My Anthem

Thursday, November 30, 2006

MEDIASCAPE: Compare & Contrast

DESIDERATA continues with an examination of the local media landscape, but today's Post is a sort of quick academic exercise (hopie it's not foolish nor in futility!) which maybe of some help to some of my Young ER thinking of a career in journalism. Hey, this is free/flee tuition, so don't rate me, okay!

I'm reproducing four different looks by media on the same vent, the Press Night I believe held annually organised by the esteemed (?) Malaysian Press Institute.

I've taken the liberty of GRADING the three print media reports plus one agency's (online) from a self-proclaimed newsman's point of view, and you can BEG TO DIFFER with my views and grades, just give me a good RATionale, mousey one oso cun.

Following the latest visitor to Comments last night, JUSLO of (welcome againand where's that platinum goblet?), I am encouraged by his profile statement promtinging 'absolute' FREEDOM OF SPEECH, his boundary even surpassing Desi's bound. Personally, I believe there is a LIMIT BEYOND WHICH I WON'T ALLOW at my blog while Juslo avers it's NOT HIS ROLE TO SET THAT LIMIT.

Just to illustrate: Desi will never allow any commenters coming here using "Datuk Abdullah Ahmad Badawi", or/and "Dr Mahathir Mohamad" when he/she was definitely not the Prime MInister himself, or the ex-PM himself, engaging the blogger and his conversationists. To me it's a blatant "sin" to use another individual's name in vain, especially in frivilous, mocking, and often, downright seditious and expressly inflammatory comments (I'm citing real life case and exprereince here, as sighted in a certain Blog hosted by a Malaysian oversea which I used to visit and even give my 3sen's worth, BUT NO MORE...).

Brave soul that he is, Juslo, I salute your commitment and determination; I pray you don't get dragged into unneccessary situations of dispute, and unjustified trouble. Still we must respect the credo: TO EACH HIS/HER OWN. Again, it's worth reminding that WE MUST BE AGREEABLE IN OUR RIGHT TO DISAGREE, or there is no conversation. Thanks for bearing with Desi is this sermon not from That Mount, breaking back mayhaps.
So let's get started:

From some tycoon/tycoons'-controlled newspaper, theSun, page 2, please appreciate I had to type this item long-hand, so if there's typo, remember Desi's as human as you. Okay, some of mGf are more humane than Des without the I!:

Najib: Media must
play their role

KUALA LUMPUR: THe media are a partner to the
government in social and national development but
they must play their role responsibly to ensure
national security and stability, said Deputy Prime
Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.

"THe government accepts the reality that a con-
ducive environment is required for the media to play
their role as business organistions and as the fourth
to criticise and correc t the three powers in
the country -- the legislative, executive and judiciary,"
he said yesterday at the launch of the 2006 Media Award,
organised by the Malaysian Press Institute and

The print and electronic media, including online
publications and bloggers, can provide objective and
constructive criticism, he said, but added that they
should also take national interest into consideration.

:It is easier to destroy than to build," he said.
"Sensationalising to sell one's product or get a bigger
audience without takig into consideration the interest
of the nation, and going back against the ethics
of journalism, should not happen: he said.


Desi's grading: 7
for using the "right" LEAD and several
pertinent points related to MEDIA



TheSun's LEAD (Opening paragraph in journalese) is the DPM's stress on media as "a partner" in national development, which is often the "development" mentality adopted by developing countries' governments, especially in the early days after gaining independence.

Desi's view is that after almost 50 years of independence, the truly MEDIA priority lies here ~~ ***"The government accepts the reality that a con-
ducive environment is required for the media to play
their role as business organistions and as the fourth
to criticise and correc t the three powers in
the country -- the legislative, executive and judiciary,"

BUT Desi accepts that this point as "second paragraph" gives it sufficient ranking, and I applaud theSun's "angling" of the press event; hence I belive it's got its LEAD right!

Significant mentions of key elements that were covered are:
+ electronic media, including online
publications and bloggers
+ objective and
constructive criticism
+ Sensationalising to sell one's product or get a bigger
+ the ethics
of journalism.


From the MCA-controlled paper,

The Star, page N16:

Najib: Stick to local agenda

KUALA LUMPUR: The development of journalism in Malaysia must be based on national interest, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said, and cautioned against local journalists emulating the ways of the foreign press.

"In the West, they believe in highlighting conflicts to increase their audience. Even if there wasn't one, they would create one or make a mountain out of a molehill,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

Najib said the local media should not make it their sole mission to report on controversies and conflicts.

“The media's role is to be successful, strong and confident in achieving the national objective,” he said at the Malaysian Press Institute Media Night yesterday.

The Government had approved an initial grant of RM5mil to upgrade MPI into a training centre, he said.

Najib gave out awards for 13 categories.

Utusan Malaysia senior editor Md Zaini Hassan took the prestigious Kajai Award, winning a RM20,000 cash prize, a gold medal and a certificate.

The Star's Philip Golingai bagged the award for best feature article in English for 'Islanders' idyllic life'.

Pixmen Raja Faisal Raja Hishan won first place in the Photo Media (news) category while Ibrahim Mohtar came out tops in the Photo Media (essay) category with Norafifi Ehsan as the runner-up.

Desi's grading: 3

I believe TheStar is getting its LEAD wrong!
It is guilty of "buying" the DPM's
subjective postulation that the "foreign press"
model is inherently inferior and therefore
not worthy of "emulation".
And so many questionable points to boot.



The second paragraph is even more damning, and a
responsible press must not be an accomplice to selling a premise
that is not grounded. ""In the West, they believe in highlighting conflicts to increase their audience. Even if there wasn't one, they would create one or make a mountain out of a molehill.
+ ... highlighting conflicts ... ~~ is part and parcle of telling the "human" interest story, as any story teller or narrator would tell you. And a journalist is also a story teller, of current events, be it local, regional or international
+ ...make a mountain out of a molehill...~~ any news medium that intends to last and survive (as a business concern) can NEVER do it the "spinning" of gold out of straw method. No, you cannot squeeze water out of stone.
+ their sole mission ~~ Can any press survive on a "sole" mission? So is the reporter thinking when this is the story they "regurgitate" just because the DPM spins it?

+ “The media's role is to be successful, strong and confident in achieving the national objective,”~~ Does the Star reporter, or Desk Editor who cleared this copy, can you EXPLAIN what is the menaing of this quote?

From the UMNO-controlled paper:

New Straits Times,
page ? (Can any ER tell on what page this item appeared? The following is picked up from the Web edition

NST bags nine top awards

Journalists and photographers from the New Straits Times Press group bagged nine awards at the Malaysian Press Institute-Petronas Awards 2006 last night.

KL-based journalist Arman Ahmad, who joined the NST three years ago, made the company proud by winning two awards in the English category for news and entertainment.

His winning entries were on the earthquake in Pakistan last year and a nostalgic piece on finalists of the first Bakat TV in 1971. He received a total of RM10,000 in prizes.

The other winners from NSTP were Berita Harian’s Azran Md Jaffar who won the best Bahasa Malaysia feature; Muhamamad Rizal Hashim from Malay Mail in the English sports category; Shahrizal Md Noor who emerged second and Khairul Mazzaman Ghazali who took third spot in the photo category; and Zahari Zakaria who secured third placing for best photo essay.

Azran and Rizal took home RM5,000 each; Shahrizal received RM2,000 while Khairul and Zahari won RM1,000 each.

Berita Harian’s Zainuri Misfar won in the Malay entertainment category while the team comprising Saiful Azhar Abdullah, V. Vasudevan and Sofea Amani Selvarani walked away with the Petronas Environment Media Award.

They received RM5,000 and RM7,000 respectively.

The other winners were Sistem Televisyen Malaysia (TV3) news and current affairs senior general manager Datuk Chamil Warya who received the Jury Special Award and TV3 reporter Pang Chinn Fei and cameraman N.C. Gunasegaran who won in the best TV feature category.

Utusan Malaysia senior news editor Mohd Zaini Hassan was named this year’s winner of the Kajai Award which came with a RM20,000 prize.

Information Minister Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin, a veteran journalist, received the Eminent Journalist (Tokoh Wartawan) Award in appreciation of his contributions to journalism in the country.

NST’s Arman was happy his two winning stories had not only enriched his experience and knowledge but had also brought him luck.

"I am thankful for the experience and exposure gained while covering the earthquake in Pakistan," he said.

The winners received their prizes and certificates from Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Also present were Petronas president and chief executive Tan Sri Mohd Hassan Marican and MPI chairman Datuk Azman Ujang.

***In his speech, Najib said the role of the Press is to play watchdog while at the same time help the government in its development efforts.

In acknowledging these functions, he said he looked at the Press as friends who could help, criticise and understand efforts to develop the nation.

As in any friendship, he added, misunderstandings and differences did occur at times.

"But we have to accept them as we need each other to develop the country," he said.

The government, Najib said, understood the need for a conducive climate to allow the media to play a healthy role as a business entity, even as the Fourth Estate, to criticise the country’s legislative, executive and judiciary.

"(But) we have to keep in mind that Malaysia is a country with a rich diversity in races, staying together in peace and harmony.

"It is your (the media) role not to raise sensitive issues that were settled by the previous generation during the struggle to achieve independence.

"Instead, the media should work with us to give correct information on these matters (solved issues) and strengthen basic foundations which all have agreed upon. We perceive the media as our friends who can help, criticise and understand our aims to develop the nation," he said.

