Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Buaya jinak di Kampung Simpangan, Tenom, Sabah, mampu memahami kata kata manusia

Buaya Jinak dikenali "Pakcik Akun" di Kampung Simpangan, Tenom, Sabah

Lazimnya buaya tidak dijadikan haiwan peliharaan kesayangan di rumah kerana sifat semulajadinya yang ganas.

Namun sebuah keluarga di kampung Simpangan, Tenom, Sabah, bukan sahaja menjadikan seekor buaya sepanjang 5 meter sebagai haiwan peliharaan yang amat disayangi, malahan dilaporkan dilayan seperti anggota keluarga sendiri, selain keistimewaan buaya itu yang dikatakan boleh memahami kata kata manusia.

Buaya ini dikenali dengan panggilan “pakcik akun”.

Ditemui 50 tahun lalu pada 1960 oleh seorang penduduk kampung simpangan, Ho Su Ming.

Ketika itu, Su Ming menangkap ikan di sungai Pegalan.

Ketika ditemui, buaya itu hanya sebesar ibu jari kaki dan kelihatan tidak bermaya.

Buaya itu kemudiannya dibawa pulang dan dipelihara sehingga membesar.

Selepas 50 tahun, buaya itu membesar melebihi panjang 5 meter dan seberat anggaran 3 ribu kilogram.

Reptilia itu juga jinak dan dikatakan boleh memahami kata kata manusia.

Antaranya membuka mulut, memusingkan kepala dan berjalan apabila di beri arahan dalam bahasa Malaysia.

Malahan orang ramai juga boleh memegang dan duduk di belakang buaya, tanpa dicederakan.

Rumah keluarga Su Ming menjadi tumpuan orang ramai dari jauh dan dekat yang ingin melihat buaya itu.

Ketika tinjauan ke rumah keluarga ini, Su Ming tiada di rumah kerana bekerja di Semenanjung Malaysia.

Namun menurut ibunya, Liew Kim Lin, 87 tahun, buaya itu dianggap seperti ahli keluarga sendiri dan sentiasa diberi makan dan dibersihkan.

"Dia makan ayam, ikan, daging, ahh..." kata Kim Lin yang masih sihat dan berbual mesra dengan setiap tetamu ke rumahnya.

Ekoran usia Liew Kim Lin yang sudah lanjut, tugas memberi makan dan membersihkan buaya kini dilakukan pekerjanya, Agustina Lamahadah.

Menurut Agustina, ketika kali pertama memberi makan dan membersihkan kandang Pakcik Akun, buaya itu seolah olah tidak mahu menerimanya. Namun kini buaya itu sudah mesra dengannya.

"Akupun kasi bersih kandang dia pun, yg pertama tu dia tak mau, dia meradang, habis saya masih baru, jadi dia tak terima, kadang kadang saya datang kasitau Mama..." Kata Agustina yang mesra memanggil Liew Kim Lin sebagai Mama.

Demikianlah kisah Pakcik Akun, Buaya jinak di Kampung Simpangan, Tenom.

Untuk rekod, Tenom juga dikenali dengan Taman Pertanian Lagud Sebrang yang disifatkan bekas Perdana Menteri, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad sebagai Taman Pertanian terindah di dunia.

Selamat berkunjung ke Sabah - negeri di bawah bayu...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Japan hit by 6.9 magnitude Earthquake as tensions in Korean Penisula continues

As tension in the Korean Penisula continues after North Korea shelled Yeonpyeong, a South Korean island with artillery fires on Tuesday, 23rd November 2010, nearby Japan was also jolted by a powerful force, exactly a week after the North Korean attack.

But it was not North Korean bombs or missiles, but rather a 6.9-magnitude earthquake.

The earthquake struck off Japan's southern coast Tuesday, 30 November 2010, shaking a broad swath of the country and swaying buildings in downtown Tokyo.

The Associated Press reported that no damage or injuries were immediately reported, and Japan's meteorological agency said there was no danger of a tsunami.

The temblor hit at 12:25 p.m. local time (0325 GMT), with the epicenter near the Ogasawara Islands, about 500 miles (800 kilometers) south of the main Japanese island, the agency said.

It struck at a depth of 300 miles (480 kilometers).

Japan's meteorological agency reported a magnitude of 6.9, however, the U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was 6.6. The reason for the discrepancy was not immediately clear.

