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Friday, December 29, 2006

 

Happy Eidul Adha & Happy New Year

If you still have no plans or resolutions to make for the new year, this might probably gives you an idea to start. - Top ten new year resolutions
Here's a brief history of new year resolutions.

The tradition of the New Year's Resolutions goes all the way back to 153 B.C. Janus, a mythical king of early Rome was placed at the head of the calendar.

With two faces, Janus could look back on past events and forward to the future. Janus became the ancient symbol for resolutions and many Romans looked for forgiveness from their enemies and also exchanged gifts before the beginning of each year.

The New Year has not always begun on January 1, and it doesn't begin on that date everywhere today. It begins on that date only for cultures that use a 365-day solar calendar. January 1 became the beginning of the New Year in 46 B.C., when Julius Caesar developed a calendar that would more accurately reflect the seasons than previous calendars had.

The Romans named the first month of the year after Janus, the god of beginnings and the guardian of doors and entrances. He was always depicted with two faces, one on the front of his head and one on the back. Thus he could look backward and forward at the same time. At midnight on December 31, the Romans imagined Janus looking back at the old year and forward to the new. [...]

Múm - The Land Between Solar Systems

 

Books and movies of 2006

I guess this is my last entry for the year. This year's list is a pale shadow of last year's record of 29 books read. Sigh. No good, especially when the number of books unread left on the shelve is getting more and more.

Local interest:
1. Mencari Dugalia Huso - A. Kadir Jasin
2. Memoir Za'ba - Adnan Nawang

3. Perjalanan Ku Sejauh Ini: Sebuah Autobiografi - Shahnon Ahmad
4. Kembara Seorang Reformis (1908-1922) - Rashid Ridha
5. Kekasih Sam Po Bo - Faisal Tehrani


English novels:
1. Princess: An Appalling Indictment of the Treatment of Women in Saudi Arabia - Jean P. Sasson
2. La Prisonniere: Twenty Years in a Desert Gaol - Malika Oufkir & Michelle Fitousi.
3. A Fortune-Teller Told Me: Earthbound Travels in the Far East - Tiziano Terzani
4. The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
5. Confession of an Economic Hit Man - John Perkins

6. Jem Sultan: The Adventures of a Captive Turkish Prince in Renaissance Europe - John Freely
7. My Name is Red - Orhan Pamuk
8. The Palestinian Issues: Its Background and Development Up To 2000 - Dr. Mohsen M. Saleh
9. The Richest Man in Babylon - George S. Clason


Movies:
1. Buli Balik - 2 February 2006 (GSC Summit USJ)
2. Gubra - 31 March (TGV Sunway)
3. The Da Vinci Code - 20 May (GSC Summit USJ)
4. X-Men - 25 May (GSC Summit USJ)
5. Cars - 11 June (GSC Summit USJ)
6. Superman - 29 June (TGV Sunway)
7. Fast & Furious 3 - 27 June (TGV I Utama)
8. Pirates of the Carribean 2 - 27 July (TGV KLCC)
9. LakeHouse - 1 Aug (TGV I Utama)
10. Monster House - 7 Sept (TGV Sunway)



Happy New Year everyone. :)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

 

Taiwan quake brings down Internet links

If you are finding it very difficult to access overseas websites, don’t blame your service provider or your computer.. Mkini

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

 

fotopage updated.

fotopage updated.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

 

..if reality tv comes before Siti Nurhaliza

While watching the tv3 news just now, I managed to catch a glimpse of the new NST tv ad. I guess some of you might have seen it already. It features part of the NST editorial team including Hafez's father(hehe, i just have to mention this one). One of them is NST's music and film columnist, Suraya Al-Attas. She mentioned some interesting words there, but I didn't get to catch her full sentence though, but more or less it's something like this;
"..if reality tv comes before Siti Nurhaliza, she might not have been discovered, [..]"
How true indeed.. kan? ;)

[shahnon.com: Realiti tv perosak & pencemar 'kualiti' industri muzik tempatan.]

