Saturday, 4 May 2013

Tomorrow is the day – GE13

Tomorrow is the day – GE13

I can choose to be quiet but there are things that I fear if I don’t say it, I will live in regret for the rest of my life.

It hurts me so much knowing that so many dirty tactics happening in Penang, my beloved state. This could be the dirtiest elections ever with so many cash handouts, lucky draws, free food, free-flow beer and outdoor entertainment.

Dear relatives, unimates, classmates, coursemates, enemies, childhood friends, friends from near and far, tomorrow is the day where the rakyat will go out to cast their votes in this 13th General Election.

Those of you who can vote, do it. Come out early.

Some people are too young to vote, but you can. You’ve lived at least 21 years in Malaysia’s soil. You know what have been happening. You know who’s doing well and who’s not. You know if media is censored. You know many things from the internet, although some are just plain rumours and fake. But you know that there’s really something shitty happeining to your country. You’ve seen, heard and experienced all of it yourselves from education, human rights, police treatment and so on. Are you going to be a bystander and take a so-called neutral stand? Stop this bullshit!

Feel helpless no more!! You can make a change! The power is in your hand now. You can change all these nonsense!

I don’t give a damn shit who you are voting tomorrow. But come out and vote! Each vote counts. Vote for the candidate and party which you think can bring harmony, peace and wealth to the rakyat and country.

If you are happy with the present system, vote them. If you feel there must be a change, so that life would be better, vote them! Nothing’s wrong to vote for new persons and parties in while you kick the badass out.

Voting is a privilege. And to vote for anyone or any party you prefer is your rights. No one can stop you from doing so.

The most awaited moment is just hours away. So do your part, will yea? Let’s make a difference. This is the time for you, Malaysians, do something for Malaysia, your country.

Let’s make tomorrow a day to be remembered.

No matter who wins, let it be peace and harmony. Don’t create troubles. Handle it with rationality and maturity. The elections results will determine our future.

As a first time voter, I am so excited and nervous. I wonder how it’s like to step into the polling station, getting the ballot papers and put an ‘X’ on it. Hahahahaaa. 

Malaysia milik kita. Milik kita semua, bukan puak puak yg kaya, extreme atau racist. 

Saturday, 9 February 2013

List of main Chinese New Year (CNY) open houses and events in Penang

Feb 9 (CNY eve)
9pm to midnight: My Astro Ulala CNY Countdown (in front of the City Hall, Esplanade)

Feb 10 (CNY first day)
10.30am to 1pm: Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng CNY open house (Penang International Sports Arena)

Feb 11 (CNY second day)
9.30am to 1pm: Penang Barisan Nasional CNY open house (Han Chiang High School field)

Feb 11 (CNY second day)
9am to 11.30am: Penang Chinese Town Hall CNY open house (Penang Chinese Town Hall, Jalan Mesjid Kapitan Keling)

Feb 12 (CNY third day)
11am to 1pm: Penang DAP CNY open house (Penang Times Square, Jalan Datuk Keramat)

Feb 14 (CNY fifth day)
6.30pm to 10.30pm: Penang state government CNY open house (SJKC Keng Koon, Bukit Tambun)

Feb 15 (CNY sixth day)
4pm to midnight: Ban Ka Lan Snake Festival (Snake Temple, Bayan Lepas)

Feb 16 (CNY seventh day)
3pm to midnight: Penang CNY Cultural and Heritage Celebration (Armenian Street and its vicinity)

Feb 17 (CNY eight day)
9pm to midnight: Thni Kong Seh/Jade Emperor God’s birthday (Chew Jetty, Weld Quay and Thni Kong Tnua temple at Hill Railway Road, Ayer Itam)

Feb 23 (CNY 14th day)
7pm to 11pm: Penang Chinese Town Hall Chap Goh Meh celebration (Penang Chinese Town Hall, Jalan Mesjid Kapitan Keling)

Feb 24 (CNY 15th day/last day)
6pm to 11pm: Penang state government Chap Goh Meh open house (Esplanade)

Feb 24 (CNY 15th day/last day)
11am to 1.30pm: Penang PPP CNY open house (YMCA building, Jalan Macalister)

Friday, 4 January 2013

Smile, uncle. Smile!

Barber at Ipoh. 

