Wednesday, September 30, 2009

PM Najib the Joker; no joke

Political acumen notwithstanding, the Prime Minister Datuk Sri Najib Abdul Razak proved that he was also sleek when it came to comedy as he bantered with Forbes magazine CEO and editor-in-chief Steve Forbes in an open dialogue.

Forbes had kicked off the conversation by asking what is the prime minister's stand on Malaysian English versus American English.

"We speak English but we also understand American," replied Najib to much laughter and clapping.

Encouraged, Najib further warmed the crowd by cracking a joke.

"Three Malaysians were sitting down having a fireside chat like we are doing now. And one them was complaining about his wife not being able to have children," Najib started.

"The first Malaysian said: Your wife is inconceivable." Soft laughter from the audience.

"The second Malaysian said: You're wrong. You should say that his wife is impregnable." More chuckles.

"Then the third man said: Both of you are wrong. Actually, my wife is unbearable!" The audience roars.

"No reference to my wife," Najib added after the laughter died down.

Another joke however left the spectators dumbfounded when he was asked by one conference delegate what he was going to do to support an upcoming conference on the environment.

Najib replied:

"One of the first acts I did was create a Ministry of Green Technology. I've said before that technologically we must be green. Politically we must remain blue."

Ha..ha.. a politically correct joke thrown in at the wrong place. Green means PAS or the component parties in Pakatan Rakyat, blue is of course BN! In a jest what the PM meant was whatever it takes, blue politics must continue to prevail.

Does this also include sacrificing our political conscience, stability and sustainability?

Read the Malaysian Insider report here

Thursday, September 17, 2009

CHEESE anyone?

I got this email from a friend:

Email #1

Sharing info on CHEESE which is used most in our local food operators & bakery (melalui ceramah Ust Badrul Amin) last Sunday @ UIA :

Susu memerlukan sejenis bahan yg diperolehi dari perut mamalia (lembu & khinzir) utk membolehkan ianya 'beku' - separa 'beku' dipanggil keju manakala 'beku' jadi 'whey powder'. Both ingredients are used widely in our daily food intake - pizza(s), cheese cakes, tart cheese or anything with cheese, cookies etc. The big Q - even if bahan dari perut 'lembu' being used to make the cheese - how do we know 'lembu' tu disembelih mengikut syariah Islam? How do we know the same 'lembu' being used in our food intake?

Unless, we (muslim) produced our own cheese - is there any in our local market? Pls share.

Email #2

Talking about cheese, as said by ustaz, memang betullah untuk bekukan cheese tu, they need bahan dari perut khinzir atau lembu. Masa di States dulu, I studied Human Nutrition and my Jewish Prof. memang every now and then masa tu kept reminding me to check cheese yang I beli untuk class commercial food production, cos dia jewish pun tak makan khinzir, I mesti pastikan dari ingredients cheese tu yg bahan pembekunya must be pepsinogen [lembu] dan bukan rennet [khinzir]. Kalau di States, 70% cheese guna rennet.

This email has been making the rounds since 2006 (tenggelam dan timbul semula tahun lepas 2008 dan tahun ni 2009 dan akan timbul semula selepas ini). So I have decided to act on it by not forwarding it unscrupulously and by giving my little CHEESE of advice. I consider this fardh al kifayah.

Question: how to react to a chain email of this kind? think first before you go on a forwarding rampage:
1. This email is an unsigned letter, no attribution, no perawi. It's not even written in a proper write-up manner, jumble up Malay and English alternately as if the writer/s are sure the readers are among those who are gullible enough to go for this purported threat against their aqida (and then hit the forward button).

2. The 1st email tried to use Ust Badrul Amin as the source of the info the writer heard from (meaning he/she is attributing this info to Ust Badrul Amin, an ex-UIA ass. professor - how convenient). But that is all, no further clarification, where exactly and when the talk or ceramah was held. Anybody can claim I heard so-and-so professor said this or that at this or that university.