Any criticism, Najib said, should be done in a proper manner that could help to solve issues and bring the nation to greater heights.

"The tendency to sensationalise issues to sell one’s products or to seek a wider audience should not take place. We must not forget the national interests as it is easier to destroy what has been built than to build them."

He also suggested that the MPI host foreign journalists, especially those from Third World countries, for a familiarisation programme in Malaysia.

He said MPI should invite a small number of journalists to undergo two to three-month training in this country so that they would be exposed to the myriad aspects of Malaysia.

He mentioned the Thomson Press Foundation in England; the Berlin Institute of Jounalism in Berlin; and the American Foundation Press Institute in New York as some examples that MPI could refer to when embarking on this programme.

"Hopefully, when the MPI-sponsored journalists return home, they will have a better understanding about our country. Indirectly, they will become our unofficial ambassadors in their respective countries."

Najib also suggested that foreign journalists be offered a short-term attachment with local media organisations.

"I also feel that MPI should play an active part in any research and publication works related to the local media.

"The publication of such findings must be disseminated widely to those in the country and abroad as a source of reference on studies about Malaysia’s media," he said.

The Cabinet, he said, had approved the Information Ministry’s proposal to upgrade MPI with a RM5 million grant for the purpose.


Desi's grading: 5
The NST played up its staff achievements in WINNING AWARDS as the LEAD. Hey, there is a time and place for blowing one's own trumpet!
Okay, it redeems womewhat with several MEDIIA points later, too much later!


DESIDERATA3:You LOST the big picture,Mr Editor at The NST, the country's OLDEST newspaper. BUT as I introduced the paper,
the political party's interests supercede everything, yes?
Well, the deserving LEAD "***In his speech, Najib said the role of the Press is to play watchdog while at the same time help the government in its development efforts. is well BURIED after the 15th (?) para..., it's okay if the NST deems itself a school magazine, I guess.
+ friends who could help, criticise and understand efforts to develop the nation.
+ "The tendency to sensationalise issues...
+ "I also feel that MPI should play an active part in any research and publication works related to the local media.
"The publication of such findings must be disseminated widely to those in the country and abroad as a source of reference on studies about Malaysia’s media," ~~

Okay, Desi can accept this could be a triable initiative; my hesitation to support it openly is the RESERVATION AT THE BAK OF THIS NEWSHOUND'S MIND is that the "findings" have to udergo MPI/Government vettings. Anything "negative" to Malaysia would be censored out or the entire report rejected.
(This reservation is well grounded in the troubled waters that renowned academician Dr Lim Teck Ghee found himself in for undertaking an ASLI study,and independently stood his ground in defending his findings while other RATS did otaccept his RATionale and abandoned ship. Dear ER, you didn't hear? Well, please go back to Rip van Winkle's terrortry, Desi's Place is not an oasis for thee!:)


OKay, *reluctantly, from His Master's Voice, the national news agency, what's the page?:

November 30, 2006 02:12 AM

Najib Advises Media Not To Use Conflicts To Draw Audience

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 (Bernama) -- Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak Wednesday night advised media practitioners not to use conflicts to draw audience but to write reports with full responsibility.

He said media practitioners should not draw audience by blowing up any conflict or issue.

"Journalism institutes in other countries teach one of the importance of drawing audience by writing reports on fights or conflicts.

"Small conflicts are intentionally blown up to sell the newspapers," he said at the Malaysian Press Night 2006, here.

Najib said the Malaysian media, on the other hand, should exercise responsibility in shaping society in its own mould.

"This does not mean that the Malaysian media cannot report on conflicts but the method of reporting should be exercised with a sense of responsibility and in the name of the truth," he said.

Najib also outlined four points that were necessary to create a responsible media that could convince the people of the reports it produced.

He said the media should have the freedom to report but with restrictions, the reports must be balanced and fair, the reports must have objectivity, and the reports must state the truth about any matter.

He also expressed the hope that the media would be a good partner of the government in the effort to develop the mind of society towards achieving the national mission.

At the function, Najib presented the Petronas-MPI Journalism Awards 2005.

The main "Kajai Prize" was won by Mohd Zaini Hassan of Utusan Malaysia who received RM20,000 cash, a gold medal and a gift of appreciation.

Najib also presented prizes in several other categories, including for photographers and journalists in the electronic media.



Desi's grading:
Okay, I can live with its LEAD quite similar to The STar's approach.
It follows witha few relevant MEDIA points.



The "reluctance" stems from the fact that it's commonly perceived that Bernama depends a lot for its sources of funding on the government; but surprise! SIRprise, the agency's copy could have been mistaken as that used by The Star
The LEAD used by Bernama highlighted on one aspect or role of what MEDIA PRACTITIONERS SHOULD OR SHOULD NOT DO, but it did not blindly "buy" into the DPM's biased selling points that the STar was guilty of commiting!
+He said the media should have the freedom to report but with restrictions, the reports must be balanced and fair, the reports must have objectivity, and the reports must state the truth about any matter.
+ Malaysian media, on the other hand, should exercise responsibility in shaping society in its own mould ~~ I am neutral on what this call from the DM is about, especially "its own mould" implications, as if a developing nation like Malaysia cannot aspire towards the grounds or territory eralier trodeen by advanced countries. With implied advice we must "re-invent the wheel" again?

Ala- making Teh-tarik plus Miss Sunthi, or Testing what throwing Batu Seremban in zero-gravity would turn up some Nobel Prize winning scientific truths?

The Star highlighted on a similar aspect of what the media event was all about, but it got caught up in the DPM's opportunistic "lambast of the foreign press".
There was no mention pertainig to THE FOURTH ESTATE vi-a-vis the OTHER THREE ESTATES the DPM mentioned by both The Star and Bernama. So I think the national news agency's copy rrated slightly better thahn The Star. PASSABLE.

A score of "5" means it's 50-50 mathematically, or SO-SO in layman's language.
Better than North Korea's propaganda which I would score at ZERO, or can I give a minus-ONE?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

PM11: Mediascape

PRIME MONITOR today shares a few snippets on the important MEDIA LANDCAPE which is of special interest as Desi has been earning Bread&Butter from this field. Usig God's gift of wordsmithry. Thanks to the Almighty He doeth open many doors for Desi. Wooden ones also can as long as they add some kaya to the B&B!

I'm reserving COMMENTS at tye moment as I'm on the run for some moolah; see later if Time permits, I'd give my 3sen worth.

Meanwhile, EsteAmedReaders, add thy famous views. Notorious wan oso cun as long as take care of any lawyer's letter of demand/cmommand cometh blogsway!

Cheers, have a nice day and keep Da NURSE away from wedNURSEdie!

L'VE to AWE!:) -- with a warm goblet of teh-C!

From The Star, page B11:

Internet no longer niche media

WITH 10 million active users in Malaysia, the Internet can no longer be considered a niche media, said Universal McCann managing director Gaurav Bhasin.

“The scope and influence of the Net now offers fresh opportunities for advertisers,” he said in a statement. “There's an exciting dynamism in advertising, with bloggers, gamers, social networkers, and podcasters charting a new reality for brand building.'

A recent research study conducted by Universal McCann, based on a sample size of 4,670 respondents, revealed that 40% of Malaysian netizens (regular Internet users) spent more than three hours daily on the Net.

Of the Malaysian netizens, 31% click on video and animated banner advertisements, 27% participate in promotions, and 41% read sponsored pages at least once weekly.

And 42% of Internet users visit gaming sites (30% once a week or less, while 12% several times a week) and 46% visit social networking sites (20% not more than once a week and 26% several times a week).

The survey also revealed that 35% of Malaysian netizens are active bloggers with about one-quarter responding or writing about brands and services experienced.

“These bloggers can actually influence the fate of brands, and the growing number of passive bloggers who visit and read blogs of people they personally know is not small enough that they can be ignored,” he said.

The Universal McCann study showed that 14% of bloggers trusted brand reviews they read and were positively inclined to try a brand with a positive review.

More companies are now starting to weave brand messages in a relevant fashion within the games and sponsor content on popular gaming sites to deliver a higher level of consumer engagement.

From theSun webedition~~
Wed, 29 Nov 2006

SPEAK UP! :: theSun Says

What people expect of newspapers

When people pick up their newspaper in the morning, they have one thing in common - no matter what their personal interests and views may be. They want news and views.

They want to know what happened in the community they call home, and the larger world which the community is inextricably a part of.

They want to know about the decisions that are being made that could affect them, and the community and world they live in.

They want to know about the different views that exist and are being debated out there.

They want to have a say in these because they would be affected, directly or indirectly.

Even if they are not going to be affected, a vital part of the growth of an individual and society - a lifelong journey - is to have access to information and views that would help shape opinions and thoughts.

A newspaper's role then is to report the news, to recognise that there is a plurality of views on many of the issues that matter to society, and to present these different views in a balanced manner - not with any sinister aim to instigate trouble, but with the recognition that the press has a role to play in informing and empowering readers to form their own opinions and make their own decisions.

That is the role that this newspaper tries to do day in day out whether in our news pages or in our opinion sections - including this space.

We are very much aware that as no one society is homogenous, it is inevitable that some quarters will disagree with one another.

Any sincere effort to negotiate a common space respected by all would entail rational dialogue between all parties, with an openness to consider the different views out there before arriving at any conclusion.

It does not have to be a zero sum game. History has shown that trouble begins when the dialogue breaks down.

Any newspaper that wants to keep its finger on the pulse of society would need to be aware of this and report on all the different views - and not just on one view - and ensure the dialogue does not break down.