The Ogasawara are known as the Bonin Islands outside of Japan.

Japan is one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world. In 1995, a quake of magnitude 7.2 killed 6,400 people in the western port city of Kobe.

Meanwhile tensions in the Korean Penisula continues, a week after Kim Jong Il attacked Yeonpyeong island, killing 2 South Korean Marines personells.

Yonhap News Agency on Tuesday, 30th November 2010 reported that South Korea's military plans to toughen its rules of engagement with North Korea in a way that gives its troops greater leeway to determine the intensity of a counterattack by the level of damage and threats received, the defense ministry said Tuesday.

The revision plans came amid mounting public criticism in South Korea that the country's military responded too slowly and too weakly to North Korea's Nov. 23 artillery strike on Yeonpyeong Island, which killed four people, including two civilians, and wounded 18 others.

The envisioned change, reported to the National Assembly, will free South Korean forces from the existing regulations that stipulate they should respond to an enemy attack with the same kind of weapons and the same amount of firepower the enemy used.

"We plan to make supplements to guarantee conditions for punishing the enemy," the ministry report said.

The military also plans to give greater leeway to field commanders in counterattacks and give more power to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in order to help the military respond to an enemy attack in a timely manner, the ministry said.

"We plan to differentiate the levels of responses to attacks on the military and attacks on civilians," the ministry said. Revision of the rules of engagement will be made in consultation with the U.S.-led United Nations Command and the South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command, it said.

The military also said it plans to seek a 360 billion won (US$310 million) additional increase in its budget for next year to beef up firepower on Yeonpyeong and other front-line islands, including deploying K-77 armored vehicles and K-10 ammunition supply vehicles.

Multiple rocket launchers and anti-artillery radars have already been deployed to Yeonpyeong. In case of further provocations by North Korea, the UNC will provide support, the ministry said.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

P Ramlee: A tragedy that no Talent Corp could have saved

P Ramlee composed this last song, before his death on 29 May 1973

P Ramlee's last movie "Laksamana Do Re Mi" before his death

This excellent article was written by The Ampas Man - the story evolves around the legendary P. Ramlee - whose super human talent was not recognised by the government, hence contributed to his downfall and his subsequent death, broke and broken..

How heart-wrenching

P. Ramlee Biodata

P. Ramlee (b. 22 March 1929, Penang- d.29 May 1973) was the quintessential Malay entertainer par excellence- actor, director, composer and singer. Despite being unschooled in music and the performing arts, Ramlee attained the heights of a legend, with an impressive track record of having acted in 65 films and sung 390 songs. Closely linked to the golden era of Malay movies, P. Ramlee is an icon in the Malay entertainment scene in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.

Early Life

P. Ramlee was born Teuku Zakaria bin Teuku Nyak Pute on 22 March 1929 in his grandmother's house at 40A Counter Hall in Penang, Malaysia. His father, Teuku Nyak Puteh, was a sailor from Lhokseumawe in Aceh, Indonesia. His Acehnese ancestry later led Ramlee to enjoy considerable fame in Indonesia. Ramlee also had a stepbrother, borne of his mother, Che Mah Hussein's previous marriage.

Ramlee studied in several schools, namely Kampung Jawa Malay School, Francis Light English School, the Japanese Navy School Kaigun Gakko during World War II, and Penang Free School. He was an active sportsman, excelling particularly in badminton, sepak takraw and football.


Ramlee did not receive formal training in the performing arts. Yet, he had an extremely impressive career, having acted in 65 films and directed 34 feature films.

In 1945, Ramlee entered a singing contest organised by Penang Radio for North Malaya and emerged third. He was the runner-up in the same contest held in 1946, and the winner in 1947. Ramlee's big break came when Tamil film director, B. S. Rajhans, spotted him on 1 June 1948 at a cultural festival where he sang his own composition, Azizah. Rajhans then invited Ramlee to be a back-up singer for the Malay Films Productions (a film studio set up by the Shaw Brothers at Jalan Ampas, Singapore, in 1947). Impressed with Ramlee, Rajhans cast him in a 1949 film, Nasib (Fate).