3. The 2nd email also tried to attribute the info the writer got from an ustaz (very convenient again). The writer went on to claim that he studied Human Nutrition at the States (US) and that his/her Jewish Prof reminded him/her to check the cheese he/she buys for its class commercial food production (sic) and that the ingredients from the cheese must be from pepsinogen - a milk-coagulating enzyme.

Pepsinogen my foot! If this 2nd writer really studied Human Nutrition from the US then he is wasting public money for trying to con us into believing that both pesinogen and rennet are from a different source. Both pepsinogen and rennet are a milk-coagulating enzyme and are usually made from the inner lining of either an adult bovine or a calf's stomach. All these are a part of the crude preparation known as rennet, which was commercially used to curdle milk in preparation for cheese manufacture (read here). But now, rennet from calves to make the enzymes that are used in commercial production of cheese are rarely used. The rennet used now to produce the enzymes are from microbes such as yeast or other genetically modified micro-organisms.

Read this answer from JAKIM's website:

SUB KATEGORI: Halal haram barang gunaan
Aduan : Saya menerima banyak e-mail tentang produk cheese dari jenama Chesdale. Dalam kandungannya terdapat bahan "rennet". Saya rasa curiga sama ada rennet itu adalah dari khindzir atau lembu. Kerana di pack tersebut terdapat logo halal oleh New Zealand Islamic processed food management. Saya cuma nak tahu berapa pastinya rennet itu adalah dari lembu. Saya berharap encik dapat menolong saya untuk memastikan yang semua produk cheese yang ada di pasaran Malaysia adalah benar benar halal.
Tarikh Aduan : 07/09/2007 - 00:14:33

Jawapan : Salam, Rennet ialah enzim dari perut haiwan seperti lembu dan lain-lain yang digunakan dalam pembuatan keju dan hasilannya. JAKIM telah memastikan bahawa hanya sumber dan proses yang halal sahaja digunakan oleh semua pemegang sijil pengesahan halal JAKIM. Semua pemegang sijil pengesahan halal JAKIM telah menjalani pemeriksaan dan pemantauan yang ketat sebelum layak menerima sijil JAKIM. Cheesdale telah mendapat pengesahan halal dari Badan Islam Luar Negara yang diiktiraf JAKIM. Bagi mengetahui senarai Badan Islam Luar Negara yang mendapat pengiktirafan JAKIM, sila layari Terima kasih dan harap maklum.

Read also this answer from

This one is gathered from the PPIM website:

From: Mamot Wed Aug 19 2009, 05:24PM
Registered Member #13086
Joined: Wed Aug 19 2009, 05:11PM
Posts: 19
Saya rasa terpanggil untuk merungkaikan kekeliruan yang timbul berkaitan rennet dan babi. Untuk pengetahuan tuan, rennet adalah enzim protease yang dirembeskan oleh perut abomasum anak lembu yang sedang menyusu. Pada masa ini hampir 90% rennet untuk tujuan pembuatan keju di hasilkan melalui teknologi kejuruteraan genetik sejak 1989 lagi. Ringkasnya rennet tersebut bukan dihasilkan oleh anak lembu lagi, tetapi oleh mikrob seperti yeast dan mikroorganisma lain yang telah diubah genetiknya untuk mengeluarkan enzim pengental susu tersebut. Rennet sedemikian dipanggil microbial rennet atau chymosin. Sekiranya difikirkan secara logik, adalah tidak bijak untuk membunuh anak lembu yang sedang menyusu hanya kerana nak makan keju. Perlu diingat, haiwan dewasa (lembu dewasa atau babi dewasa) tidak mengeluarkan rennet di dalam abomasum.

Sekian dimaklumkan.
School of Chemical Sciences and Food Technology
Faculty of Science and Technology
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
43600 UKM-Bangi
Tel : 017-8703282

Now this is what I meant by a credible source. You want to sent in a statement in your mail (doesn't matter from whom the original sender is from) -- please include your name and/or the original sender's name, address and a contact number to prove that you or they are the person/s who wrote and sent the mail. This is to proof or clarify that you or they wrote the statement yourself/themselves if in case someone wants to know its validity or to have more info on it.

