Mr Tatzki, general manager of an Australian company in Singapore: "We were led to a room where we waited for 45 minutes before another officer took us to another room. We spent another two hours in the room before one officer came in and told me that my girlfriend and I had been arrested."
He added: "I asked him to explain why we were arrested and how long we had to stay there, but he wasn't very helpful. We had no idea what was going on."
In cell with women crying
The couple were allowed to make one phone call before they were taken to separate cells. Mr Tatzki called to inform his boss that he would have to miss work the following day. Miss Ni managed to make a call only the next day, informing a friend in Singapore of her plight.
Said Miss Ni: "We had to remove all our belongings, like shoes, watches, mobile phones. The cell was very smelly and cold. There was also no proper sanitation. There were three other foreign women with me in the cell and two of them were constantly crying. It was very traumatising for me."
Said Mr Tatzki: "(It was noisy) and the lights were left on the whole night. We couldn't sleep at all.
"The next day, an officer told me that I could choose to pay a RM3,000 fine or wait to go to court. He said that if I didn't pay now, the procedure would take longer and maybe I would end up paying more later. I felt that I didn't have a choice."
The officer told him that they only accepted cash and asked him to call a friend in Singapore to deliver the money by 6pm that day.
Even though Mr Tatzki's friend met the 6pm deadline, he was not released. The officer told him that he would have to "submit a report to higher management for approval" before they could leave.
The couple had to pay RM100 each for this special pass to leave Malaysia.
So the couple were held for another night and were released at 4pm the next day, but only after a bit of drama over having to pay another RM200 for "special passes".
Said Mr Tatzki: "One officer came into the cell and asked if I had the money. I said yes.
"He then told me we needed to pay another RM100 each for a special pass to leave Malaysia. I was very angry because the day before I had asked him many times if it was just RM3,000 each. And he said yes. I had some Malaysian ringgit left in my wallet. But I was still short of RM40 (S$17).
"I told them that it was very unfair to us as we were not going to stay in jail for another night because we were short of RM40."
Fortunately the sister of Miss Ni's friend, whom she had telephoned the day before, visited her at the immigration office and paid the RM40.
The couple were given back their belongings and left the checkpoint at about 5pm on Jan 4.
Said Mr Tatzki: "I understand that we made a mistake by not checking for the stamps on our passports. "We hope that our horrible experience will warn visitors to Malaysia to check their passports before they leave the checkpoints."
Said a Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman: "Singaporeans should ensure that their passports are stamped at entry when entering Malaysia. It is within the jurisdiction of the country to impose a penalty when this rule is flouted. We do not keep a record of these cases."
Malaysia a haven for cheating, scam, murder, human trafficking, drug, prostitution, AG fixing, match fixing etc...........illegal.
If MACC and police continue to play wayang kulit, all this illegal activities will continue to boom. So who are the ones giving Malaysia a bad name? CIVIL SERVANTS and BN.
Saturday, September 17, 2011
The technique relies on high-powered microwaves that can degrade the tough cellulose molecules of plant matter so that they release volatile gases that can be collected and distilled into a liquid product.
These valuable biodegradable chemicals can then be used in water purifiers, cleaning agents and plastics. Researchers behind the process say it is 90 per cent efficient and works not just on orange peel but almost any plant-based waste such as straw or coffee grounds.
James Clark, professor of green chemistry at the University of York, said he is building a small demonstrator facility to show the novel recycling scheme can be scaled up in order to suit industrial applications.
"It will be able to cope with tens of kilograms an hour. We believe it is the right scale to prove to people that this is a viable technology," Professor Clark said.
"You dice the peel and put it into a microwave field. You then focus the microwaves as you would with a domestic microwave oven but at higher power," he said.
"The microwaves activate the cellulose and that triggers the release of chemicals or further chemical reactions inside the orange peel," he told the British Science Festival at Bradford University.
Volatile chemicals are released in the process, including d-limonene, which is responsible for the distinctive smell of citrus fruit and is used in cosmetics, the cleaning industry and as a biological insecticide.
"As you produce the volatiles you strip them off continuously. It's a continuous process. You feed the peel into a microwave zone and have a pipe that takes off the volatile fractions as they are produced," he said
"The unique feature of our microwave is that we work at deliberately low temperatures. We never go above 200C. You can take the limonene off or you can turn limonene into other chemicals," he said. "It works really well with waste paper. It can take a big range of bio-waste material."
York University has set up the Orange Peel Exploitation Company with Brazilian and Spanish partners to test the idea of using orange peel residue left behind from the juice-making industry in the two countries.
"There are eight million tonnes of orange residue in Brazil. For every orange that's squeezed to make juice, about half of it is wasted. What we've discovered is that you can release the chemical and energy potential of orange peel using microwaves," Professor Clark said.