The task can be akin to treading on eggshells at times, especially in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society where race and religion are deemed to be sensitive and at times, contentious, issues. And where, despite education, people often still act emotionally when it comes to race and religion. Newspapers and journalists are mindful of that and we know where the limits are. But it is no easy task. And we know there are some people who would prefer less discourse and less disclosure and want the government to have a tighter grip on the media. We therefore find comfort in the assurance given by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at a mass media conference (organised by the Internal Security Ministry that regulates newspapers) on Tuesday that the government will not rush to act against the media everytime there is a complaint from a particular group. In return, he asked that the media use the freedom we have responsibly and accept that that freedom is not absolute.

That's a fair deal.

This newspaper will continue to play our part in reporting the news and articulating ideas and opinions that can help shape the direction of our country for the well being of all Malaysians. We will do this at the right time and to the best of our ability, which unfortunately is not limitless. And we will do so in a constructive and responsible way. We will lose some battles in our pursuit of more public discourse of the issues that affect us all but we know that this endeavour has no shelf life. Indeed, it is an endless struggle with its fair share of ups and downs.


With time to spare (don't know about dime-lah since the ATM is quite unfriendly nowadays!) after tea-break on account of a friend who wanted a tutorial in Interneting, Desi has freshened enough to lend his 3sen, even 4sen, worth.

The first report just affirms the naturally expected -- that the Internet medium will grow, more slowly in third world countries than in first world, but nevertheless still grow, and advertisers and opinion makers have to adapt to this relatively "new" medium if they don't wish to be left behind.

In Malaysia, the Government is comitted expanding Internet access, even to the rural areas like Chong YK New Village and Kampong Anak Merleka and when critical mass is achieved, all the world is an oyster to the Netters!

And there is no excuse for anyone not knowing what a address is and my, oops, your own unique password!

On theSun's editorial, what more can Desi add?
Ah, genuine dedication to the ETHICS OF JOURNALISM in theory and practice, independent of the ownership of the Press. Is this realistic? Well, it's up to the media tycoons like Tiong and Lau, eh?

Two Pages of Nothingness

I was inclined to add "Fool" somewhere.
but I must refrain. It's the headline, and I must make too many heads turn.
Helen may even whisper: Desi, stop speaking in riddles. I prefer her tongue in chic!

Okay, from the UMNO's organ, New Straits Times frontpage going into P2:

Dear ER: You saw a sea of white, didn't you. Desi was trying to make a pint for the last few scrolls down till here~~

Complaints! promises! criticism!

29 Nov 2006
Wan Hamidi Hamid

PORT DICKSON: Promises, promises, prom-ises.

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi yesterday stepped into the shoes of his critics, adopted their disbelieving tone and examined the meat of their barbs against his policies and plans.

There was a fair amount of frustration as he addressed questions on the economy, stock market, corruption and several other issues.

"When I make announcements on behalf of the government, some people say, it is yet another promise that can’t be delivered.

"I’ve had enough of this accusation," he said at the closing of the PNB World Investment Challenge 2006 here yesterday.

The prime minister said he knew what the cynics were saying about him and his government, noting that this made Malaysians uneasy and promoted a negative perception of the country.

Below are some of the key points in his speech.

* On the economy:

What the cynics say:

"There has been this perception that the prime minister has made good promises. Now they say, we would like to see what you’ve done. They say, ‘Pak Lah, we’ve read about the 9MP, we understand it, but what are you going to do about it now?’

"Some wonder whether the 9MP will succeed and say that Malaysia is good in planning but short on implementation.’’

The prime minister’s reply:

"We are committed to the people and we have a job to do. We want to ensure it is done effectively. The cynics, there will always be people like that.

"I know that people want to know about the implementation of the 9MP, but there are certain limits in trying to hurry up."

* On the stock market:

What the cynics say:

"Talk of inefficiency of the stock market has been going around. Some people say that there is no excitement in the stock market because there are no good projects.

"The perception is that what’s happening here is not good."

The prime minister’s reply:

"We’ve announced many things but some people have their own attitude. Today, there is better market sentiment. But I don’t want to see a yo-yo effect. I would like to see steady growth".

* On the fight against corruption:

What the cynics say:

"It is all about perception. If a certain person is not investigated by the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA), they say that person is being protected by the government, or somebody told the courts and the judge not to try the person. If he’s convicted, then they say he’s not a friend of the prime minister.

"How can you do work with this kind of people around?"

The prime minister’s reply:

"I’ve asked the ACA to improve itself. We’ve increased the number of officers. Recently, the ACA added 300 more officers. I want them to go to the ground.

"Begin their investigation as soon as possible without having to wait for the police report. Investigate, get the proof, bring them to court."

* On not netting the big fish:

What the cynics say:

"They always say we don’t catch the big fish, that we always go for small fish."

The prime minister’s reply:

"When a person commits a small offence of corruption, it’s easy for the ACA to investigate and convict him. When some people say, what about the big fish, well, big fish are not easily caught. But the ACA is doing its best."

He also told the ACA to be more careful when handling corruption cases, as "it is not right if they drag people to court just to show that they (ACA) are doing something".

"If the prosecution does not get a conviction, the person’s reputation would have been spoilt, his life would be in a mess and his company would not do well any more as the people would already have a negative perception of him."

In his 90-minute off-the-cuff remarks, Abdullah said old procedures and laws, including those formulated during the colonial era, should be re-looked and amended to ensure the smooth implementation of the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

"These laws were made a long time ago. It’s very much a burden and it’s about time that we re-looked those laws.

"If there are hindrances and obstacles in terms of achieving speed and accuracy, action should be taken to change them," he said.


I'd rather Pak Lah kept his Elegant Silence than mouthing two miles long of Nothingness. I guess he should scout around for nu'e advisers Maybe from the Blogsworld?
Like what some Opposition parties were reported to be courting bloggers like JeffOoi, NikNazmi, TongPua. But they left out Desi, DinMerican and BakriMusa! Mayhaps my 20million prize was too "small" for the taking?
More realistically, how about RM600million?


It's recommended the PM's boys did some hard reading of BULLSHIT and Philosophy
which is a discourse edited by Gary L. Hardcastle and George A. Reisch, (Peru, Ill; Open Court Publishing Co, 2006) on an original book by Ivy League philosopher, Princeton's HARRY G. FRANKFURT, titled "On Bullshit" (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005)
Bullshit is defined by Harry as that postulation "which results from a lack of concern for truth".

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Drive for Synergies -- MY WAY!

MY can stand for Malaysia or Pak Lah or NegaraKu, depending on the outcome come 2020.
An egg hatches in 2006 may become a pretty chick of a gooseling in 2007 and enabled to grow the next decade or so before anyone can ink the Report Card whether it is Da Golden Goose.

By then many Bloggers would have surrendered through fatigue at the rate so many are taking hi-atus:( instead of Hi-Tea:) now and then, the Now more often than Then. Desi's already planning a two-week break whether he gets a year-end Bonus or knot as he values his life more than the "almighty" ringgit. Okay, in caps -- RINGgit.

All the newspapers today frontpaged the biggest merger-of-the-century, IMHO-lah; here comes the story from The NST's Business Section. Desi has picked this UMNO-controlled paper's version since the business deal involves mostly GLCs, which translate into mainly UMNO interests, though some parties would like to deny it at all costs. I don't think any non-UMNO members careth a damn whatever directions the new vehicle takes. It's promoted as a drive for synergies, but WHOSE WAY, and WHO GAINS?

Desi can only ask questions, and economic minds must put the massive, intricate chains involved to arrive at the "big picture", but my gut feelins tell Desi I don't have any share in IT.

Maybe those ER who feel they have a "small" share in this moving vehicle, please enlighten us with your story. Petronas may not share its goodies with the commoners, PLUS too is raiusing its tolls to bring thee a New Year Gift with a lighter pocket, and the newest babe-in-gestation in NegaraKu SYNERGY DRIVE SDN BHD promises a newer driver on the Malaysian horizon.

Yes, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is welcoming again big ticket projects onto the Malaysian plates. Mayhaps VISION 2020 can be achieved in 14 years time after all, "small house" dweller Klang ADUN Datuk Zakaria, "One-eye closed" MP for Jasin Mohd Said, and all the AP holders, et al notwithstanding. Or sitting down collecting rentals, as usual.
Oh, by the way, the submarine cables project linking Sarawak and Peninisular Malaysia to absorb the excess power to be generated by THE BAKUN DAM is being revived, costing RM9billion! -- so much for reducing Big Ticket items as pledged by the PM when scrapping the Bridge To Nowhere cyber-linking Johor with Singapore -- less than one year ago?

Maybe the four-eyed meeting between the two PMs did spring some Epiphany.
Desi is gonna be on yes, HIATUS of 14-years-winkiewinks, and will resemble a nu'e Rip van Winklewhen he wakes up from his Reverie 14 years later, God-willing, still in one peace.

November 28 2006

Synergy Drive proposes RM31.4b plantation deal
By Adeline Paul Raj

The boards of target companies have 30 days
to deliberate on the proposal and the deal
is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2007

SYNERGY Drive Sdn Bhd yesterday put a RM31.4 billion offer on the table to merge Sime Darby Bhd, Kumpulan Guthrie Bhd and Golden Hope Plantations Bhd and create the world's largest publicly traded oil palm company.

Synergy Drive is a special vehicle created and seed-funded by CIMB Investment Bank solely to undertake the merger. It will buy the assets and liabilities of the three companies, as well as five of their six subsidiaries.