In 1955, Ramlee directed his first film, Penarek Becha (Trishaw Man). Ramlee acted in all the films he directed except Panca Delima, a 1957 production. The comedic films that Ramlee acted in from 1957 are still popular among contemporary Malay film watchers. The first of these was Bujang Lapok (Dowdy Bachelors), which co-starred S. Shamsuddin and Aziz Sattar. His final film was Laksamana Do Re Mi (Do Re Mi 3), which was released in 1972.

In April 1964, he moved to Kuala Lumpur to join Merdeka Film Productions. Of the 34 films he directed, 18 were shot in Kuala Lumpur.

Besides directing and acting, Ramlee also composed, wrote and sang 390 songs. Noted for his musical versatility, Ramlee explored a repertoire of genres, ranging from jazz to joget (a popular Malay folk dance). The last song he composed and sang was Ayer Mata Di Kuala Lumpur in 1973.

Ramlee also acted in two television series, Intan (1971) and Rantau Selamat (1972), which were written by Abdullah Hussain. In addition, he directed four stageplays, namely Jiwa Putera Melayu (1956), Sultan Mahmood Mangkat Di Julang (1959), Damaz (1962) and Sam Pek Ang Tai (1972). Ramlee also produced, directed and wrote two radio dramas, Jiwa Putera Melayu (1955) and Rantau Selamat (1972).

Living Legacy
Ramlee died of a heart attack on 29 May 1973 at the age of 44 years. He was buried at the Muslim cemetery of Jalan Ampang in Kuala Lumpur. Ramlee's influence on Malay popular culture is undeniable. His films continue to be enjoyed on television, and his films and music have been adopted by succeeding generations. Many expressions in popular Malay culture either originate or were popularised by Ramlee, with lines from his films still being quoted today.

Ramlee is well honoured for his contributions to the Malaysian entertainment industry. In Kuala Limpur, Jalan Parry was renamed Jalan P. Ramlee in 1982 and the P. Ramlee Memorial was set up in Setapak in 1986. In the early 1990s, Ramlee was awarded with the honorific title of Tan Sri posthumously.

Today, fans continue to flock to Ramlee's birthplace, known as P. Ramlee House, where his memorabilia are on display. Once known as Taman Furlong, the residential area has been renamed Taman P. Ramlee.


Ramlee married three times. His first wife was Junaidah Daeng Harris, whom he wed in 1950. The couple had two children before they divorced in 1954. He then married Noorizan Mohd Noor in 1955 and they were divorced in 1961. That year, Ramlee married singer Salmah Ismail, more popularly known as Saloma. He had seven children in total- three of whom were adopted and one a stepson borne of Saloma.

Ramlee's son, Nasir P. Ramlee has also re-recorded new renditions of his father's songs, and has starred and directed sequels to his father's films.

1956: Best Musical Score for Hang Tuah (Legend of Hang Tuah)- Third Asian Film Festival, Hong Kong.
1957: Best Male Actor for Anak-ku Sazali (My son, Sazali)- Fourth Asian Film Festival, Tokyo.
1960: Best Comedy Film for Nujum Pak Belalang (Fortune Teller) -Seventh Asian Film Festival, Tokyo.
1963: Most Versatile Talent for Ibu Mertua Ku (My Mother In-law)- Tenth Asian Film Festival, Tokyo.
1964: Best Comedy Film for Madu Tiga (Three Rivals)- Eleventh Asian Film Festival, Taipei.
P Ramlee: A tragedy that no Talent Corp could have saved

And the heart wrenching article by The Ampas Man

By The Ampas Man

Question: Di Mana Kan Ku Cari Ganti?
Answer: Not in Malaysia

Those who watched the heart wrenching P Ramlee documentary on the History Channel on Oct 31, 2010 must have gone to bed with a heavy heart.

It transpired that Malaysia's one and only film icon had died penniless and shunned by the public, including his own colleagues.

And the way it was done appears to have uncanny resemblances to what's happening today in Malaysia, almost 45 years after Ramlee returned to Malaysia.

The documentary, narrated by British actor, Timothy Watson and was 12 years in the making included precious interviews by some of his friends, actors and actresses who had passed on. The underlying tone was one of profound melancholy.

Ramlee, borne out of poverty along Caunter Hall Road at an Achenese community in Penang , had to endure the brutal Japanese occupation whose schools incidentally inculcated a certain discipline in him.

In his formative years then, this discipline proved crucial as a founding platform for his eventual brilliance, creativity and innovation in film and music.