"Orange peel is an excellent example of a wasted resource. Brazil is the largest producer of orange juice in the world," he said.
The idea is to take the technology to places where large amounts of plant waste are already collected, such as a power stations that collect biomass for burning or a farming district that packs or processes foodstuffs, Professor Clark said.
"We are talking to farmers who are already concentrating a lot of biomass for palletising before going to power stations about the possibility of locating a facility in one of these centralised units," he said.
"We're talking to power stations about materials that they are already bringing in for microwaving as well. If you put typical waste into our system before you burn it, the calorific value doubles compared to what it was before," Professor Clark told the meeting.
There is a fine line between fearless and reckless. Rick Kordowski appears to have ignored the line completely, inviting the fury of 120,000 of Britain's lawyers, who are threatening to drag him before the courts.
The 50-year-old from Essex provoked the anger of solicitors up and down the country when he set up his website Solicitors from Hell, which names and shames those members of the profession who are alleged to have provided a shoddy service.
Thus far he has fought off repeated attempts by individual solicitors to shut the site down.
Now, using their collective might, more than 100,000 solicitors represented by the Law Society have threatened him with legal action unless he shuts down once and for all.
Mr Kordowski, a self-employed graphic designer, said he set up the website six years ago after solicitors acting on his behalf in a protracted legal battle with his local council failed to live up to his expectations.
The website, which he sees as a "public service", has cost him dear: he is bankrupt after being sued 16 times for libel and has yet to pay more than £150,000 in fines.
He now faces claims of alleged defamation, harassment and breaches of the Data Protection Act and will be required to appear in front of a High Court judge at the end of this month, unless he closes the site down and undertakes not to launch anything similar.
But Mr Kordowski remains unrepentant, despite having failed to win a single libel case brought against him. Not only has he refused to remove the site, he has added fuel to the fire: last week he threatened to sue the Law Society's chief executive, Des Hudson, for defamation. Mr Kordowski claims Mr Hudson recently branded him a "criminal".
"There's a need for my website, as many people have said, and it makes them feel better for being able to post on it," Mr Kordowski said this weekend from his home. "All I need is an appropriate story from someone which is useful to other people and their contact details. I see it as helping people voice their complaints – and it has been working: authors have contacted me and said, 'I've now sorted it out with my solicitor, please can you take my listing down'."
Although some, while concerned about his methods, feel he is providing a much-needed outlet, others – including most solicitors – believe Mr Kordowski's actions are downright criminal.
Last October, after lengthy discussions in parliament, the Legal Ombudsman was set up to deal with complaints that the public felt were falling on deaf ears. Nevertheless, critics of the legal profession believe a number of consumers are getting a fair hearing.
Katy Dowell, from the legal profession magazine, The Lawyer, said: "It can't be right that just anyone can defame another person in such a public forum without checks. Lawyers are up in arms about the site, and if it was affecting your livelihood you would feel the same way.
"But Mr Kordowski has a point to make and if the Legal Ombudsman were more visible then perhaps consumers wouldn't feel the need to use the website."
The Law Society did not respond to a request for comment.
In Malaysia there is a need for such a site because we have many crook lawyers. I have personally complaint two lawyers to the bar council and nothing was done. This is because these lawyers are datuk and working hand in hand with thugs.
BANGLADESHI Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told that she has been in Malaysia during her 6-day visit to South Korea and Malaysia last year.
At the last leg of her six-day tour, Hasina arrived in Malaysia on May 18 to attend the 66th World Islamic Economic Forum [WIFE] in Kuala Lumpur, the next day where she delivered a special speech. During her stay in Kuala Lumpur, she held bilateral talks with her Malaysian counterpart Mohammed Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak when some long standing issues, including legalizing Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia, were prominently discussed.
Highly placed sources claimed that during the meeting, the Malaysian prime minister assured Hasina of considering the issue of legalizing Bangladeshi workers to his country with utmost sincerity.
Today, Prime Minister’s office has allegedly received a confirmation from some of our citizens those working in several sectors in Malaysia since last year that they were given more than citizenships from Malaysian Government. In fact they now have been given a right to be a voter in upcoming Malaysian’s general election.
Another highly placed source from prime minister’s office has confirmed that Bangladeshi workers may easily conferred Malaysian citizenship with the condition to vote for party that represents the government in power.
Honorable Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina urges people to take this opportunity in order to lower the national poverty in line with government’s initiative and numerous measures to solve all major problems, including power and gas crises.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also urged Malaysian entrepreneurs to invest more in Bangladesh, particularly in labor-intensive industries including readymade garment, textile, light engineering, electronics, agro-based products, ICT, power and infrastructure.
You tango, I tango. Soon we can have a Bangladeshi as Prime Minister of Malaysia and the Royalties can eat shit.