They are Sime Engineering Services Bhd, Sime UEP Properties Bhd, Mentakab Rubber Co (Malaya) Bhd, Guthrie Ropel Bhd and Highlands & Lowlands Bhd. Only Negara Properties Bhd will be left out of the merger.

Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) are the common major shareholders in the eight companies.

Synergy Drive made simultaneous offers to the board of directors of the target companies yesterday, giving the respective boards 30 days to deliberate on them. The deal is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2007.

"This is a CIMB proposal to enable the merger of these complementary entitites to create value from scale and synergies," said CIMB Group chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Nazir Razak.

He said the merger would create a global leader in oil palm plantations, with a potential total annual revenue of over RM26 billion, a combined workforce of over 107,000 and total plantation land of about 600,000ha located in Malaysia and Indonesia.

The merged entity would account for about 6 per cent of global palm oil production and would have a combined net profit of RM1.4 billion.

Nazir believes the proposal is value accretive to all shareholders as they can choose to participate in the new company or exit with cash in hand, at a 5 per cent premium over the suspended market price of the respective securities yesterday.

The companies are expected to resume trading tomorrow.

Assuming that all shareholders accept the share offer, then PNB and its funds would emerge as the biggest shareholder in Synergy Drive with over 45 per cent stake. EPF would own over 10 per cent and the rest would be held by minority shareholders.

The merger deal is conditional upon PNB accepting the share offer.

Post-merger, Synergy Drive will seek a listing on the main board of Bursa Malaysia, where it is expected to be fifth largest listed company with its RM31.4 billion market cap.

All the other companies under Synergy Drive will be delisted. Nazir expects that Synergy Drive would be renamed and rebranded later.

"The heart of this integration is in plantations and property,"
he told reporters at a press conference yesterday.

Negara Properties, a subsidiary of Golden Hope, is left out of the merger as the company is not seen as "a priority in terms of the integration and synergy creation exercise", Nazir said. The exercise will, however, trigger a mandatory general offer for Negara.

With all the eight companies' businesses lumped into Synergy Drive, it would be up to its management later to decide what to do with the non-plantation assets," Nazir said.

Based on current estimates, just under 40 per cent of the merged entity would comprise plantation assets.

He pointed out, for instance, that a 1 per cent drop in the merged entity's cost would translate into a 10 per cent rise in pre-tax profit.

The merger proposal was drawn up by CIMB and not the Government.

"We spotted an opportunity, have been bold enough to table the proposal and enable the merger to happen," he said, adding that the offer would be presented to PNB.

Synergy Drive's management, would be determined by the board, which in turn would be determined by its major shareholders later, he said.

"People must not in any way think that Synergy Drive is anything but a SPV created to enable this exercise," he said, on rumours in the market as to who was behind Synergy Drive. He said the SPV is currently held by two trustees from CIMB for charitable purposes.

DESIDERATA: Please note the significance of the LAST PARAGRAPH. I guess the rumors are what prompted the following~~

Yang Berhormat Saudara Lim Kit Siang, also Opposition Leader, has an interesting entry floated to his blog yesterday by one Imran. I'm reprising it here to be read in conjunction with two earlier reports which I'll try to C&P later, K! for (y)our esteemed rumination -- so put on your thinking cap. ENJOY!


Whose Synergy Drive?
Time & Date: November 27, 2006 @ 02: 29.48
Categories: Economics General

"Imran has sent me the following email on news reports about the proposed creation of the world’s largest plantation company through the merger of three of the country’s largest plantation companies – Sime Darby Bhd, Golden Hope Plantations Bhd and Kumpulan Guthrie Bhd – which, in a larger merger along with six other public listed companies, either owned by these three companies or involved in plantations, would likely create the country’s fourth biggest company on Bursa Malaysia:

"I’m a Malaysian studying overseas. I follow the Malaysian news scene
very carefully as it is the only way of knowing what is going on.
However, recently I found some discrepancies which have now been
detected and shown on international channels like EuroNews and BBC (UK).
This is regarding the proposed merger of the three plantation companies,
Sime Darby, Guthrie and Golden Hope.

On Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak commented that

“*This is PNB’s initiative*. I believe they want to rationalise the
companies within the group and they have decided plantation companies
should be consolidated into one roof. This is one of the processes
towards that. “*We support the move decided by the trustees of PNB, of
which I am one of the members*. This is the position that we (the
Government) have taken,”

Conclusion: It’s PNB’s directive and it has been decided by the trustees.

However, a PNB statement:

*PERMODALAN Nasional Bhd (PNB) has yet to see a proposal to merge three
of its plantations companies, its chief executive officer Tan Sri Hamad
Kama Piah Che Othman said.

Synergy Drive is “not our company”,
Hamad Kama Piah said.

PNB knows nothing about it.


These discrepancies are having negative effects as in the international
channels it is seen as a non-transparent business move that will push
Malaysia further behind in foreign investment.

The two news reports referred to by Imran are:

(i) “Govt Supports PNB’s Merger Of Sime Darby, K. Guthrie & Golden Hope ” (Bernama);
(ii) “CEO: Plantation group merger must create value for PNB” (Business Times)

UPDATEd @2.34PM:

An initial analysis in The Star provides some insights ~~

Improving palm oil sector puts merger on fast track


PETALING JAYA: The three-year-old plan to merge Sime Darby Bhd, Golden Hope Plantations Bhd (GHope) and Kumpulan Guthrie Bhd (Guthrie) under the stable of Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) has finally been set into motion.

The original plan was for Sime Darby, the group with the strongest track record among the three, to be the vehicle to spearhead the merger to create a world-class palm oil plantation conglomerate with a strong global presence.

However, the plan was shelved when crude palm oil (CPO) prices declined and uncertainty plagued the global supply and demand for the commodity at that time.

But it is a different story for 2006 as the plantation sector is seeing the CPO price surge to above RM1,900 per tonne – the highest level in more than 2½ years. This is also supported by significant changes in the demand structure for palm oil, which is now sought after not just for food, but also for palm biodiesel.

The improved outlook has spurred optimism that there will be more upside for both upstream and downstream activities in the palm oil sector.

Industry observers and plantation players concur that the encouraging developments in the palm oil sector going forward have somewhat helped put the proposed merger on the fast track.

However, the interesting but unexpected twist this time around is that the proposed merger would be driven by a special purpose vehicle, Synergy Drive Sdn Bhd, which will be seed-funded by prominent financial group CIMB Investment Bank Bhd (CIMB) to create the world’s largest listed oil palm plantation conglomerate.

StarBiz has been made to understand that the targeted PNB companies under the merger plan would be holding urgent board meetings this week to discuss CIMB’s proposal. All three companies would have to decide by the Dec 27 deadline.

GHope is believed to be planning to hold its board meeting on Thursday.

Timing had also been an important factor for the proposed plantation merger, especially with the CPO price now at a high and the market capitalisation of most plantation companies having gone up tremendously.

Beneath the pretty picture, however, are underlying risks associated with the formation of the plantation conglomerate with a substantial land bank of about 600,000ha in Malaysia and Indonesia.

In the plantation sector, having a large acreage is not a reflection of a company’s efficiency and competitiveness.

An industry consultant said Sime Darby, GHope and Guthrie’s CPO and palm kernel yield per hectare were well below the average CPO yield of five tonnes per hectare or more achieved by top plantation players like IOI Corp Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd and United Plantations Bhd.

Over the past three years, the return on equity of the three companies had been in the single digit unlike their peers’ double-digit returns.

Furthermore, controlling a land bank of 600,000ha is definitely no easy feat. It would perhaps be more logical for Synergy Drive to focus purely on CPO production and downstream activities like refining, oleochemicals and biodiesel and list its other core businesses under separate units.

Golden Hope Plantations group chief executive Datuk Sabri Ahmad told StarBiz: “With globalisation, size is important to compete with giants like Cargill Bunge and ADM.”

“Our recent exercise with AEB estates proves that benefiting through synergy and cost reduction is possible with CPO prices heading towards RM2,000 per tonne,” he added.

The future for the palm oil industry is bright going forward, Sabri said. At the end of the day, it is all about “creating value and generating better return”, to quote PNB group chief executive Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah Che Othman.

The highights (BOLDED THUS or italicised) are done by tis hoRst, and are worth some rumination; but this Synergy roadmap may yet take some twists yet when the globalised world of commodities experience His and Los (pronounced Highs and Lows, you dumbelles:(, then behold some unexpected tsunamis. It's a mite early to talk Merry Christmas, or Eat, Drink and Be Merry at PNB's Hq. Meanw'ile, you can party with a socialist like Desi,or a socialite like Helen, at da tehtarik stall, anyone? Should you get Lost in the Furong Maze, just throw up five (Batu) Seremban stones. One should hit Anak M or teh-C!:):)

But after January 1, 2007 I may have to register with the Welfare Department because there will be another round of increases when the highway tolls go up. Now go and salute the semi-valued miniser in charge. You voted for damned, didn't you, in March 2004?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Untuk Rekod Saja: Catatan dari MT...

dan MT bukan Majlis Tertinggi (UMNO). No!
Ia adalah Malaysia-Today, belog kepunyaan RPK.

Dan RPK bukan-lah Parti Keadilan Rakyat walaupun kedua pihak tersebut adalah sedikit-sebanyak kaitan. Apakah rangkaian itu jangan-lah tanya Desi. Itu adalah untuk ER (bukan Emergency Room -- dalam English diRaja adalah EsteemedReaders iaitu Pembaca yand dihormati sekalian:)berteki-teka. Ada juga hadiah -- satu malam berisi tehtarik dan no-ledge dengan Universiti Bangsar!