Thursday, December 14, 2006

 

gila

The Edge: Road tolls to rise by up to 60%
The government will announce on Dec 14 a sharp rise in road toll rates to help trim state subsidies, a source said on Dec 13, in a move that could spark a public outcry and raise inflation.

Tolls will go up by as much as 60% and will affect users of five highways in and around the capital, Kuala Lumpur, said the source, who attended an official briefing on the matter.

"The new rates take effect on Jan 1," the source, who declined to be identified, told Reuters.

..Litrak operates the 40km Damansara-Puchong highway, where the toll is to rise 60%, to RM1.60 from RM1, the source said.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

 

Daulat Tuanku

..Sultan Mizan dan pemangku Sultan Terengganu, Tengku Muhammad Ismail


Menjunjung Duli Setinggi-tinggi Tahniah
di atas perlantikan

Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin dan Sultanah Nur Zahirah
sebagai

Seri Paduka Baginda Yang diPertuan Agong ke XIII dan Seri Paduka Baginda Raja Permaisuri Agong.

Semoga Malaysia terus aman, makmur dan maju di bawah naungan tuanku.

Sembah takzim daripada
shahnon.com



[iklan]

Monday, December 11, 2006

 

NST-Utusan merger (?) and etc..

Saya dah lama mengikuti perkembangan gabungan dua media Melayu Utusan-NST dan baru kali ni nak tulis di blog. Dilaporkan dalam beberapa laman-laman web bahawa hanya 5 daripada 48 anggota MT UMNO yang menyokong penggabungan ini. Siapa mereka itu? PM,TPM dan tiga yang lain? Hari ini Harakahdaily melaporkan 'Seratus peratus kakitangan Utusan menentang "penjajahan"'. Kenapa berita ini tak disiarkan dalam Utusan? Mungkin sebab Pak Lah kelihatan cenderung untuk melihat penggabungan itu menjadi kenyataan? Kenapa semacam langsung tidak kedengaran suara-suara penentangan secara total di media? Yang ada hanya umpama laporan kegusaran tentang masa depan Utusan oleh beberapa Senator dan ahli parlimen. Ataupun mungkin ulasan mereka kepada wartawan media telah dispin oleh editor, tak tahulah. Pemimpin UMNO kini kelihatan mengambil langkah berhati-hati agar tidak mendahului pendirian Pak Lah.
Terbaru, dalam Utusan Malaysia hari ini, YB Tan Sri Muhyidin Yassin berkata, UMNO akan 'tetap pertahan keunggulan Utusan Melayu'. Jawapan yang tiada ketegasan. Suara akar umbi harus diperdengarkan kepada pemimpin dengan jelas. Khairy pun kata penggabungan ini harus mengambil pandangan akar umbi. Jangan sekadar sedap cakap sudahlah. Minggu lepas di blog RockyBru, beliau mendedahkan bahawa Singapura mungkin akan mendapat kepentingan sehingga 40%! Sejauh mana kebenaran ini tak tahulah. Ikuti juga blog YB Husam Musa yang banyak menulis tentang isu penggabungan NST-Utusan ini.
Kadang-kadang tak faham, sedih saya dengar Pak Lah kata, bila ditanya tentang makin banyaknya pelaburan dan pembelian saham dan aset penting oleh syarikat-syarikat Singapura di Malaysia, jawabnya, itu menunjukkan pelabur mereka mempunyai keyakinan tinggi terhadap kita? Begitu mudah sekali? Aduh. Takkanlah sampai tahap menjual dan menggadai maruah negara, apabila aset-aset penting negara hendak dijual. Tak perlu nak dihurai panjang lebar sekali lagi di sini. Syabas kepada YB Shahrir Samad. Semalam, beliau dengan tegas membantah jika sebuah syarikat Singapura dipilih sebagai kontraktor kepada projek monorail di Johor Bahru, di mana beliau adalah wakil rakyatnya.
Bukan hendak membuat perbandingan, tetapi kita telah lihat bagaimana Amerika dulu membantah apabila sebuah syarikat Dubai hendak menguasai pelabuhan-pelabuhan strategik di Amerika atas alasan national security. Ini sangat bercanggah jika diadili dengan fahaman ekonomi kapitalis yang mereka asaskan dan laung-laungkan sendiri. Ternyatalah bahawa idea globalisasi menurut fahaman Barat hanyalah globalisasi sehala. Iaitu dari Barat ke Timur sahaja.
Satu lagi contoh yang menarik perhatian saya ialah melibatkan tokoh industri besi keluli dari India, Lakshmi Mittal. Beliau dahulu pernah mendapat bangkangan oleh beberapa negara Eropah apabila beliau bertindak hendak membeli syarikat pengeluar utama keluli di Eropah iaitu Arcelor. Awal tahun ini akhirnya beliau telah berjaya juga mengambil alih syarikat tersebut dengan diberi nama Arcelor Mittal, sekaligus meletakkan Arcelor Mittal sebagai syarikat pengeluar keluli utama dunia. Suka saya memetik petikan daripada majalah Time (edisi Nov.13 2006) yang turut memuatkan kata-kata umpama rungutan daripada Menteri Kewangan Perancis;
"This invasion by an Eastern upstart horrified Europe's old guard; French Finance Minister Theirry Breton grumbled Arcelor should have "European character."
But Indian businessmen from Hyderabad to Hong Kong proudly pointed to Mittal's success as a mark of their maturity commercial prowess.
To a nation that 150 years ago was run not by its own government but by a European business - the British East India Company - Mittal is the Indian who is beating the West at its own game. And he's got mansion (Mittal's $128Mil. Kensington Palace Garden in London) to prove it. - by Alex Perry.
Heck. That simply shows the shallow mindedness of these Europeans. It seems as if it is not ok for Asians, but when it comes to them, Westerners, it is 'globalization', or if to use the latest term by F. William Engdahl, Dollarization.
Beralih pula kepada isu penggabungan Sime Darby, Golden Hope dan Kumpulan Guthrie pula, saya kira tulisan dan pandangan Syed Munir Syed Qadri (dalam email beliau kepada Jeff Ooi), Pengerusi Yayasan Pelaburan Bumiputera, yang memiliki saham terbesar dalam Permodalan Nasional Berhad harus diambil berat. Kerisauan beliau mengenai penggabungan itu mempunyai asas yang kuat. Berikut adalah pandangan beliau dalam email bertajuk 'Pak Lah must be held responsible if merged company fails'.
As Chairman of the Yayasan Pelaburan Bumiputera which holds majority shares in Permodalan Nasional Berhad, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi would be held responsible if the merger of Sime Darby Berhad, Golden Hope Berhad and Kumpulan Guthrie Berhad does not produce results.