Thursday, 1 November 2012

China House, Beach Street, Penang

Photo taken at 5.59pm 28/10/2012

Have you ever heard of China House? The place with good ambience, coffee, food and cakes? No? Yes? If you are still wondering where is this awesome (but a bit pricey) place, this panorama shot might help. Pay a visit to this shophouse. You'll like it!  =p

Friday, 5 October 2012

City Hall, Penang

Photo taken on 4/10/2012 at 11.57am. =p

*no editing ok. the skies are real. yes i noe it's sexy!*

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Lebuh Campbell - Lebuh Cintra, Penang

Photo taken on 20/9/2012 at 10.41am.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Chulia Street, Penang

13 single shots, 11.02am 20/9/2012

Friday, 14 September 2012

Junction of Lorong Chulia - Lorong Pasar, Penang

Photo taken at 4.37pm on Friday 14/9/2012.

Do you know where is this?

I think this must be the first time the rain suddenly poured when I attempted to make a panorama shot. Fuh the moment you was rushing to complete your shot was so chikek!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri / Eid al-Fitr

Kepada kawan yang jauh dan dekat, meskipun lama tak bersua, lama tak menegur sapa tapi hati ini mash utuh teringatkan anda. Yang jauh kita dekatkan, yang dekat kita rapatkan, yang rapat kita satukan. Semoga Raya tahun ini lebih berkat dari tahun-tahun sebelumnya. Sedang kita bersukaria, jangan lupa juga pada yang papa kedana. Terima saudara lain dengan hati terbuka walaupun kita tidak sebahasa, sebangsa dan seagama. Sesungguhnya kita ini makhluk ciptaan Tuhan juga. Bermaaf-maafan dan hormat-menghormati. Pengemis, penjaja mahupun buruh asing ingin merasai suasan Raya juga. Sedekahkanlah seteguk doa buat yang telah pergi, yang masih di sisi dan yang susah dalam hidup ini. Hari Raya ini mungkin hari gembiran buat anda tapi ia membawa kesedihan kepada orang lain juga. Tanpa melengahkan masa, Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, maaf atas ke bawah, dalam dan luar. Best wishes and Eid al-Fitr to my Muslim friends. =p

*Jemputlah I ke rumah. I off Raya Kedua. Hehehe. =p*

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

You walk the talk first

You walk the talk first


The Government wants us to change our lifestyles to cope with inflation. It is easier said than done since most people were having it difficult even before the hikes. The Government must first set an example by doing things it should have done long ago.

WITH the recent hike in fuel prices and the Government’s exhortations for us to change our lifestyles in order to cope, may I provide here some suggestions for the Government and those who work for it to “share our burden”.
1. Stop having meetings, especially out at resorts, far enough away to be able to claim transport allowances. Have online meetings instead or teleconferences. Use Skype or chat.
2. No need to order special pens, bags, T-shirts, notepads and other goodies for those same meetings.
3. No need to order kuih for mid-morning or teatime meetings in government offices, or nasi briyani lunches for those meetings that happen to end just at lunchtime.
4. Cancel all trips for government servants to conferences overseas unless they return with full reports of what they did there, who they met and what they learnt and how they mean to apply what they learnt at home. Ask them to do presentations to colleagues who did not get to go, on the most interesting and important papers that they read.
5. Scrutinise invoices for contracts to make sure they are truly reflective of what those projects or supplies cost.
6. Stop elaborate launches for government programmes. In particular, stop the buying of souvenirs, special batik shirts, corsages, bouquets and caps.
7. Make all civil servants and politicians travel economy class. That means really travelling at the back of the plane and not buying full fare economy class tickets that allow them to be upgraded to Business Class.
8. Stop having the full complement of police escorts to cut down on petrol costs. If they need to be somewhere by a certain time, start earlier like the rest of us. Wouldn’t be a bad thing for them to also experience a traffic jam.
9. Once a week (or more), have ministers use public transport so they know what everyone else has to suffer. This might provide them with the incentive to improve them.
10. Once a week, let ministers go to a market to buy food for their families with instructions to not spend more than RM100.
11. Get ministers to carpool. They might get more work done just by being able to talk to each other to see what can be coordinated between their ministries. For instance, the Ministers of Health and Women could discuss what to do about women’s health issues in the car on the way to work. Maybe have a secretary to travel in the front seat to take down notes on what was discussed. By the time they get to their offices, things can get implemented.
12. Once a month, get civil servants to work with one disadvantaged group in order to be better able to appreciate their problems. It could be blind people one month, hearing disabled people the next, orang asli the following month and people living with HIV/AIDS after that.
We could start buddy systems which pair one civil servant with one disadvantaged person and at the end of it, ask each pair to make recommendations on how to make life better for each other. This might get rid of the problem of desk jockeys, people who never stray very far from their desks yet make policies for people they know nothing about.
13. Have PA systems that shout out the name of the officers who have to serve people at government offices so that people get the services they came for and don’t have to keep coming back just because the officer was out having coffee.
No counter should be left unmanned for more than five minutes before the officer is paged to go back to their stations. This should cut down waiting time for the public and save them transport costs in having to keep returning just to get one thing done.
14. Government officers who lose people’s files should be fined and have their names publicised for being careless and causing inconvenience to the public. Instead of making the public travel to their offices several times to deal with their problems, they should travel to go see their client and deal with it right there and then.
And every officer who goes out of the office should be given a reasonable time to get his work done after which he is expected back in office so he doesn't waste time doing something else.
15. And newspapers should save paper by reporting real news rather than non-news that they carry, particularly nonsensical utterances by politicians.
As they say, we need to do this all together in order to make a difference. So if the Government and politicians make these lifestyle changes, I will do my part and change mine.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Jalan C.Y. Choy, Penang