I rest my case for now.

My verdict: Non-credible, wasting other people's time and mine too!

Road traffic deaths in a day beat H1N1's in a month

I read the Star Online today with sickening feelings in my gut:

"13 die on day three of Ops Sikap

PETALING JAYA: Day Three of Ops Sikap XX saw 13 deaths due to road accidents recorded nationwide, with six deaths occurring on federal roads.

Four deaths were the result of accidents on state roads while three happened on municipal roads.

The number of road accidents also rose to1,245 yesterday from 1,182 on Monday, police said in a statement.

The most number of accidents occurred on municipal roads at 566, followed by federal roads with 287.

Eight deaths involved motorcyclists, while five other deaths were accidents involving cars and a lorry. One death involved a cyclist.

A total of 14,443 traffic summons were issued......"

Read more">here.

Upon coming back from the UK last 2 months I was dumbstruck at the airport with the presence of 3 staff from the Ministry of Health checking on the arrival of passengers from the countries afflicted with H1N1 (which means worldwide) at the airport. On TV you heard campaign on the awareness of the pandemic being aired so often and scary facts were splashed on the headlines everyday, so does the incidences and the death toll.

The flu-like infection received so much media attention, giving the impression that this was the No.1 virus killer by causing fatal infections. That was certainly different than how it was in the UK, where there was no panic at all. We were informed about the deaths and what precaution to take, warned of the symptoms, but you surely would not see anybody putting on surgical masks on the street!

H1N1 is no more fatal than SARS or dengue, for instance. In fact dengue fever killed more urban Malaysians than you care to think of. But dengue fever or chikungunya were yesterdays' news. While H1N1 is a sophisticated disease initially detected as being an association with the swine, so it just has to be highlighted to get some kind of (political) mileage. After all, fighting dengue fever is a long lost battle. You just could not raise people's awareness more than the level of what's hammered to you since before - the larvae, the adult Aedes aegypti, cleaning of your house, getting rid of empty cans properly, or the use of Abate.

What more can anyone do, what else could make newspapers headlines than those facts? News of dengue deaths were not publicised for various (political?) reasons i.e not to cause panic or keep visitors away from the country (may be?).

Now we know deaths from road traffic accidents are the leading cause of death in this country. From Ops Sikap I to XX, we do not see a decremental pattern, instead the number increases exponentially every year. For sure the 73 fatalities from H1N1, first detected about 3 months ago till now is a sorry number compared to deaths occuring at the perimeter of this coming Hari Raya celebrations. By the time the celebration ends, you do not need to be a mathematical genius to count the casualties.

Various government agencies; Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Works, Road Traffic Department, Royal Malaysian Police, MIROS, etc have been enforcing many programmes to curtail road traffic accidents and implementing strategies to improve road safety, but where do we go wrong? have all the efforts gone astray?

From my personal observation, I noticed all the contributing physical factors:
1) poor road maintenance i.e potholes, uneven roads, narrow roads
2) poor risk signages i.e dangerous curves, road constructions,
3) improper locations of traffic lights, turns, junctions,
4) poor lighting
5) inadequate motorcycle lane/pedestrian crossing, etc.

But we must not forget that the main reason for accidents are due to drivers' attitude. I would not dwell on the subject further here, because to figure out Malaysian drivers' attitude and psyche, that in itself is a long dissertation.

Motorcycle-related deaths numbered the top position among other vehicles. Have we found a solution to this? Does setting a lower cost to getting a license help? How about the minimum age limit? I must admit while I was in UK, I could very rarely see a motorcyclist, most people use public transport which are readily available, dependable, reliable and cheap. Acquiring tickets are easy, being just at the tips of your fingers (online). Because the system was so competent, there was no hassle, no touts servicing and leeching, no people conning you at every corners!