Okay, balik dari digression yang adalah tabiat sronok Beloger ini tersendiri, jangan ikut K! Nanti Desi sue yu atas caj "Plagiarism"! Ingat tak Mitch Albom Ingat ke Hari Sebelum September 11?

Jika anda ingin Desi menui\lis non-sense, tak apalah saya pegang P Lesen. Tak sanggup menerima non-sense saya, tak apalah, Blogsworld adalah lapangan main democratik (dalam Inggeris kata democrazy! Tanya-lah brudder Hishamuddin Rais yang terinterbiu only Sunday Star, Ignoramus:)

27/11: Harga petrol patut turun
Category: General Posted by: Raja Petra Kamaruddin
Malaysia Today

Kerajaan mampu menurunkan harga petrol sebanyak 25% bagi menyamai penurunan 25% dalam harga minyak antarabangsa.

Harga minyak antarabangsa telah jatuh sebanyak 25% sejak paras terendahnya pada 20 Oktober dengan harga US$57.

Kerajaan patut turunkan harga petrol di Malaysia berikutan kejatuhan dalam harga minyak mentah dunia.

Semua kesal dengan tindakan kerajaan yang enggan menurunkan harga minyak walaupun harga minyak antarabangsa telah jatuh. Penjelasan Timbalan Menteri Perdagangan Dalam Negeri dan Hal Ehwal Pengguna Datuk S.Veerasingam bahawa kerajaan masih perlu menanggung kos subsidi yang besar, tidak mengakui keuntungan besar yang diperolehi oleh Petronas.

Rakyat berhak menikmati manfaat daripada keuntungan yang diperolehi daripada minyak kerana ia milik rakyat dan bukan milik mana-mana syarikat atau indidividu.

Apabila kerajaan mengumumkan kenaikan dalam harga petrol dan disel pada 28 February 2006, harga minyak mentah Brent dan WTI berlegar sekitar USD60-USD67 setong. Harga petrol telah dinaikkan sebanyak 30 sen seliter, kenaikan paling tinggi setakat ini. Walau bagaimanapun, dalam bulan lepas, harga minyak mentah telah berlegar sekitar USD55-USD60 setong.

Namun, kerajaan tetap mengatakan ia akan hanya pertimbang menurunkan harga minyak pada tahun depan sekiranya harga minyak turun di bawah USD50 setong. Pada masa yang sama, Petronas baru saja mengumumkan keuntungan bersih setengah tahun sebanyak RM27.27 bilion, peningkatan sebanyak 20.6% berbanding dalam tempoh yang sama tahun lepas. Perangkaan Unit Perancang Ekonomi juga telah merumuskan bahawa kadar inflasi bagi 2006 ialah yang tertinggi sejak 1999, menyebabkan pengguna terus dibebankan dengan kenaikan harga yang mendadak.

Penasihat Parti Keadilan Rakyat Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim menegaskan bahawa, jika sebelum ini rakyat terpaksa faham yang kerajaan dibebankan dengan subsidi bahan api, kini masa untuk kerajaan faham pula kesengsaraan rakyat.

Menurut beliau, kerajaan sebelum ini tidak teragak-agak untuk menaikkan harga petrol beberapa kali dalam satu tempoh masa yang singkat, tetapi kini ia mengambil masa yang lama hanya untuk pertimbang menurunkan harga minyak. Tambahan pula, rakyat sedang menghadapi ekonomi yang malap, penurunan dalam pelaburan asing dan pengangguran yang tinggi dan juga inflasi.

Seterusnya beliau mendesak agar kerajaan meletakkan Petronas di bawah tanggungjawab Parlimen bagi memastikan kekayaan negara diurus secara telus dan bertanggungjawab.

UPDATEd Nov 28 @12.24PM:

Desi sighted the Original Press Statement by Sdr Anwar Ibrahim, also from MT, and reprise it here for those whose Bahasa, like Desi's, is just half-past-se7en!~~~

27/11: Petrol prices should be lowered now!
Category: General Posted by: Raja Petra


The government should lower retail prices for petrol in Malaysia following the recent fall in crude oil prices, increasing Petronas profits and high inflation.

When the government announced the increase in petrol and diesel prices on 28 February 2006, the price of Brent and WTI crude oil hovered around USD60-USD67 per barrel. Petrol prices were raised as much as 30 sen per liter, the highest increase thus far. Nevertheless, within the last month, the price of crude oil has been hovering around USD55-USD60 per barrel.

Yet the government insists that they will only consider lowering oil prices next year if the price of crude oil goes below USD50 per barrel. At the same time, Petronas has just announced a half-year net profit of RM27.27 billion, a 20.6% increase compared to the same period last year. EPU statistics have also concluded that the inflation rate for 2006 is the highest since 1999, causing the consumer to be further burdened with drastic price increases.

If previously the rakyat had to understand the government's burden due to the fuel subsidies, now it is time the government understand the plight of the rakyat. The government had no qualms to increase petrol prices continuously within a short period of time, but now want to take a long time simply to consider it. Furthermore, the rakyat are facing a lacklustre economy, a decrease in foreign investment and high unemployment as well as inflation.

The government should also place Petronas accountable to Parliament to ensure that our national wealth is managed transparently and accountably.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ends Update ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Another item of sufficient importance for Desi to
Put On Record~~

From TheEdgeDaily.Com,
Saturday November 25, 2006

Najmuddin: Unlawful for GLCs to appoint advisers

SUBANG JAYA: Public listed government-linked companies (GLCs) should stop appointing advisers because the practice is unlawful and contravenes proper corporate governance guidelines.

The call came from Malaysian Institute of Corporate Governance (MICG) president Datuk Seri Najmuddin Khas who said the advisers were legally unfit to carry out decision-making for the companies.

He said there were proven cases of political interference and ministerial directives that had contributed to inefficiencies and ill running of the GLCs.

“These advisers are legally non-existence. We should let the board of directors make all the decisions,” he said at a sideline of SMB Recognition Award 2006 Winner announcement (yesterday).

Megat Najmuddin describes such an adviser as a “shadow” director who is also responsible for all the decisions he made.

“This particular adviser can be deemed as a shadow director and as a director, he is subject to the law. If there is anything that goes wrong, he is also liable (as any ordinary director is),” he said.

The term “adviser” was too ambiguous and did not reflect the person’s specific corporate skill, he said.

“The GLCs are also the concern of everyone because we are talking about taxpayers’ money that goes to these companies. We all are their stakeholders,” he said.

“So before a GLC agrees to appoint an adviser, it must think about this issue clearly as we don’t want a situation where this shadow director is called to court and held accountable by the shareholders and the authorities.”

A warm toast in Chinoserie mediascape

THis morning at breakfast my toast tasted warmer than usual -- sweeter too with the kaya seemingly acquiring a more fragrant and richer taste, ooomph! -- as I was lifted by a news item in a field close to my heart, MEDIA. Desi has spent the larger part of his career trying to be a good journalist -- derisively called many names in this field like P! but do I blame them? -- like as in newshounding, ala Woodward and Bernstein? Wow! fame and power, by association, that's a wordsmith's trick of the trade to gain some attention. I guess it's better/badder? than a GEIC always writing in the first person "I" having a power-lunch with a certain corporate bigger with a Datuk in front, or a Tan Siweighing one Tonne ...The more exuberant would even front it with a Dr. to boot/loot. In good and august company -- Dr. Elie, where art thou with thy RM1billion for Makna?

An undoubted positive devlopment in Chinoserie mediacape is the following -- from The Star, Nov 27, 2006, page N10:

Businessman offers to buy Tiong’s NPHB shares

KUALA LUMPUR: Sarawak businessman Lau Swee Nguong has offered to buy the shares owned by timber tycoon and media mogul Tan Sri Tiong Hiew King in Nanyang Press Holdings Bhd (NPHB).

Lau, 81, who is KTS Group chairman, said he was making the offer in his personal capacity to ensure the healthy advancement of the Chinese media’s future.

“I shall accept and purchase all shares owned by Tiong and upon completion I will split the shares and resell it to any corporation, society or individual from the Chinese community with a public covenant that no such corporation, society or individual shall own more than 5% of the entire paid-up capital of NPHB,” he told a press conference here yesterday.

He also opened the offer to other shareholders of NPHB, including MCA’s investing arm Huaren Holdings Bhd, but did not disclose the price he was willing to offer.

Lau said he was making this proposal following requests from friends in the Chinese community, and he was making this offer together with the community.

He added that he would undertake the role to raise RM5mil to be donated to the Chinese community in assisting them to purchase the NPHB shares.

Last month, MCA announced that it had decided to sell off 21.02% of its 41.02% stake in Nanyang Press (M) Bhd to Ezywood Option Sdn Bhd.

Ezywood is owned by Tiong, who also owns two other Chinese newspapers – Sin Chew Daily and GuangMing Daily.

“I am an ardent supporter of issues concerning Chinese culture and education.

“Although I live in Sarawak, I am equally concerned about the development of these issues in the Peninsular,” said Lau, who is also former chairman of the Federation of Associations for Chinese Independent Schools Board of Management in Sibu.


I urge my EsteemedREaders to note the highlights (BOLDED THUS or itlaicised by DEsi).