Jalan C.Y. Choy was known as Bridge Street before the 1980’s. It’s a major road which links George Town to Jelutong and to the other side of Penang Island on the southern part. Google lah if you don’t get it.

According to Penang-Traveltips ( Bridge Street was renamed Jalan C.Y. Choy in the early 1980's, in memory of the 3rd mayor of George Town. C.Y. Choy (1907-1980) was the founding member of the Penang Discussion Group. He won the City Council Elections in the Sungei Pinang Ward with a high majority. Mr Choy served as mayor from 1964 to 1966, and is often nicknamed the "Quiet Mayor of George Town" due to his low profile.

This road is also where you’ll find the locally popular Jalan Magazine (Thau Tiao Lor), Lebuh Noordin (Jee Tiao Lor), Lebuh Presgrave (Sna Tiao Lor), Lebuh Tye Sin (Si Tiao Lor), Lebuh Macallum (Goh Tiao Lor), Lebuh Katz (Lak Taio Lor) and Lebuh Cecil (Chit Tiao Lor).

Anyway the temple in this photo is Seng Ong Beow, which the residing deity is Seng Ong Kong.

To know more about Seng Ong Beow or the streets in George Town, I would recommend you to check out this website =p

*Photo taken on 25/4/2012 at 9.07am*

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

These Malaysian adverts miss the point of Ramadan

These Malaysian adverts miss the point of Ramadan

The Islamic holy month is a time to connect with, not chastise, non-Muslims. This is lost to some in Malaysia's media
Malaysian Muslims
Malaysian Muslims buy food for Iftar, the evening meal when Muslims break their fast, at a market in Kuala Lumpur. Photograph: Chong Voon Chung/ Chong Voon Chung/XinHua/Xinhua Press/Corbis
To opt for a dry throat and a crooning gut when a mere phone call can get you a decent feast is nothing short of foolhardy. Yet millions of Muslims around the globe choose to do just that when they fast inRamadan.
Those with purchasing power must surely see this enforced austerity in a world of plenty as something akin to a warped practice: Why live like paupers when you can afford more?
In this very question also lies the spirit of Ramadan: empathy for the "other", or that which is different from one's self if we accept the definition provided by the German philosopher Hegel. By way of divine decree, Ramadan has come to denote a month where Muslims who can must not, an act that accords them a chance to feel for the have-nots.
Writing for the people's panel on fasting just a few days back, Guardian commenter Zarka Anwar describes Ramadan as "a time when beauty moulds in a Muslim's heart to remember the unfortunate".
It is a point that is lost to some in the Malaysian media. With about 60% of the nation's population professing Islam, the local broadcaster 8TV ran a trio of 30-seconds clips in the first week of Ramadan aimed at instructing its non-Muslim ethnic minorities about the etiquette of proper conduct appropriate to this Islamic holy month.
The advertisements feature a young Chinese woman behaving greedily, obnoxiously and wearing tight clothings at a Ramadan bazaar to the chagrin of the Muslim Malays around her. Rightly so, the racist undertone has caused a public uproar as multitudes registered their displeasure on the station's official Facebook page.
While the station retracted the advertisements within 48 hours of first screening them and issued a public apology, this episode is telling of the dominant interpretation among members of the Malay bourgeoisie there about the value of Ramadan.
Ending each advertisement is a condescendingly moralising message that puts the onus of betterment on the culturally "other" when the focus should be an improvement of the self. In one, non-Muslims are explicitly told: "Do not be loud or obnoxious." In another, it was: "Do not be greedy and eat in public."
Such a didactic view of Ramadan ignores the inclusive leanings of this holy month. Indeed, empathy for the other is not just theologically expressed through the act of fasting. It is also invoked in the injunction to pay the zakat al-fitr, or the obligatory Ramadan alms.
As spelled out in verse 9 :60 of the Qur'an, zakat proceeds are to be distributed to eight classes of people, or asnaf, that includes the destitute and poor, as well as travellers in need. This is normally done at the end of Ramadan.
Some Islamic theologians argue that these categories of zakat recipients should include non-Muslims. Embracing this interpretation is the UK-based international aid agency Islamic Relief, which dispenses zakat funds to non-Muslims in Africa.
Back in the 1980s, Indonesian theologian and politician Amien Rais even went as far as to suggest a radical form of tiered zakat, which taxes Muslims according to the salaries they draw. Rais argues that proceeds from this zakat should be invested in ventures that benefit all, specifying education as a priority area.
Such progressive interpretations signal that Muslims are to be charitable not just to the less fortunate, but also to the culturally other – an important nuance that the 8TV advertisements fail to capture.
Sadly though, Malaysian Muslim elites are not alone in their insularity. Even in neighbouring Singapore where Muslims make up about 15% of the cosmopolitan population, the official stance is that non-Muslims could not receive the zakat proceeds, even if they "fit into one of the asnaf".
Even though 8TV's advertisements run counter to the Ramadan spirit of hospitality, it is tenuous to read this episode as further proof of Islam's intolerance. Rather, this is a textbook example of how the humanistic elements of a rich religious tradition have been drowned by the contextual concerns of its practitioners.
More than spell out the exclusive nature of Islam, the advertisements are revelatory of the inability of Malaysia's ultra-Malay elites to overcome ethnic tensions with the minority Chinese. Ramadan or not, the advertisements suggest that their rose-tinted view of Malaysia is one coloured by race-tinted glasses.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Hudud PAS dan Hudud Umno – Apa Bezanya?