In addition, the roads were properly maintained, all construction works were well gated and signages put up where they were clearly seen and all information regarding road closure and changes of route, were informed beforehand and notices put up on the buses and online. The "NO CAR LANES" signages indicated that cars were not allowed to use the lanes, this was especially evident in the most busy areas of the town. And enforcement was always around to warn off traffic offenders, the police/RTD officers were always equipped with a digital camera to take snapshots of your offences and as evidence for the summons.

There is so much work need to be done to alleviate people's suffering from deaths due to accidents, or severe/fatal viral infections, or from diabetes and other diseases with high morbidity and mortality in this country. Please.... it's imperative that the "powers" be sincere about matters pertaining to life and death.

Bakiah: Feels disgusted about the abuse of media to promote an individual(s) rise to a "celebrity status"over health issues.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"Chocolate" - an eye opener to the "sepets"

"Chocolate" is the latest video by the late Yasmin Ahmad, released post-humously as a tribute to the acclaimed controversial director. The tribute to Yasmin Ahmad was not only associated with the surrounding issues concerning her "dark" past, again her crafts were much talked about after her passing.

More so than ever when all around, you would hear people shouting "Satu Malaysia", like some kind of mystical chants, whether they understand its meaning or otherwise (which is more like it).

This short video was casted with her regular actress, Sharifah Amani who played a demure, tudung-clad Malay girl, next to Hon Kah Hoe who played the racist character in the movie "Talentime". Tan Mei Ling loaned her voice over in the background as the shop owner, mother of the boy. It playacted racist sentiments from beginning till the end, the director didn't even conceal the theme in undertones. It was blatant observations of life in an urban multi racial (Malay+Chinese) society.

Several facts that Yasmin shared with us in her latest contribution:
1). Chinese shop owners having the upperhand and has the favour over the underhanded Malay buyers (shown here when the boy would not tolerate the 5 cents less of the price of a cadbury milk chocolate)
2) Chinese parent(s) are inculcating the racial sentiments to make the children aware of their fate in this country
3) The issues regarding education and job opportunities are 2 subjects that are considered still not favouring the other races
4) Love/Infatuation does not recognize "colours"
5) But in the end, racial sentiments still wins over passion/infatuation

Yasmin Ahmad presented again the facet of multiracial community life and risked the censure by the Malay viewers who still championed the cause of the "priviledged Malays". The fresh outlook which was always present in her films were the issues that were bared open instead of being swept under the carpet.

Closer to home, I must admit racial polarisation is very much evident in IPTAs although having gone through 5 years of medical school where 90% of students were Malays, I was fortunate not to suffer so much from it. May be I was spared, but I was the selected few. However, to a lesser degree, I could feel the resentment from my Chinese colleagues who had to go through 2 years of hardship at Form Six level while we Malays breezed through our Matriculation course. The Chinese "A" students were so bright and brilliant that when they joined us in our 2nd year of Matriculation, they went through it so painlessly.

The few Chinese students made up a minority (no doubt just fulfilling the sorry quota), among the sea of Malay medic students that they often walled up in their own small community - sharing lecture notes, past year questions, photostated "bible" text books, and other gems of medical curriculum. We were often confronted with blank looks when we asked for loans of these study materials, at best they shut us off with Chinese language as a clear indication that there would be no sharing there.

Yasmin has done her share by potraying the disease, symptoms and the repercussions of racism, favouritism and polarisation. I'm sure all of us have experienced the ugly facet of racism. Who benefits from this? NO ONE, we all lose in the long run if we allow this to continue. How long are we going to remain "sepet" to these issues? Have we become so myopic and keep turning a blind eye to these rising issues and let this fester like bushfire until it has done its irreversible damage?

Bakiah: is worried when her children keep referring to the next door neighbour as "Chinese sebelah rumah tu..."

Monday, September 14, 2009

How I struggled to learn English and enjoyed every minute

The new post by Izaham on the advertisement posted in the most recent issue of Berita Kampus, has resurrected some of the fondest memories i had during my schooling days.
The first day i stepped on the ground of Sekolah Seri Puteri, Jalan Kolam Ayer, i was amazed with the kind of sophistication that most of my seniors carried with them, like it was their second skin. The jargon the teenagers would now use would be "glam". Yes, they were born with the style and flair which make them looked so good with the current hair styles and dressing. The same was in their mannerism and the way they talked. It was classy and demure at the same time.