AS a media practitioner -- I still earn B&B as a freelance journalist; hey, I don't get paid fro Blogging, OK! Though some posts are spun again later for use at any MSM willing to accept Desi's writHes! -- I am always gladdened by media events that help to democratise this social institution and its environments.

I am most heartened by the potential new majority owner of Nanyang by this assurance:

“I shall accept and purchase all shares owned by Tiong and upon completion I will split the shares and resell it to any corporation, society or individual from the Chinese community with a public covenant that no such corporation, society or individual shall own more than 5% of the entire paid-up capital of NPHB,” he told a press conference here yesterday.
Especially the latter part of ~~ "with a public covenant that no such corporation, society or individual shall own more than 5% of the entire paid-up capital of NPHB...".

Here's an enterpreneur with a civic conscience who is in touch with the Chinese community. I would urge other language media -- English, Tamil, Malay even Urdu if in existence here! -- to follow this prime example. Whether one likes it or not, present owner Tiong with more or less monopolistic control of the Chinese media in the peninsula -- rivalled only by new kid on the block, Oriental Daily News, which is by the way, also owned by the KTS Group -- does not lend to a healthy media environment. Tiong has, to his credit, avowed his dedication to a free and responsible press when buying over the Nanyang stake from Hua Ren, but it's putting into action such as pledged by the new owner in "diluting" the ownership for a wider spread, especially among individual stakeholders, that re-insures a lesser tendency or opportunity for "abuse", or for biased reporting and editorialising.

Desi thinks (it's allowed yes?) that someone borrowed one of my ideas (about that 5% limit thingy...) which was floated when I wrote in conjunction with World Press Day, but I ain't gonna file a suit for 'plagiarism', Ahem. Oh, no, Desi's no opportunist though he has often thought aloud on getting that 20million. Or the usual 30% CON...Howver, I would still urge the Government to abolish the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 so that other press, like PKR's "Suara Keadilan", can freely publish to truly promote a First World citizenry acquainted with civilised discourse, even allowing for room for dissent and disgreement. Now that I have done my small "part" promoting democratic discourse, can you indulge one more idiosyncrazy of mine?

Since this is a happy morn, I shall reprise a happy tune, cun?
And that's a rhetorical quest7...

IF I HAD A HAMMER (The Hammer Song)
words and music by Lee Hays and Pete Seeger

If I had a hammer
I'd hammer in the morning

I'd hammer in the evening
All over this land
I'd hammer out danger
I'd hammer out a warning
I'd hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land

If I had a bell
I'd ring it in the morning

I'd ring it in the evening
All over this land
I'd ring out danger
I'd ring out a warning
I'd ring out love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land

If I had a song
I'd sing it in the morning

I'd sing it in the evening
All over this land
I'd sing out danger
I'd sing out a warning
I'd sing out love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land

Well I've got a hammer
And I've got a bell
And I've got a song to sing
All over this land
It's the hammer of justice
It's the bell of freedom
It's the song about love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Entereth thee with Desi into an infernal affair?

Desiderata has often averred that he seldom writes about RELIGION because he believes it can be potentailly explosive, more so than a discourse about RACE. Nevertheless, he enjoys writings about a person's faith shared with fellow members of that species we call Homo sapiens. Even how Hs came about is subject of strong, heated and eternal and infernal discourse -- sometimes so out of Homo sapiens character, for it's said this God-made species is blessed with a unique brain that Other species are deficient in. This uniqueness is proven in the conquest of space and touching the fringes of Infinity. This beautiful Sunday I tread loudly into this territory (it's seriously, hence I refrain from using 'terrortry!) because I am exploiting somebody else's Voice. And what a Voice! -- he's only 16-going-on-17.

Infernal Ramblings of a Thoughtless Mind

Differentiating Roman Catholicism

Written on 11:21:33 am Nov 13, 2006.

I don't mean calculus - I mean noting the differences between Roman Catholicism and other denominations of Christianity. This is a controversial topic to write about, but I suppose the same can be said for anything to do with religion.

In a surprising change from my usual tack, today I'm in the mood to write about my personal religious beliefs. While these are liable to offend many people, especially in our ecumenist day and age, religion is by nature an incendiary topic. This isn't a polemic meant to convert or convince anyone, though. I'm not asking you to believe what I believe (although in my belief system, if you don't believe what I believe, you have a good chance of living in a lake of fire for eternity). This is an exposition on what I believe, and how I've reached my conclusions about it, with a specific emphasis on what I think of this funny sect of Christianity that makes old men dress up in gowns and funny hats.

And if you thought that statement was offensive, brace yourself for this: I don't believe Catholics - at least under the definition of Catholic as set out by the Roman Catholic Church - can be considered Christians.

To understand how this conclusion was reached, first we have to see what is the Christian definition of salvation. This can probably be summarised by the oft-quoted John 3:16: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." In short, if you die and you believe in Jesus and that he died as a sacrifice for your sins, and that he is the only saviour of mankind (John 14:6), congratulations, welcome to paradise. Otherwise it's welcome to hell, heathen.

Obviously it's not nice for me to be using such stark language, but I figure that if you're going to be honest about what you believe, there isn't a point in sugarcoating it. Anyhow, the basic problem with Roman Catholicism is, yes, that it doesn't really fit that basic definition of salvation. Actually, it contradicts the Bible on a number of points.

Before continuing, it may be worth pointing out that I have nothing personally against Catholics or Catholicism. People often conflate criticism of Catholicism and Catholic theology with anti-Catholicism. The difference is that the former addresses problems with Catholics' beliefs, while the latter deals in conspiracy theories about the Vatican plotting to take over the world. Unfortunately, the two tend to be conflated because the same people likely to point out the inherent problems with Catholic theology are also likely to believe that there's some Catholic plot to take over the world or that Catholics are all evil minions of the devil. So, just to get that out of the way, I'm not one of those types.

Still, it is a bit irritating to me when the media and its portrayal of Christianity conflates Catholicism with Christianity in general. Most Christians would disagree with Catholics on a number of crucial theological issues - heck, a large number of Catholics don't even believe in some illogical Catholic doctrines (such as the one forbidding usage of condoms). I have heard some people argue that the differences between Catholicism and other denominations are purely "political", and mainly have to do with the Pope. I have met some people of other faiths who refute problematic Catholic doctrines and think they have thus crushed all of Christianity. However, these people appear completely ignorant of the fact that the differences between Catholics and other Christians are more than skin-deep.

Now, if we're going to discuss the thorny issue of Catholic theology in a rational manner, it might be good to have a basic syllogism underlying our discussion. That is:

1. The Bible is inspired by God;
2. Therefore any doctrine contradicting the Bible is in error.

It should be noted that although this sounds rather like the Protestant principle of sola scriptura (scripture - the Bible - alone), it is consistent with the Catholic belief in prima scriptura (that the Bible is superior to other sources of doctrine). Although I don't believe in using anything other than the Bible as a source, this isn't a debate I'm interested in dealing with at the present.

Working from the principle that the Bible is the ultimate source of all doctrine, it is surprisingly easy to see that a lot of Roman Catholic beliefs aren't really grounded in the traditional source of Christian doctrine.

One doctrine unique to Catholicism is its emphasis on the Church (with a capital C). Unlike most other schools of thought, Catholic theology places a lot of emphasis on the power of the Church - namely, the Vatican. No other denomination is as bureaucratic in its approach to faith as Catholicism is. How Catholicism works seems to be that either one man at the apex of the hierarchy issues an order, or a group of central planners get together to craft doctrine (for instance, the second Vatican Council modernised Catholic liturgy). Whatever the case, Catholicism bears a lot of resemblance to the rigid Soviet bureaucracy that crumbled with the Berlin Wall (that, ironically, supposedly crumbled because of Pope John Paul II's support for the anti-communist movements in Eastern Europe). Essentially, in Catholicism, someone on top tells you what to believe, instead of you deciding for yourself. You might say that the Catholic Church interposes itself between man and God.

Now, the problem with this is that there's very little (if any) Biblical support for the institution of the Catholic Church or the Papacy. Oh yes, the Catholic Church can tell you all about why it is the one true Church and why you ought to listen to their interpretation of scripture and follow their rituals. But the Bible is curiously silent about the establishment of a unified church - especially one as bureaucratic as the Catholic Church. And if we are to agree with the founder of Methodism, John Wesley, "In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church." As can be demonstrated, the Catholic Church won't be getting a very favourable decision if you judge it by the Bible.

For one thing, the Bible's depictions of early Christianity don't resemble the rigid hierarchy of the Catholic Church today. It seems apparent that the focus was at the individual church level - the churches in Rome, Corinth, Ephesus, Jerusalem, they all acted as independent bodies. There were, of course, ecumenical councils, as the book of Acts relates. However, no church dominated the discussions; there was no apparent submission to the Roman church. The system of the early church, if anything, resembles that of the Anglican Church, which places its nominal head, the Archbishop of Canterbury, as merely the first among equals. Doctrine is discussed by peers, without the spectre of Papal infallibility.

In any case, circumstantial evidence in the Bible weighs strongly against the veracity of the Vatican's claims. Paul's epistle to the Romans, surprisingly, does not even mention Peter, supposedly the first Bishop of Rome (and thus the first Pope). Why is this so? The Bible states that the early churches agreed that Peter would be the apostle of the "circumcised" (i.e. Jews) - meaning he wouldn't have any business in Rome, the centre of the Gentile world. This discrepancy weighs against the Papacy and its authority heavily, since the Pope claims to be a member of the "Apostolic succession" from Peter.