KALAU dulu hanya PAS yang menjadikan hudud dan negara Islam sebagai simbol identiti partinya, sekarang ada pemimpin Umno pun mahu ikut serta dalam permainan itu. Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri Kemelah Datuk Ayub Rahmat dalam sidang dewan undangan negeri Johor baru-baru ini mencadangkan agar Johor menjadi negeri pertama di Malaysia melaksanakan hukum hudud “sebenar” yang berbeza dengan hudud PAS.
Tidak mahu ketinggalan, ketua wanita Umno Kepala Batas, ketua Puteri Umno dan ketua Perkasa juga menyokong pelaksanaan hudud, kononnya kerana memikirkan kepentingan dan kebaikannya umat Islam di Malaysia. Selain PAS dan Umno, penasihat PKR Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim pun menyokong PAS untuk melaksanakan hudud.
“Hudud dan negara Islam” seperti menjadi alat dagangan politik yang dikibar-kibar terutamanya setiap kali mahu pilihanraya. Soalannya, apakah perbezaan hudud PAS dan hudud Umno? Dan apakah isu-isu penting yang mesti dijawab oleh semua ahli politik sebelum hudud boleh dilaksanakan seperti yang mereka inginkan?
Apa kelebihan hudud Umno?
Mashitah Ibrahim (sumber:
Mashitah Ibrahim (sumber:
Pada waktu ini, belum diketahui apakah perbezaan antara hudud PAS dan Umno kerana walaupun Ayub Rahmat mahu melaksanakan “hudud sebenar”, beliau sendiri pun belum ada membuat sebarang draf cadangan. Cuma yang diketahui ialah Ayub Rahmat mahu hudud itu meliputi semua rakyat Malaysia, termasuk orang bukan Islam. Dan walaupun menyokong, namun Timbalan Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri Datuk Dr Mashitah Ibrahim mengakui bahawa kerajaan masih kekurangan prasarana terdiri daripada mahkamah, hakim dan pegawai pendakwa bagi melaksanakan hudud di Malaysia.
Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Kerja Sekretariat Ulama Muda Umno yang turut ghairah menyokong, juga sekadar mencadangkan untuk “menghimpunkan pakar-pakar terlebih dahulu bagi memberikan pandangan supaya hukum ini benar-benar dapat dilaksanakan.”
Soalan yang belum dijawab 
Selain daripada persoalan di atas, isu yang lebih penting ialah apakah hudud sesuai dilaksanakan di Malaysia? Saya kira, penyokong-penyokong pelaksanaan hudud tak kira mereka itu daripada Umno, PAS atau PKR masih belum menjawab persoalan penting iaitu:
 Bukankah pelaksaan hukum hudud bertentangan dengan perlembagaan Malaysia?
 Apakah ia sesuai dengan konteks masyarakat Malaysia yang moden dan berbilang kaum?
 Bukankah ia melanggar hak asasi manusia?
 Walaupun hudud hanya dilaksanakan pada orang Islam, apakah benar kehidupan dan hak orang bukan Islam tidak akan terjejas langsung?
Pengkempen hudud seperti tidak begitu selesa menjawab persoalan yang dikemukakan ini.
Realiti lawan utopia
Penyokong-penyokong hudud sering cuba menyedapkan hati orang ramai dengan mengatakan, “Jangan risau, walau ada hukum sebatan, namun sebatan itu tidak menyakitkan.” Atau, “Orang-orang miskin tidak akan dipotong tangannya.” Mereka akan beri jaminan bahawa hukum hudud akan dijalankan dengan penuh keadilan.
Orang-orang yang mendengarnya pun mengimpikan sebuah negara utopia, yang mana tiada lagi jenayah serta diskriminasi dan rakyat akan hidup aman bahagia. Tetapi bolehkan hidup aman bahagia itu dicapai tanpa hudud? Realitinya, beberapa negara bukan Islam di Eropah mempunyai kadar jenayah yang lebih rendah berbanding sesetengah negara Islam yang telah melaksanakan hukum hudud.
Orang Islam juga suka berbangga menceritakan bahawa setiap kali ke masjid, pedagang di Mekah akan meninggalkan barang dagangannya begitu saja kerana tiada siapa yang akan mencurinya. Namun hakikatnya, sering sekali kita dengar cerita tentang dompet yang dicuri semasa menunaikan ibadat di tanah Arab.  Jemaah wanita juga sentiasa diingatkan betapa bahayanya untuk berjalan atau naik teksi bersendirian atau walau bersama saudara atau teman perempuan saja semasa di sana.
Realiti lain yang lebih membimbangkan ialah pendekatan yang diambil oleh penyokong hudud. Mengikut logik dan respons pemimpin politik yang menyokong hudud, lebih keras sesuatu hukuman hudud, maka lebih Islamlah ia.
Contohnya, semasa Kartika Dewi Shukarno dijatuhkan hukuman enam kali sebatan kerana minum alkohol, lebih kurang 70% orang Islam di Malaysia menyokong hukuman tersebut. Walaupun berkali-kali Kartika menyatakan kekesalannya dan memohon maaf di media, namun tetap saja orang-orang dan pertubuhan-pertubuhan Islam mendesak kerajaan untuk segera menyebat beliau. Sikap sadis sedemikian amat menyedih dan mengerikan sekali.
Nik Aziz
Nik Aziz