The most noticeable thing was they spoke and told jokes in a smooth English language. This was my greatest envy because I, on the other hand, my English was not only broken, i spoke haltingly and every word was a pain, which needed to be thought of and every sentence composed in the mind before any words could be uttered. I was among the few who was fortunate enough to join the rank amidst all the daughters of the diplomats, heads of ministries, and other professionals. Some were lucky to have parents who were the school alumni. Most of my friends had English as their first language.

My first introduction to the English curriculum was the Cloze Test. we were streamed into the different classes based on the results of the cloze test. Surprisingly, i was put in the Set "A" class, albeit my marks were among rock bottom ones.

Then I was made to understand that each class will get its own library box and maintained a log book. In this box I was introduced to the Prisoner of Zenda, Anna Karenina, Wuthering Heights, Les Miserables, Pride and Prejudice, The Good Earth, Little House on the Prairie, Animal Farm, and had my first journey into the world of Jane Austen, Leo Tolstoy, Victor Hugo, George Orwell, Pearl S. Buck, Emily and Charlotte Bronte, and many other world-acclaimed writers.

Needless to say, my friends and I were crazy about the library box. You would always see us having a book handy, and I was seldom without a Danielle Steel or Sidney Sheldon in my bag. The books were my best companions while going through the rigorous boarding school highly disciplined upbringing.

The English curriculum also included aural exercises, this was another aspect of English language that was so foreign to me. In this class, you got to listen to songs and the teacher would pass the lyrics where you need to put in your answers in the blanks. There was also the regular 5 words a day where you needed to find out the meaning, used them in sentences and this needed to be passed up every week to the English class teacher.

The ultimate excitement would of course be the video/TV shows which were incorporated in the curriculum, i guess unofficially. This was like a treat to us. That era was famous of the alien "V" series, MacGyver, Fame, and the hype was so much over Duran Duran, AHA, and the latinos boys, The Menudo. We just went crazy over John Taylor, Nick Kershaw, Simon Le Bon and you have such names out of a figment of imagination written everywhere i.e Freida Le Bon, Nita Taylor, Shaz Kershaw, etc.

We had challenging times producing class drama out of famous English Literature e.g Alice in the Wonderland, Shakespeare's "As You Like It", "Romeo and Juliet"and "Lady MacBeth".
we had tremendous fun during the English Week when heavy fines were imposed at 10 cents a word for every Malay word used during the week. For Author's Week we were overjoyed with decorating the class to the theme of the selected author you picked out and the scenes you acted out of a chapter of their books.

That was how I learnt English, as how a language should be learned - in the class room, and out. I was among the English-handicapped, how I struggled to learn the language but thanks to my teachers, their dedication and spirit were what made me prevailed.

Bakiah: Often wonder how is the English language currently being taught? Does it still bring enjoyment to the learners? Do the students answer to the challenge and take pride when they succeed?

The vroom!..vroom!... and 'go to room...' dilemma

"Vroom!...vroom!...," exclaimed a standard one student who literally jumped into our classroom one fine morning. He was from another classroom.

It was some time in the 60's and we were a naive bunch of 7 year old being barely a week introduced to formal education. For the past few days we were intensively brainwashed with English communication (reading, listening, pronunciation and writing). No other form or language were allowed in the classroom, except when it was the BM period or when Muslim boys were to attend Pendidikan Ugama.

The teacher was stunned and so were the rest of the students totaling 40+... "I beg your pardon..?," the teacher asked. "What do you mean by vroom, vroom...?"

Unable to explain what he meant by the exclamation, the boy blushed. But he managed to smile and made a gesture with his hands and said, "my teacher...".

The teacher understood and laugh, but the rest in the classroom were still in awe. "Say-lah you want to borrow a broom...!" the teacher said. "How would you expect us to understand anything by saying vroom!...vroom...!" and then everyone joined the laughter.

