Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ole! Barcelona was just magnificent!

HAIL BARCELONA FC, worthy football champions of Europe. It was worth losing sleep to catch the final where Man Utd was trying to defend its title after beating Chelsea in Moscow last year. After Eto scored the first goal, and seing how Puyol and mates played their hearts out, I couldn't see Ronaldo and his team getting back into the game. Messi showed no mercy to a United team that played with no real invention and flair. While Barcelona played smooth football, United was disjointed and didn't seem to be really hungry enough to fight for every ball. Barcelona showed class while United laboured. I was the last to leave the flat screen stadium. Despite being an Man U fan, I wasn't unhappy at Barcelona's win. They truly deserved the Cup. I now wait for Man U's game in the National Stadium in Bkt Jalil come July 18.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Need better signage to Lumut, the MB's town

WHILE waiting for a couple of major assignments in the next few weeks, I decided to join the first family day for Yayasan Salam in Lumut over the weekend. It was indeed a very meaningful one for staff and their families. We all took a complete break from work and got together for a smashing weekend of fun and games. The staff worked very hard for this first-ever gathering. But I noticed that the Lumut Local Council could help tourists with better road signage to help tourists and visitors. For instance, if you had left the Swiss Garden Resort to join the main road, you'd come to a T-junction with no indication which route to take. Do you take the right turn to Lumut or the left to God-Knows-Where (Ipoh probably). I took a guess and turned right. Yup! I reached Lumut. I was lucky. Things like this should be looked into seriously. If I had taken the left turn I would probably have missed Lumut, or taken a longer route to the seaside town. Anywhere, for friends in Salam, here are some photographs taken from the family day outing.

Monday, May 18, 2009

BUM '09 in pictures

I CAUGHT the tail end of BUM '09 on Saturday. I saw quite a number of bloggers and journalists at the annual All-Blogs event. I wish I had attended the whole day's session. The theme put forward this year was - mainstream media and new media: Have they failed us? You can judge for yourself whether the new media have failed you. As for the mainstream media, I'd go a step back and ask this question - MSM: Have they failed themselves? Here are some pictures I took during my brief attendance there.

Friday, May 15, 2009

And now there's only one Lim left...

AT ONE TIME, the country's telecommunications industry was ran and ruled by three Lims. Everyone in the industry were fully aware of this. They were Lim Keng Yeik, Halim Man and Halim Shafie. Minister Tan Sri Dr Lim used to joke and brag about this over many dinner tables and meetings.

After Dr Lim left and rode into the sunset with his umberalla (the Press boys will tell you why!), there were only two Lims left - Datuk Dr Halim Man and Datuk Dr Halim Shafie. And now I hear there's only one Lim left - Dr Halim Man.

Recently, Dr Halim Shafie quit as chairman of MCMC, the industry's regulator. I'm not privy as to why he quit and where he's gone to. Halim Shafie was responsible for quite a number of initiatives in the telecommunication industry was quite passionate about narrowing the digital divide. He spoke volumes about this and toured the country promoting IT connectivity. Halim Shafie was a household name and has deep knowledge about the industry.

It was partly due to the Lim trio that internet connectivity and broadband access is that much better today. Of course it's still far from the desired level. Last week, telecommunication bosses from all over the world gathered in KL for the ITU conference (International Telecoms Union if I'm not mistaken) but word coming out from there wasn't very encouraging.

The big bosses had come to hear if the new administration have any new policy decisions made, or if there were going to be any major changes in directions and emphasis. I'm not sure if there's going to be any, but the industry is now no longer under KTAK, the old ministry. Telcos now come under the new and expanded ministry of Information, Culture and Communications. It's run by Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, who was the Foreign Minister in the previous regime.

I'm sure Rais will attend to the telcos soon, but telco bosses, including big investors from overseas, had hoped to meet Rais at the recent ITU conference. Rais, busy with an expanded ministry, have to meet the world's telcos soon before these giants become restless and look for opportunities elsewhere.

The two pictures show Rais addressing a London conference on Palestine in March and with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and a Rabbi who disapproves of the Zionist Israel's attack on Gaza.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Zambry is Mandela is Gandhi...?