Pemimpin PAS Tok Guru Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat tidak puas hati dengan hukuman enam sebatan kerana menurut beliau, sepatutnya Kartika harus disebat 80 kali. Apakah sebagai seorang ulama, Nik Aziz tidak tahu bahawa Al-Qur’an tidak ada memberi sebarang hukuman apa pun terhadap orang yang meminum arak?
Adanya perbalahan di kalangan ulama klasik sama ada hukuman sebatan terhadap orang yang minum arak itu 40 kali atau 80 kali malah menunjukkan ia adalah hukuman takzir (budi bicara kerajaan) dan bukan hukum hudud. Malah, Nik Aziz dan para penyokong hudud memberi alasan bahawa hukuman sebat itu kononnya tidak menyakitkan. Mereka juga mengatakan hukuman hudud itu hanya bertujuan untuk memalukan. Aduhai, saya kira hukuman hudud rejam dan juga potong tangan itu bukan sekadar untuk memalukan, tetapi tersangat menyakitkan dan malah membuatkan si pesalah hilang anggota badan atau hilang nyawanya.
Penyokong hudud gagal mengangkat sikap Islam yang mengutamakan keadilan dan kasih sayang, tetapi sebaliknya sukakan hukuman keras, seperti lebih keras hukumannya, maka lebih Islamlah ia.
Mengapa perlu bimbang?
Kita punya sebab untuk bimbang terhadap pelaksanaan hudud kerana:
i) Draf undang-undung hudud yang telah diusulkan oleh PAS dan disokong oleh Anwar walaupun secara peribadi lebih merupakan “cut and paste” dari undang-undang Pakistan atau kitab fikah klasik. Ia tidak menunjukkkan ada usaha menawarkan ijtihad atau pemikiran baru yang lebih sesuai untuk konteks masa kini.
ii) Agamawan dan penguasa agama masih menunjukkan sikap autokratik dalam membuat sesuatu keputusan, seperti amalan mengharamkan apa saja acara, filem atau buku yang mereka tidak suka atau tidak fahami.
iii) Masih banyak kedengaran wanita-wanita yang tidak berpuas hati terhadap layanan buruk dan diskriminasi yang mereka alami di mahkamah syariah. Maka, sikap dan kemampuan hakim dan pegawai-pegawai mahkamah syariah masih boleh dipersoalkan.
iv) Ramainya agamawan yang masih kurang faham dan peka tentang isu-isu sosial kemasyarakatan dan kesukaran hidup yang dihadapi sesetengah anggota masyarakat.  Kefahaman mereka tentang isu gender juga masih tipis sekali. Seperti yang ditunjukkan dalam kes Kartika, sikap mahu menghukum seberat mungkin masih menebal.
Undang-undang hudud PAS tidak menerima perempuan dan orang bukan Islam sebagai saksi
v) Dalam hal kelayakan menjadi saksi, undang-undang hudud PAS hanya mengiktiraf “lelaki Islam yang akil baligh dan tidak pernah melakukan dosa-dosa besar serta tidak mengekalkan dosa kecil” sahaja sebagai yang layak menjadi saksi.  Perempuan dan orang bukan Islam tidak diterima sebagai layak menjadi saksi.
Hukum siapa?
Saya ingat lagi sewaktu kerajaan PAS Terengganu mengemukakan draf hudud mereka untuk pertama kali, mereka telah meletakkan kesalahan rogol dalam kategori zina. Ia tentu saja ditentang oleh para aktivis wanita kerana zina adalah perbuatan suka sama suka. Rogol pula adalah jenayah di mana ada unsur pemaksaan terhadap wanita. Jadi, di manakah keadilan sekiranya mangsa rogol juga dikenakan hukuman sebat?
Setelah diprotes hebat, draf hudud PAS pun dipinda. Seorang ahli Sisters in Islam, Dr Nik Noriani Nik Badlishah, berkata kepada pemimpin PAS pada waktu itu: “PAS kata undang-undung hudud PAS ini adalah hukum Tuhan. Tapi nampaknya setelah diprotes, hukum hudud PAS ini boleh pula dipinda-pinda. Maka, akui sajalah bahawa hukum hudud PAS ini hanyalah ciptaan manusia semata-mata”.
Keperluan untuk melaksanakan hudud juga bukanlah sesuatu yang dimestikan di dalam Islam. Dengan kebangkitan Arab Spring sekarang, kelihatannya parti-parti Islam yang kini menerajui pemerintahan di Tunisia, Turki dan Mesir masih mengekalkan undang-undangnya yang agak sekular dan tidak melaksanakan hudud. Presiden PAS Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang pun kini mengatakan yang pelaksanaan hudud bukanlah keutamaan PAS dan sebenarnya dalam Al-Qur’an tidak ada pun menyebut Negara Islam, tetapi konsep negara kebajikan.
Jelas bahawa mengamalkan hudud bukanlah sesuatu yang akan menyempurnakan Islam di negara kita. Yang akan mengharumkan nama Islam dan menjaga kepentingan rakyat sama ada yang Islam ataupun yang bukan Islam adalah keadilan, kesetaraan dan kesejahteraan masyarakat. Hudud yang dicadangkan oleh PAS dan disokong oleh Anwar langsung tidak memberi jaminan bahawa unsur-unsur inilah yang akan diutamakan. Hudud Umno pula kekurangan apa-apa bentuk dan nilai yang boleh meyakinkan rakyat Malaysia bahawa ianya berbeza daripada hudud PAS.
Jadi apa tujuan sebenar ahli-ahli politik daripada Umno, PAS dan PKR mencadangkan dan memajukan pelaksanaan hudud jika bukan hanya kerana mahu main politik sesama sendiri? 