Now that may be an anecdotal joke which I can relate to -- to demonstrate how poor some of our students' grasp of the English language -- or their inability to construct a meaningful sentence in English.

But the case above may not generally represent the problem of students' English proficiency in this country, as compared to common debates on the matter as exposed by the media -- mainstream or otherwise. That example I consider an isolated case due to lots of external reason, one of which is naivety, the other poverty and another, cultural shock!

However, this write-up will not discuss the reason -- how or why some students remain unable to grasp the English language even after years of formal learning. I just wanted to relate another example of bad use of the English language and this time of all the places -- in Berita Kampus.

I found this advertisement in BK Jilid 40, Edisi 4 page 19. The small 2cm x 1 column advertisement reads "Hair Cut, muslim only, Layer Cut, Rebonding and Others - "go to room", anytime just call".

It so happens my wife wanted to have a haircut - she told me this quite some time ago. So, yesterday I showed her the ad and asked her to give the advertiser a call.

When she read the ad she asked me what it meant by "go to room". I too was confused and said maybe the advertiser meant that if you are a Muslim woman who wears the tudung and would prefer to have your haircut in a separate room, that can be arranged -- since it could be a 'bisexual' hair saloon (parodying Jason's character in his use of the term in place of 'unisex' in Yasmin Ahmad's Sepet).

As usual, she instead asked me to make the call.

When a woman's voice answered I told her my wife would like to have a haircut and asked where her place is. She said she has no location, she is mobile and carries all her equipment in the car including the gadgets and accessories to make hair rebonding. Then I passed the phone to my wife as she wanted to asked about other things including the price she is charging.

When the conversation ended, my wife asked me, why then the "go to room" and we had a good laugh!

Later we had a field day discussing about it and how the advertiser should have correctly phrased the copy-writing in a comprehensible way - should it be "personalized service" or "service to your door" or "I will come to your house" etc?

But then it dawned onto my wife that what she meant by "go to room" was that since the ad was published in a student paper so it meant she will "go to room" to cut students hair at their hostel...!

Then we had a good laugh again.

So, to make clear everybody's confusion -- in case it happens again -- I want to suggest the student/s who handled the sale of the advertisement to check with the advertiser first whether readers can really comprehend what the advertisers really wanted to tell in their advertisement.

In other words help them with the copy writing-lah!

My verdict: confused and amused!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Forum wants Jeff Ooi's head

A tit-for-tat? I wonder when it's going to end.

The Forum Penyelarasan Umat (Forum), a group of Islamic NGOs, has launched a signature campaign to get Jeff Ooi to apologise and resign or be sacked as chief of staff to the chief minister and Jelutong Member of Parliament for having implied that Syariah law and the Jemaah Islah Malaysia (JIM) were extremist.

Forum representative, Md Roslan Hashim, said the group had targeted 100,000 signatures to prove that the people rejected leaders who did not respect or insulted Islam.

"Our campaign has the support of more than 30 NGOs in the state," he told reporters here.

At a news conference early last month, Ooi had reportedly asked for the resignation of Parti Keadilan Rakyat's Mohd Razali Abdullah from the Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) for his association with JIM, an Islamic missionary organisation.

Ooi was quoted as saying that the state government should not allow a "religious extremist" in its administration as JIM's objective was the implementation of Syariah law in Malaysia.

Md Roslan also said that he planned to meet Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng in an attempt to resolve the issue.

"We will have a meeting with Lim to get his explanation as to why Ooi was reluctant to apologise and had not vacated his post yet," he said.

At a news conference on Aug 9, Ooi retracted his statement but declined to apologise. — Bernama

TheStar (10 Sept) reported that Forum spokesman Mohd Hafiz Nordin said the signatures would also be obtained from Muslims worldwide. "We will put the posting in our website and the websites of our affiliated Muslim NGOs to solicit public support," he said.