Worse, he will also be accused of causing the erosion of Bumiputera shareholding. This is because PNB which holds majority shares in all three companies was founded with the aim of narrowing the economic disparity between the Bumiputeras and the other races.

The Government's decision to allow the merger is mind-boggling as all three companies are making profits. These profits are used to pay dividends to Bumiputeras who purchase unit trusts issued by PNB through Amanah Saham Nasional, Amanah Saham Bumiputera etc.

If these companies are running at a loss, then a merger would seem logical. But they are profits and they pay high dividends to their shareholders including PNB (read Government and Bumiputeras)

So why then is the Government doing it? Is the Government interested in attracting foreign participation in the equity structure of this merged entity? If that is the case, then the end-losers will be the Bumiputeras. Simple logic dictates that when a foreigner buys substantial equity in a company, he would most certainly want a representation in the Board. If that happens, the Board will not be able to make any decision favouring the Bumiputeras as it will be rejected by the foreign Board member.

It is more and more evident now that our present Government is a Government of contradictions. While it says that it wants to increase Bumiputera equity from the current 18 per cent to 35 per cent as stated in the New Economic Policy, its actions suggest that it is doing the opposite – reduce Bumiputera participating in the country's economy.

Merging the three companies into a single entity promises nothing. It will be a messy affair. At the moment, these companies, maybe with the exception of Sime Darby, are focused on their core competencies. Golden Hope is a fully integrated plantation company while Guthrie concentrates on plantations and property.