Norhayati Kaprawi is a Muslim woman activist, a filmmaker and an Asian Public Intellectualsfellow.

Taken from

Saturday, 21 July 2012

No good time for Najib

No good time for Najib
By Anil Netto 

PENANG - Malaysia's ruling coalition is having second thoughts about holding an early snap general election. The problem for Prime Minister Najib Razak and his United Malays Nasional Organization (UMNO)-led administration, however, is that time is running short to win a pre-emptive electoral advantage before the current five-year parliamentary term expires in April 2013. 

Speculation about snap elections has intensified as parties led by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's Parti Keadilan Rakyat (People's Justice Party) begin to fancy their chances of wresting power from UMNO and the Barisan Nasional coalition for the first time since independence. 

A steady stream of corruption allegations against Najib's government has dented its public image and, amid economic weakness, has raised popular concern that the country cannot sustain the endemic official hemorrhage. Earlier vows by Najib to repeal, reform or replace some of the country's more anti-democratic laws, meanwhile, have failed to give UMNO any popular momentum as officials have maintained heavy-handed tactics against political dissent. 

Anwar and his opposition allies in the Democratic Action Party and Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) have campaigned previously on issues related to clean and more-democratic governance. Already at a considerable disadvantage due to election rules and regulations that favor the incumbent including an official campaign period of only 10 days before the polls, they have vowed not to be caught off guard by snap polls. 