A check on JIM's website did not reveal anything about the above campaign. However we found one Media Statement by JIM President, Zaid Kamaruddin, dated August 4 2009 entitled Answering Jeff Ooi - an official sort of statement on defending Mohd Razali Abdullah, the Penang Municipal Councillor named by Jeff Ooi in the spat.

A check on the comments page of Malaysian Insider's article by Adib Zalkapli, Now Penang Islamic exco wants Jeff Ooi to retract his ‘extremist’ remark (totalling 14) - at least 6 commentors want Jeff Ooi to either resign, apologize or be penalized.

The final one written by Eric Wisemann, August 09, 2009 was really harsh: Very very stupid Jeff, very very stupid. Do you think the Malays will forget what you said? Fat chance my friend. You are dealing with Islam here, the nadir of their pride. See whether you will still be the YB next election. Stupid.

However there were also moderate criticism and apologetic undertones like these two:
written by Molineux, August 08, 2009
Yes, you can criticize J Ooi, you can disagree with him and you can let the world know what you think of him but you cannot barbarically impose your views on him neither can he do that. To force someone to apologize or force someone to retract his view is reacting as pig-headed as the person who may have been insensitive. Let your argument win over with the public, he will surely apologize if the public views start to turn against him. This is the rule of civilized people.
written by carol, August 09, 2009
hello? people? if we keep demanding for resignations for minor slip of tongues, what kind of precedent is that setting? sure, jeff ooi may have said the wrong thing, at the wrong time and at the wrong place. he made a mistake. is that not human? does that then make everything he's done so far irrelevant? does that REALLY justify a resignation?

i think not. come on. in times like these, i think we could do with a little more forgiveness and understanding.

There were also mix reactions in response to the article Penang JIM calling for Jeff Ooi’s sacking posted on Malaysian Today. While most of them wants Jeff Ooi to be pardoned, some insisted that he apologize.

One comment by ahli umno, September 10, 2009 wrote:
orang dah tarik balik kenyataan, cukuplah tu. itu kira macam mengaku salahlah. tak payahlah nak tuntut itu ini lagi. dia tak mau minta maaf biak pi lah. nak paksa buat apa. untung apa? kita buat kerja kita membantu saudara seagama yg susah diserata dunia, macam dok buat sekarang. itu lebih bermenafaat daripada berusaha cari 100 000 tanda tangan. besaq ke pahala bila dapat 100 000 tandatangan nanti?. mulanya dia tak faham apa jim, sekarang dah faham; elok dah tu. jangan jadikan dia musuh kita. bagi dia 'in' buat apa bagi dia 'out'. ingat , jim pertubuhan kebajikan bukan pertubuhan politik. yg sudah tu sudahlah. kita tak kalah pun. buat apa menang kalau selama ni tak da musuh kita dapat musuh.

Another by the name of imraz ikhbal wants Jeff Ooi to apologise
September 10, 2009 wrote:
why can't Jeff Ooi just apologise publicly and be done with it? isn't it basic upbringing to apologise when you've wronged someone? if he does so with sincerity, then i will support him & oppose JIM's petition to have him removed. but if he persist to be arrogant about it, then JIM is only doing a service to the nation with the petition for his removal. i support PR whole-heartedly but I wish no one who is arrogant to lead this nation. i'm sure you don't too.

In a Malaysiakini article by Abdul Rahim Sabri dated Sept 10, Memadai Jeff tarik kenyataan 'ekstremis', JIM president said it was suffice that Ooi retracted his statement.

Pertubuhan Jamaah Islah Malaysia (JIM) berpuas hati dengan ahli parlimen DAP Jeff Ooi yang menarik balik kenyataannya menuduh NGO itu sebuah pertubuhan ekstremis, kata presidennya.

"Keputusan JIM (Pulau Pinang) bersama-sama dengan Forum Penyelarasan Umat (Forum), kita (di peringkat pusat) tidak bantah walaupun ia dapat diselesaikan.

"Tetapi bagi JIM (pusat), beliau (Jeff) menarik balik, sudah memadai," kata Zaid Kamaruddin.