Merging them into a conglomerate is akin to the age-old saying of putting all the eggs in a single basket. When the basket falls, the eggs will break. You will be left with empty shells.

The merged entity will be a mess. It will be running all sorts of businesses ranging from hospitals to tyre production to sales of heavy equipment. Perhaps, Abdullah needs to be told that conglomerates are out of fashion. Companies now focus on their core competencies. Large companies like Toyota and Microsoft ventured into other businesses unrelated to their core activities. But they failed. They are successful today because they divested their non-core businesses to focus on what they know best.

The entire merger proposal of Sime Darby, Golden Hope and Guthrie reeks of a scandal involving the Government. The Abdullah-led Government, although claiming to be more transparent then the previous Government, has not been transparent at all in this merger proposal.

So who is behind it. Already there are many speculations linking the merger idea to members of Abdullah's family. Or is it because Synergy Drive Sdn Bhd which is leading the merger exercise is headed by Nazir Abdul Razak, the brother of Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak?

Is this nepotism of the highest degree? Have we given the proposed merger another thought?

Are we going to end-up with a messy and unprofitable conglomerate. It is a scary thought. I don't think I am going to be envious of the CEO of the merged entity. I will be sympathetic.

 

I bet you look good on the dancefloor lalalla

Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
pic source - wikipedia

Ah finally after weeks of the same old songs on the playlist, I'm getting myself a new list of albums before the year ends. thanks to torrent.hoho. Here's the list.
The Ataris - Welcome the Night
+44 - When Your Heart Stops Beating
Bad Astronaut - Twelve Small Steps, One Giant Disappointment
Mxpx - Let's Rock
Bright Eyes - Don't be Frightened of Turning the Page EP
...Trail of Dead - So Divided
Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche

Thursday, December 07, 2006

 

random writings

Anyone knows where can I find Off The Edge December 2006 issue? I've searched all the kedai majalah mamak, 7 11 and Kiosk in SS15 but couldn't found any. Strange, because usually I would've already bought it by the 1st of every month or even before it. hmm.. takpelah tadi orang kat kedai mamak tu kata tak sampai lagi (?).
On another note, salam takziah to Tun Dr. Mahathir and his family, upon the death of his sister, Habshah Mohd .
ALOR STAR: The sister of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Habshah Mohd Iskandar (pic), died of chest infection and old age at the Kedah Medical Centre here yesterday.

Habshah, 89, had been warded at the hospital since Nov 20.

Dr Mahathir, his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, Habshah's only daughter Kalthom Abdul Ghani and two other relatives were by Habshah’s bedside when she drew her last breath. Habshah’s husband Abdul Ghani Pa’ Chik died 20 years ago.

Her remains will be buried beside her father’s grave at the Muslim Cemetery in Akar Peluru here at 10am today.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

 

'Malayaku' dan lain-lain

Entah macam mana tadi masa belek-belek buku 'Sajak-Sajak Saleh' (Pustaka Cipta,2002) tulisan Saleh Ben Joned yang dah lama tersimpan rapi di rak buku, terjumpa satu sajak yang saya suka. Tajuknya, 'Malayaku'.

Aku amat rindukan:
Tanjung Penawar
Kampung Seronok
Rantau Abang
Janda Baik
Gertak Sanggul
Bukit Katil
Lubuk Cina
Teluk Panglima Garang
Batang Melaka
Batang Berjuntai
Batang Benar
Banting
Gelang Patah
Tumpat
Pedas
Pulau Bunting

Aku lemas dan layu di tengah-tengah:

Petaling Jaya
Damansara Jaya
Desa Jaya
Ampang Jaya
Subang Jaya
Kelana Jaya
Putrajaya
Cyberjaya

Simple je sajak dia, tapi penuh tersirat.

Sekali lagi saya telah memesan buku secara online di UjanaIlmu untuk membeli buku terbaru Faisal Tehrani, 'Kekasih Sam Po Bo'. Dah lama sebenarnya saya menantikan karya terbaru Faisal Tehrani, sebab tu awal-awal lagi dah pesan secara online.


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