In any case, there is surprisingly little in the Bible that can explicitly corroborate the institution of the Papacy at all. The number one passage cited for this is the famous one in Matthew, where Jesus renames Cephas as Peter (meaning rock, although some Protestant theologians interested in semantics insist it means pebble), and proclaims that "on this rock I will build my church". By any standard, this is a very vague statement, which can be interpreted in a number of different ways - not all of which have to do with crowning one man as the Head Bureaucrat of Christianity. The supposed symbols of Peter's (and thus the Papacy's) authority, the keys to heaven and hell, which are granted to him shortly thereafter, and also given to the other apostles not long afterward. The institution of the Pope has hardly any basis in the Bible, to be frank.

But that is just one issue, and if we focus on it, we ignore the numerous other problems with Catholicism. The essential cause of the original schism between Martin Luther and the Vatican was the problem of the Church's emphasis on works over faith as a means to salvation. The idea was that you could purchase an indulgence, which could speed your passage to heaven, allowing you to skip the allocated time in purgatory meant for the saved-but-not-saved-enough crowd. You essentially could buy your way out of sin.

You might think that since the Church stopped the sale of indulgences a long time ago, this issue is dead and done with - but it's not. The underlying conflict about faith and works has not been resolved, and the issue of purgatory continues to fester.

The Catholic understanding is that first you need to believe, and after that, you need to perform rituals X, Y and Z or else you can forget about eternal life. And even if you do perform those rituals, you aren't assured of a place in heaven just yet because you might need to spend time suffering in purgatory to be purged of your unredeemed sins. The effect of this, basically, is to create a situation where dead unbaptised babies end up burning in hell for eternity because they weren't baptised (seriously - Catholics are supposed to believe this). In another instance of the Church interposing itself between man and God, penitents are expected to confess their sins to a priest (as opposed to directly to God), and even though the only passage in the Bible dealing with this does not make it a prerequisite for salvation, under Catholic theology, if you die without having confessed to a priest, and without the intention to confess to a priest, you go straight to hell.

Fortunately, you don't need those examples to fathom just how crazy Catholic doctrine is. All you need is to note one striking example from the account of Jesus' death, where he told a dying thief who proclaimed his belief in Jesus that "today you will be with me in paradise". This in itself deals a death blow to any belief one might have in purgatory, and to the suggestion that one must perform a series of rituals before being eligible for salvation. That man was never baptised, and he sure as hell never saw the inside of a church, but all he had to do was believe, and he was assured of salvation.

Still, one could argue a case for works based on the famous quotation from James that we are "justified" by both faith and works. The problem with this, however, is that we are not saved by works, as Ephesians tells us, "lest anyone should boast". (Incidentally, I recall visiting a Catholic shrine in the US, and being struck by all the statues of saints bearing prominent inscriptions of the names of the people who paid for them, with their requests for salvation/mercy from God. Something tells me these people didn't read Ephesians closely enough.) Reading the book of James as a whole in context, it seems clear that the message conveyed is that "faith without works is dead" - meaning that if you have faith, your faith will manifest itself in works, which will show and justify your faith.

As a sidenote, the strongest support for the institution of purgatory and works as a prerequisite for salvation can be found only in the Apocrypha - a collection of Jewish books included only in the Catholic Bible. Ironically, the Apocrypha became widely considered as canon only after the Council of Trent, which met to condemn Luther and his reforms. Apparently the Church's bureaucracy realised that the Bible as it stood didn't corroborate their beliefs, so their solution was to change the Bible.

The Catholic Church also believes in the intercession of saints - that the dead can pray for the living. While this does make sense on the face of it, there isn't much substantial Biblical basis for this either (although there are some implicit suggestions which could - depending on how you interpret them - support it). In any case, First Timothy seems to explicitly rule out this possibility, referring to Jesus as the "only" intercessor between God and man. There are also some odd logical loopholes in Catholic theology here; for instance, it is held that saints don't have any superhuman powers in heaven. It's never explained, though, how they can listen and pay attention to each of the several million prayers they must hear every hour. (And, please, have some pity on them - why do Catholics subject Mary to endless repetitions of the Hail Mary prayer? If she's like any other human, she must be bored of hearing the precise same words almost non-stop for a couple of millenia.)

There are a billion other differences, some superficial and some not, between Roman Catholicism and other variants of Christianity. Many of them, especially the major ones (as discussed above), clash directly with the Bible. Even celibacy of the clergy contradicts the Bible; First Timothy says that a bishop must be "husband of one wife" for "if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?" Simply put, there are enough troubling deviations in Catholic theology to justify serious doubts about its faithfulness to God.

And these are just the obvious differences, mind you. There are some more nuanced criticisms of Catholicism that I haven't bothered with, either because I don't understand them, or can't explain them. Transubstantiation (the belief that the communion bread and wine are transformed into the literal flesh and blood of Jesus) is a good example of the latter - I understand it, but I can't effectively criticise it because it's a rather complicated doctrine to discuss. If I've got it correct, however, basically its problem is that communicants end up venerating bread and wine as if it is God, based on a rather silly literal interpretation of Jesus' words in the Gospels. (If Catholics aren't expected to take the 6-day account of creation literally, why make an exception for this?) The Lutherans take a different tack, believing that the spirit of God enters the bread and wine, instead of believing that the bread and wine literally become God. Most other denominations go further and hold that the bread and wine are just symbols of God.

Whatever way you approach it, it's still undeniable that Catholicism is still grappling with the basic problem Luther uncovered in the 16th century - that of the Church coming between God and man. Instead of letting man speak to God and have a personal relationship with him, the Church slathers the relationship with bureaucracy and red tape worthy of the Soviet Union. Instead of holding true to Jesus' crystal clear pronunciation on salvation, the Catholic Church introduces rigid ritualism and works to a relationship meant to be based on faith. The gulf between Catholicism and other denominations of Christianity is wide - and it is a gulf that cannot and should not be glossed over.


THis hoRst today -- in the footsteps of my beloved Prime Minister (I used 'my' because if 'our' is attempted insead, some readers may take offence! Oh, no, on this beautiful Sunday I am not going to offend even my deadliest enemies, what more the iblis very much alive, and around, even keeping up with SENsurrouns) -- conscripted a Y&A mentee, johnleemk, in playing Role REversal. If you need to flame somebody todie (Yes, only one DDC today, for holyCoww's sake as I'm inducting a newbie into the Blogsworld by taking him through a three-step process to create another
Blue H'aven
-- note only wan 'e'), direct your flaming at johnleemk's writes.
"Don't bash the person -- he's really a Nice bloke." ~~ DEsi, and offering thee a peAce offering of teh-tarik in a platinum goblet. Just don't leave Desi's place with It!

I am more than happy to stand in awe watching the spectacular debate.
Sock It to him, guys!('Guys' of course includes the likes of Helen and AM and HOuse-y...)
Just be forwarned -- this one is no John Little!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

For the wry record: Petronas secretive flow...

DESIDERATA was a-miss on local news breaks the past 48, so he had to rely on fellow Bloggers like the from where I must record for posterity a "small" development on the petroldollars' front. *As defined by Datuk Zakaria and son and daughter-in-law just sworn in as Klang Municipal Councillors despite all the breaches of the law they were supposed to uphold and promote. Harap pagar jaga padi? Penduduk-penduduk bandar Kelang yang dihormati, apa dah jadi, kepada yu dan padi?

Okay, back to Mave's gem~~

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Petronas ballooning Profits

Petronas reports 22% rise in first-half profit

Malaysian oil-and-gas company Petroliam Nasional Bhd. on Thursday reported a 22 percent rise in net profit for the first half of its financial year.

Petronas said its net profit for the six months ended Sept. 30 climbed to RM24.66 billion from RM20.29 billion in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue rose 9.9 percent on year to RM88.85 billion.

Another bumper year and more money for Pak Lah to spent on the 9MP.

UMNO MPs and State EXCOs, cheers!!!! Malaysian commoners, nothing to cheer; nothing for you unless you are a crony.

DEsi just left his "small" thought dare, just
For The Dry Record2:



the lust time I wrote on Pteronas huge net profits of RM43.6billion for FYE March 2006, one or 2 UMNO/MCA/MIC / crony blogers wrote even before I copuld add an update predicting that my ER would be flooding with appeals for Govt to lower pump prices, also calling us in derisive manner "socialist"!

Well, thanks for placing this on record -- the numbers add up to my prediction that the full year's profits will touch RM50billion -- yeah, where does the Rakyat fit in in this National Oil Corporation's scheme of things?:(

November 25, 2006
6:14 PM

I'm sure my fellow countrymen and fellow bloggers like Mave and Desi have a right to demand of the national oil corporation to inform us: WHERE DOES THE OIL MONEY GO?

Back into unnamed pockets? Back to the Indian Ocean and South China Sea.
The rakyat wish to know.
Are they like one charitable Datuk making humongous donations to the less fortyunate and suffering brethren oversea like Thailand? I'm asking questions, however ridiculous some appear to be, because I can't find any Annual Financial Statement to rely on for authoritative infomration.

Mr Petronas, art thou listening, or the top floor (88th?) at the Twin Towers is immune to quietly elegant Malaysian Voices, isit?

NOT in Desi's script...

I intimated to my ER (EsteemedReaders) -- intimate here has nothing to do with getting intimate, OK! -- that besides journalism and bloggig writhing which is quite formal and follows a certain format, Desi spends time trying to get to that I-LAND


He needs RM20million to get there.

Hence he started on that Hollywood trail much derailed because meanwhile,
he finds he can not live on sunshine, water and oxygen alone.