The belief is that Najib, like previous premiers, is waiting for an opportune moment when public opinion is perceived to be in his favor to call the polls. But as his UMNO predecessor Abdullah Badawi discovered at the 2008 general election, where the opposition scored historic gains including control over five of 13 federal states, there may not be a favorable time on the near-term horizon. 

Some analysts believe he missed an opportunity earlier this year when his personal approval ratings were high. The premier had just announced a string of grassroots handouts, including one-off cash payments of 300 ringgits (US$94.70) to each household with a monthly income of less than 3,000 ringgits, a populist program known as One Malaysia People's Assistance. His Government Transformation Program (GTP) and Economic Transformation Program (ETP), meanwhile, had given his administration a reformist sheen. 

Najib had also announced a 15,000 ringgit windfall for settlers, many of whom are UMNO supporters, who are part of a decades-old nationwide rural cash crop resettlement scheme, the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda). The announcement came ahead of the listing of Felda Global Ventures (FGV), an investment vehicle created to unlock the value of Felda's commercial assets and holdings. 

Prices rose quickly when FGV was first listed, but analysts have since questioned the future commercial returns of the listed concern given that many of the plantations in its fold consist of palm oil trees that are reaching maturity. A protest rally by those worried about how the policy will impact on Felda's future will be held on July 14. 

Controversy also arose over a proposed new remuneration scheme for civil servants when it was pointed out that top officials would receive especially hefty pay hikes, widening the already yawning income gap with those at the bureaucracy's lower tiers. Amid the criticism, the scheme was hastily revised. 

Pundits earlier predicted snap polls would be held in March, coinciding with Najib's hand-outs, pay raises and privatization policy. But faced with uncertainties about those policies' popular appeal, including among UMNO stalwarts, Najib was forced to recalculate. 

Reform ruse
In the interim, the civil society coalition for clean and fair elections, known locally as Bersih, stepped up its campaign demanding wide-ranging reforms to the country's electoral process, which is widely viewed as giving the UMNO-led ruling coalition unfair advantages. 

The turning point came during a huge rally held on April 28 attended by, according to some estimates, more than 200,000 people demanding electoral reforms. The government's heavy-handed treatment of peaceful street demonstrators, including mass arrests and the use of tear gas and water cannons, dispelled any notions that Najib's government was serious about democratic reforms. 

Najib's legal reforms also came under fire in June when detainees under the Internal Security Act (ISA), which allows detention without charge, launched a high profile hunger strike. Najib had announced last year that the ISA would be repealed and replaced with a new Security Offenses Act (which notably still allows for detention without charge), but 45 ISA detainees remained incarcerated, some for years without formal charges being pressed. Najib met the criticism with silence. 

Official transparency also took a hit when whistle-blowers were investigated, questioned or visited by authorities in at least three high profile cases: the inquiry into official corruption in a submarine deal with France (the subject of an ongoing judicial inquiry in Paris) initiated by human-rights group Suaram; a 250 million ringgit grant for breeding cows to a feedlot company managed by the husband of a cabinet minister; and the questionable selection of a company during a tender process for the extension of a light rail transit system in the capital, Kuala Lumpur. 

Meanwhile, prominent Bersih activists, including an analyst who is due to speak at Bersih events over the next few days, have faced intimidation and even assault by unknown individuals or little-known groups. In the aftermath of the April Bersih rally, Ambiga Sreenevasan, the Bersih steering committee co-chair, was harassed outside her private residence by groups believed to be supportive of UMNO. 

Bersih steering committee member Wong Chin Huat was assaulted by unknown assailants while on a recent neighborhood jog. Analyst Ong Kian Ming, who has regularly highlighted discrepancies in voters' rolls, including apparent phantom voters, saw intruders trying to break into his house this week while he was in his living room. 

The government-controlled Election Commission has bowed to a couple of protester demands. For the first time it will allow the use of indelible ink to prevent multiple voting and permit the registration of overseas Malaysians as postal voters provided they have returned to Malaysia at least once in the previous five years. 

Concerns remain, however, over significant increases in voter registration in peninsular Malaysia's most developed state, Selangor, one of the four states currently under opposition rule. (The opposition lost control of one of the five states it won at the 2008 polls.) In some seats in Selangor, the number of registered voters has inexplicably swelled by more than 20% since 2008. 

Najib must now also factor into his political calculations the extent to which the economic crisis in Europe and the slowdowns in China and the United States will affect Malaysia's export-reliant economy. The potential economic hit from abroad comes at a time the government's fiscal management has come into question.