So if JIM and the people involved directly in the spat with Jeff Ooi would prefer to shake hands and bury the hatchet, why is it that others not linked with the matter insist on making a mountain out of a molehill?

What if Jeff Ooi still do not apologize, what are they going to do next? Go on a rampage and carry something to insult other people's religion like what those goons did with the severed cow's head? Common people, there are more civilized ways to tame even the most arrogant beast.

I rest my case.

My verdict: Trivial

Thursday, September 10, 2009

McDonald's loses McBattle to McCurry

It's the end of a long battle for McBully.

Imagine the amount of effort, time and money that has been spent by McDonald's in this lawsuit to win the exclusivity to the use of the prefix “Mc” over its rival McCurry? It could have been better used to McFund some CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) programme or concentrate on effort to improve the quality of food and services to its customers.

Even after losing the second round in the eight year court case, the US fast food giant wasn't about to accept defeat. In the first round of the battle in 2006 the High Court ruled in McDonald’s favour. McCurry was ordered to pay damages to McDonald's.

In its statement of claim, McDonald’s said it created the prefix ‘Mc’ as a trademark and that with the usage of the prefix ‘Mc’, together with the word ‘Curry’, McCurry Restaurant, which was formerly known as Restoran Penang Curry House (KL) Sdn Bhd, had misrepresented itself as being associated with McDonald’s business.

McCurry in its defense contended that McDonald’s could not claim monopoly or exclusive rights to the use of the prefix ‘Mc’ which was extensively used around the world as surnames, particularly by people of Scottish origin.

McCurry later appealed, and in April 2009 the Court of Appeal disagreed with the High Court's 2006 decision.

Judge Datuk Gopal Sri Ram, in delivering judgment, said McCurry’s Restaurant signboard would not result in reasonable persons associating McCurry with the McDonald’s mark. He added that the fact that McCurry Restaurant chose the name ‘McCurry’, could not, by itself, lead to the inference that it sought to obtain an unfair advantage from the usage of the prefix ‘Mc’.

Unsatisfied with the outcome, McDonalds then referred the case to the Federal Court. On September 8 (2 days ago) the Federal Court unanimously dismissed McDonald's application for leave, on the grounds that the questions posed by McDonald's were not properly framed.

Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Arifin Zakaria who sat with Federal Court judges Datuk Wira Mohd Ghazali Mohd Yusoff and Datuk James Foong, also ordered McDonald's to pay RM10,000 cost to McCurry.

Reuters, in its article McCurry beats McDonald's in lawsuit, Wed Apr 29, 2009 -- referring to outcome of the second round of the court case -- labeled the article under the oddly enough category.

The courts has meted their wise decision. Bravo to McCurry who braved the wave on its inexorable opponent by finally trumping its nemesis in the final rounds. McDonald's can now put the 'chicken' where their mouth is.

My verdict: McDonald's is McRidiculous

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Independence at last

Linking the Dots; Beating the Odds sounds like a cool name for a blog. But what does it mean and how did it come about?

Think I'll save that for later.

Just to let you know how serious I am about this new vocation - I spent endless hours thinking about the title alone - cracking my brains until it gets spinning crazy...

I guess this is the side effect of silent thinking on the cerebral cortex when you try pushing it to the limit. A thinking overdose!

But I'm still sane. The one who's spinning crazy is my alter-ego.

This blog is of course something new - a literary adventure focusing and monitoring on the endless horizon of news, information, editorials and opinion based writings we are exposed to - the print medium, the electronics, the internet, the grapevine etc. - willingly or unwillingly, deliberately or otherwise.

If it ain't new it ain't me, I keep telling myself. By trying something new - I get to test and experiment my intellectual acumen (if there is any) and maybe politically correct my journalistic and writing skills... and the list goes on...

And oh.. it's not that I am politically correct, just wishful thinking. Well, to tell you the truth I have been reading The News Manual the past few days trying to conform to their standards. I have my own.

But I digress...

Meanwhile, hang-on there. There'll be more surprises when you decide to click on this link again.

Till then, signing off...

p/s never trust someone who says "to tell you the truth..."