He also need bread. Some butter. Okay, some kaya occasionally. And a Continental Breakfast once a week to satiate his capitalistic lust though most times, he's a contented socialist-socialite. That "socialite" part was added after a year of Bloging and I was influenced by socialables like AllOfHelen who introduced Desi to kaypohciknurses, and one FashionistA who beleives Desi should be dressed to s-kill. Whatever that's fashionable. And I do listen to my mentors.

One can be Jack of all trades but you must acknowledge some Jackies are specialist in their own rites.

Today's Post is a sort of Inter:lude that came 24 early because one Young fella just upstaged DEsi for Sundae's Inter:nude. The 'n' replaces the 'l' because this Y&A exposes many adults in their naked glory -- blush, brush! -- while Desi is only able to allude that Cometh Tomorrow, some fist of fury may be unleashed and There is no hell like a religionist subourned. (Lest Desi be accused of plagiuarism, I must say the lust line is partially borrowed from Hell kwowth no fury like a woman conned/scorned?...)

Now back to the HolyCoww script. Someone seems to jump right away from what Desi has got in his original mind ~~


Cadillac is tycoon's way to drive fishermen to wealth

Desi: First reacton from poor mousey writer here is: WoW! Lucky fishermen in Malaysia -- living a life of luxury, being chauffered to work. Blardy jouno has the most ridden in a limousine back from the airport.


Klang: Sworn in at last

DEsi: First reaction is Desi's swearing out loud -- don't know weather is right to allow that! -- what the hell is happenig to Klang folks -- you can't even locate a few good men/women/boys/girls to serve the local council! QWhy don't you recruit from Furong ah? Anak Merdeka and Desiderata are vAri*Ables/A*vail*Ables.

From The People's Paper, page N3:

Saturday November 25, 2006

KOTA BARU: His Porsche’s gear stick had loosened and the road tax for his Pajero had expired. So tycoon Datuk Nik Sapeia Nik Yusof decided to go to the magistrate’s court here in his stretch 7,500cc Cadillac limousine.

It was this gleaming beauty that made heads turn when Nik Sapeia arrived in court on Wednesday to face a charge of causing hurt to former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and three others at the Sultan Ismail Petra airport on July 28.
He was alleged to have discharged a dangerous substance through a spraying instrument.

Despite facing trying times, the affable tycoon and his wife Datin Dr Suriani Yahya consented to an interview with The Star at their mansion in Pasir Tumboh here yesterday.

He seemed amused by the attention his American luxury model was getting, adding that he received numerous SMS when photographs of him and his wife getting out of the Cadillac appeared in newspapers.

A former state CPO said we looked like (former US president) John F. Kennedy and (his wife) Jacqueline,”
he quipped.

Nik Sapeia, who has more than 10 luxury cars in his stable, said he wanted to own a Cadillac from the moment he saw former US vice-president Al Gore “grandly” stepping out of one in Kuala Lumpur seven years ago.

Nik Sapeia was introduced to a Cadillac dealer in Thailand in 1999 and bought his dream car for RM1mil.

The licence plate – “Bangkok 2” – is custom-made and a gift from a Thai VIP, he said, adding that he was involved in many charities in Thailand.

“Do you know that it is one of only 40 right-hand drive Cadillac limos in the world?

“A Cadillac model only comes out once every 15 years and it is a prestigious vehicle,” said the proud owner.

The Cadillac, which takes up two and a half lots of normal parking space, is placed in a “secret” underground car park near his home where his prized collection of cars are kept.

The limousine is equipped with a TV set, a drink dispenser and aircraft material shock absorbers.

Nik Sapeia, who made his fortune in fisheries, said he normally used the Cadillac for important business functions in Bangkok and would only occasionally drive it around town here. He has approval to drive the car into Thailand.

The Cadillac is his way of showing that fishermen can also be successful.

“I want to tell everybody that fishermen can become rich,” said the former politician who claims to own the largest fleet of deep-sea trawlers in the region.

The Kelantan-born was educated in St Xavier's Institution in Penang.

He started dabbling in the import-export business with only RM500 and went into other fields before finding his niche in the marine industry.

After the interview, Nik Sapeia and Dr Suriani sportingly posed for photographs beside the Cadillac together with two of their six children Nik Abdul Matin Fawwaz, 14, and Wan Elysya Sapeia, seven.


In my script, The Star must have been "bewitched" by a tycoon who was described so worshiuippingly as "affable" tycoon. And in my script, this jumps at Desi!

The licence plate – “Bangkok 2” – is custom-made and a gift from a Thai VIP, he said, adding that he was involved in many charities in Thailand.

Until the episode involve this affable tycoon, Desi has not heard of him, yet he has made such a contribution to charities in THailand so much so a THai VIP gifted him with a one-million Cadillac. Did The Star not ask him how many "millions" he had donated across the border before the "recipient" country's folks, okay another affable tycoon, reciprocated in giving back a token Cadillac? Or Journalism 101 tells you NOT to ask "unfriendly" questions?

In Desi's script, we natives always practise CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME.
Has the MSM on record how much this affable tycoon das donated to local charities?
Okay, to be precise, "local" means "Malaysian" -- not to abang adik in the neighbourhood.

As to other Sore Thumbs sticking out like -- what else, Sore Thumbs! -- please desipher yourself from the highlights by Desi (THUS BOLDED) in the MSM and the Protagonist's scripts;

Has Dr Mahathir met his match, finally, an affable tycoon, in court, half court, fool court, Skippy?


From The Star, page N8:

MPK councillors finally sworn in

KLANG: After two postponements, the troubled Klang Municipal Council (MPK) finally swore in 18 councillors yesterday for a two-year tenure.

Among those sworn in was the son of Port Klang assemblyman Datuk Zakaria Md Deros, Zainuri Zakaria, 33, who was mired in the DZ Satay House scandal recently.

The controversial DZ Satay House, owned by Zainuri, had no approved building plan, no business permit and sat on government land without a Temporary Occupational Licence.

The structure was torn down on Thursday.

Zakaria, who was a former councillor, was in the spotlight recently as well for illegally building a mansion in Kampung Idaman and for not paying assessment for his present home and the Umno office in Port Klang for more than 10 years.

He eventually relinquished his appointment as councillor.

Asked about his recent troubles, Zainuri said he was remorseful and would carry out his responsibilities well.

“As a councillor, I must follow all the rules and there will not be a repeat of what had happened recently,” he said.

He said he had adhered to regulations issued by the Selangor government and MPK by consenting to the demolition of the illegal satay house, located in Pandamaran.

“We did not protest or prevent the demolition from taking place,” he said.

Zainuri, who described the episode as a “technical mistake” said he wanted to work hand-in-hand with the council to develop Klang.

He also advised those without the necessary approval and licences to obtain them immediately in accordance with the council bylaws.

Another controversial figure sworn in was Datuk Mazlynoor Abdul Latiff, who was also found to have built a bungalow without council approval.

He later apologised and submitted all necessary documents, which were then approved.

When approached, Mazlynoor said what had happened was a small matter”, adding that the controversy that followed was common when one was involved in politics.

DESI: All the highlights (THUS BOLDED) are in the newspaper's and the PLAYERS' holycoww script, BUTT not in DEsi's script. NO, by George (Oh Well), my script would run along such lines/lineage not of royal Klang colour, or of Java blood/bloodline ~~

Zainuri should have joined a Madrasah as a student of ethical behaviour, and after two years, emerge as a teacher of kindie children in the royal city of Klang as a voluntary worker, winning many converts to his school of good and proper behaviour in tandem with the most developed state of Selangor of which Klang is proudly its model presconct now that Zakaria-rites are putting things right. Oh, the sister-in-law Roselind Abdul Jamil also did not accept the Councilman's post as she felt her position (as a Muslim woman) is better served by enrolling in a madrasahw, from which she graduated a few years latter and in her own right, she started a fashion school for Muslim women on proper 21st century lifestyle, properly attired and manneredly feminine so that the councilmen won't be swayed by foreign women from Mongolia -0- outer, inner or middle kingdom. Or by men from Manchuria.

Oh, I forgot, the main protagonist, Datuk Zakaria! He voluntarily relinquished the State Assemblyman's post after a meeting with the State religious counsellor and dedicated himself in his now advanced age in reforming wayward Mat Rempit. He re-planned and refurbished the four-storey "small house" in Klang into a racing track, sound-proof for the Mat Rempit to race each other from the ground floor to the top landing -- the main challenge is to see who could survive the fly-off from the fourth floor to land on some sofa laid out on the ground below four floors down. If the Rempit did not SEI, he's given a ***"MatSally" as a bride.

***Apparently, Datuk Z has such great charm there are hordes of such female MatSalleh -- for those not so up to the mark, they are called "MatSally" with the "t" pronounced with a "d" sound. Calling the olde Light&Easy, now LiteFM, please note! lining up to register to live a fastlane life with Mat Rempit champions.

still/steal on/from the drawing or storyboard...

Page N31, The Star, Agin!
I wonder if Helen and her pastor are amenable to a Gin & (5S)Tone...
after Sunday worship tomorrow~~~

Alltantuya's dad
plans a movie

DEar ER, please-lah, don't be kedekut, BUY a copy of The Star for RM1.20,
or get It from Desi for Desi tomorrow. Meet me at the
usual Furong Korner for CON BF!
I'm free cos I ain't no writHing Inter{Lude for the Soul tomorrow. COMING...
something hot and chic!