The Edge, a local business weekly, recently expressed concern about the long-term sustainability of the government's heavy reliance on national oil corporation Petronas to finance its spending programs. Petronas finances an estimated 45% of the national budget and payments have doubled over the past five years. A huge chunk of the budget goes to the heavily centralized and somewhat opaque prime minister's department. 

"Oil majors plough back close to 55% of their profits into the business, while national oil corporations reinvest as much as 65%," The Edge noted in a comment piece. "[But] Reinvestment at Petronas stands at just over 20% of profits." The editorial suggested that at current usage and export rates Malaysia could soon become a net importer of oil. 

The longer Najib waits to call elections, the more global uncertainty will cloud the country's economic prospects and raise new questions about the government's performance. Although a fiscal boost when the annual budget is passed later this year will no doubt aim to dole out more populist sweeteners to grassroots voters, a longer wait could also allow more damaging corruption allegations to rise to the political surface. 

Anil Netto is a Penang-based writer. 

(Copyright 2012 Asia Times Online (Holdings) Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact us about sales, syndication and republishing.)

*News taken from

Monday, 16 July 2012

Lebuh Carnarvon, Penang

Photo taken at 1.06am, 16/7/2012. 

This street is known as Lam Chan Nah to the locals (Hokkien). You'll find alot of funeral shops, stationeries, bicycle shops, hardwares and kopitiams along this stretch of road. 

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Friday, 13 July 2012

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani temple consecration ceremony

Consecration ceremony of the newly-completed Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani temple at Jalan Kebun Bunga today (29/6/2012). The temple popularly known as Waterfall Hilltop Temple attracted devotees from near and far as well as tourists amounting to about 200,000 people. Well, the most anticipated moment was when the priests sprinkle the holy water exactly at 10.15am from the top of the temple over the devotees who have been waiting for hours to be blessed.

*more photos tomorrow, when I'm not lazy.* 

Monday, 18 June 2012

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower, Penang

Also known as 'the clocktower' to the locals. =p

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Monday, 7 May 2012

Memories of Lebuh Farquhar, Penang

Does this street in the middle looks familiar to you, especially Penangites?

This is Lebuh Farquhar where St. George's Church (left) and the Penang High Court (right) are.

It's also the street where I had my education in SK Hutchings (age 7-12), SMK Hutchings SMH (age 13-17) and St Xavier's Institution SXI (age 18-19) all at the same road. 

In my primary school years, my mum sent me to school by her old C70 Honda motorbike. My grandpa use his bicycle to fetched me to school too. Then in secondary school, I took school bus before I went to school with public transport myself. I cycled to school too. If my memory is still good, there was a free Shuttle Bus service in year 2002. Oh i always had free ride around George Town before and after my co-curriculum activities. Hehehe. In Form 4, at the age of 16, I use scooter after I got my driving license.

Not to forget, this is the street where I got to know the girls from Convent Light Street (CLS). HOHOHO. Eh, I didn't spy on them at the bus stop la ok. Students from SMH, SXI and CLS always involved together in school activities.

I remember there used to be more huge trees in front of the church but it has been chopped down. The court wasn't that big until they extend it few years ago.

So do you remember some of your childhood memories?

Friday, 27 April 2012

people's power

Well i see this as people's power and unity. How about you?

This scene is captured from Jalan Sultan during BERSIH 2.0 rally.

I believe 3.0 version will be more grand. 

Thursday, 26 April 2012

charm of Penang

Date: 25/4/2012

Time: 11.02am 

Venue: Junction of Lebuh Victoria and Gat Lebuh China

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

good morning Penang

What a nice day to woke up with a beautiful sunrise.

Today is my off day.

I started my day at 6.30am.

Then i went out to have breakfast and done a lot of things and came home at 12.30pm. 

6 freaking hours outside!!

and i'm feeling good and still energetic!

Anyone wana date me to explore Penang?? hehehe!

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Chowrasta Market

Chowrasta Market is actually located at Jalan Kuala Kangsar. It's accessible from Jalan Campbell, Jalan Penang and Jalan Kimberley as well. This is one of the busiest wet markets in the town. The local Hokkiens call it 'kennabansan'.

Date: 12/4/2012

Time: 9.35pm

Venue: Chowrasta Market, Jalan Kuala Kangsar, Penang.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Lim Jetty Panorama

Date: 13/4/2012

Time: 12.25pm

Venue: Lim Jetty, Weld Quay, Penang

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

bridge of serenity

Somewhere in Penang.

Friday, 6 April 2012

flood in Siem Reap, Cambodia

It was a sad but a day to remember.

It was flooded till knee-length when i backpacked to Siem Reap, Cambodia last year.

The whole town was paralised. No electricity no activities.

It's on September 24, 2011.