WORDS, how they tell! Yes-No-Yes Perak MB Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir made some references to Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela yesterday, it seemed. Apparently, he was referring to the struggle of these two great world leaders, and how he's probably used them as role models and examples of perseverance and determination. And for that, he was laughed at by his detractors. His critics were quick to put scorn on him, ridiculing him for even dare trying to compare himself with Gandhi and Mandela. I laughed too! In today's charged-up political environment, it looks like politicians have to be very careful as to whose names they utter to be used as examples of role models. We all know that Zambry is neither Gandhi or Mandela...but surely all politicians have, at some point or other, been inspired by these two icons and a score of others such as Kennedy, Churchil, Dr M, Anwar Ibrahim, Nik Aziz, Tan Chee Khoon, Seenivasagam Brothers...They can't all be wrong, can they?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bila kemelut politik Perak akan berakhir?

UNDANG-UNDANG tetap undang-undang. Maka pada hari Umno meraikan ulangtahunnya yang ke63, Mahkamah Tinggi Kuala Lumpur memutuskan bahawa Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir bukanlah MB Perak yang sah. MB sebenarnya ialah Adun PAS Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, yang mengetuai Pakatan Rakyat setelah Perak jatuh ke tangan pembangkang dalam pilihanraya umum pada 8 Mac tahun lalu. Keputusan itu sudah tentu disambut juga dengan doa kesyukuran dipihak Nizar. Keputusan mahkamah ini juga memaksa setiap watak dalam politik Perak merenong dan memikirkan sedalam-dalamnya perkembangan terbaru ini. Seorang AJK cawangan Umno menghantar satu SMS kepada saya yang penuh makna. Bunyinya: "Sedang pemimpin politik atasan bergelut sesama mereka, soalan saya ialah - bagaimana nasib kami di bawah? Bila agaknya kami akan menikmati kestabilan dan kemakmuran sedangkan kami bertungkus lumus membanting tulang di bawah ni mencari rezeki yang halal?" Kemelut di Perak tak mungkin selesai dalam masa yang terdekat. Kesannya terhadap politik negara pasti ada. Sama juga kesannya kepada kewibawaan pihak-pihak yang memainkan peranan dalam pergolakan politik di negeri itu di semua peringkat, termasuk di kalangan istana dan penasihat perundangan semua pihak yang terbabit. Seorang rakan pakar undang-undang berbisik kepada saya: "Cool heads need to act now." Dalam Bahasa Melayu, bunyinya lebih kurang begini:" Keadaan sekarang memerlukan pemikir yang waras untuk bertindak."

Sama-samalah kita tunggu siapa antara mereka yang waras akan bertindak dan membawa negeri Perak Darul Ridwan keluar dari pergolakan politik yang tidak sihat ini.

Gambar: suasana lengang di Ipoh semasa sidang DUN 7 Mei lalu.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Karim Sulaiman diserang lagi

MASIH INGAT KEPADA KARIM SULAIMAN?Beliau ialah bekas Pengarang Projek Khas Berita Harian yang terpaksa berhenti kerja beberapa tahun lalu sebab penyakit kulit yang belum ada penghindar atau ubatnya. Saya bertembung dengannya di sebuah kompelks membeli belah awal minggu ini. Beliau mengadu penyakitnya itu - scleromyxeodema - kembali menyerangnya. Buat beberapa bulan sebelum ini, Karim mendapat rawatan di HKL dan kelihatan beransur pulih. Tetapi rawatan ini tidak berterusan dan ia kembali diserang. Serangan ini menjadikan kulitnya tegang, mulutnya sukar dibuka, makan menjadi rumit dan berat badan menurun. Kini dia kembali mendapat rawatan di HKL. Karim ditemani isteri dan seorang anaknya apabila saya temui beliau. "Kami nak beli alat pembuat aiskerim," kata isterinya, Hawa. Karim mudah menelan makanan jika ia lembut. Ais kerim ialah antara yang mudah dimakan, katanya. Karim sekarang menikmati pendapatan pampasan dari Perkeso sebanyak RM1,700 sebulan.