He subsequently gained phenomenal success at Shaw brother's Jalan Ampas studios in Singapore. His success at Jalan Ampas was the apparent result of the studio's incredible milieu of experienced film crew, choreographers and directors which the Shaw brothers had assembled from India, Hong Kong and Indonesia.

With the load of management and finance off his shoulders, Ramlee was able to thrive and focus on his talent of creating music, acting and eventually direction, screenplay and editing.

The Shaw brothers invested and created such a conducive environment at Ampas that Singapore became the Mecca for the Malay film industry for an entire genre of actors and actresses from the whole of the Malay Archipelago from Pontianak to Penang to Medan.

Apart from Ramlee, Ampas provided careers for other actors and actresses like Nordin Ahmad, S Kadarisman, Ahmad Daud, Normadiah, Saloma and Saadiah.

But this talent could not have been developed without the expertise of directors such as BS Rajan, L Krishnan and Phani Majumdar. Directors such as Majumdar already had something like 15 years experience in directing films in various languages in Calcutta and Bombay before they came to Singapore.

It was on this wealth of experience that the Malay film industry flourished.

Majumdar directed Ramlee in ‘Anakku Sazali' which won Ramlee Best Actor in 1956. And when Majumdar returned to India, he discovered another great Indian actor, Feroz Khan and directed Khan in his first big hit ‘Oonche Log' in 1965. Yes, it was happy times then at No 8 Jalan Ampas and Boon Kheng Road. But it had to end. Or so it seems.

Things appear to have taken a turn for the worse during the confusion of the Malaysia-Singapore separation of 1963 when Lee Kuan Yew had trouble reigning a tight leash on trade unions involving Lim Chin Siong, and his own PAP leaders led by Che' Awang and Devan Nair.

Ramlee appears to have been an inadvertent victim of the unions' unreasonable demands leading Shaw brothers to call it a day at Jalan Ampas when they couldn't keep up with unions' demands for higher pay.

Other views suggest that Ramlee was poached and enticed to return to Malaysia which he did in 1964. Wrong step it seems. All promises in Malaysia were not kept by his new masters. Sounds very, very familiar here.

Merdeka studios was poorly equipped and its rookie staffing meant the legend had to multitask which ended up eventually in him churning out shoddy movies. All 18 movies he directed in Malaysia flopped. Sounds like the same stories we hear from some of our Malaysians "trying" to return home from overseas.

Ramlee lost his glitter, his money and his fame. His partner and colleague, HM Shah, tried to form a company called Perfima to enable Ramlee to relaunch his career and produce his dream of colour films.

But Perfima apparently ended up in the hands of inexperienced and connected cronies leaving the talented Ramlee then, as in now, even as a Malay, blatantly unrecognised, ignored and out in the cold.

The documentary brutally exposes how Ramlee tried in vain to set up P Ramlee productions, but was again shut out by this country's media and entertainment industry including RTM.

He had to sit in the canteen at Ankasapuri while Saloma had her own show in RTM! He could not secure any government aid, grants or ‘Private Financial Initiatives' despite his passion for Malay music and culture.

He tried to reinvent himself and sought a bank loan - but was rejected! With his wealth of experience and in his early 40s then, he should have easily qualified.

Poor Ramlee didn't know that in Malaysia it is the "know who" that counts than the "know how". If he had known George Tan from the Carrian Group then, Ramlee may have received a few million from BMF without even having to pay back. Or he should have "nurtured" some connections like how some luminaries have.

Ramlee by now, tragically stressed out, overweight, disheveled, completely down and out with passion and spirit broken, had to now do almost any job he could including running mahjong tables and singing at weddings and other functions to put food on the table for his family. He had to live on rice and eggs.

It was truly ‘Air Mata di Kuala Lumpur' for Ramlee. A court summons a day prior to his death for being a guarantor finally tipped the balance and did him in when he suffered a massive heart attack and he died on May 29, 1973 at the age of 44.

On the day he died, there was no rice in his house. And Saloma had no money for his funeral. The man and legend, P Ramlee paid a very heavy price for returning to Malaysia. The country just did not have the infrastructure, manpower and expertise to accommodate his enormous talent.

He would have been better off in Singapore even with the unions there. He would not have gone broke in the club and wedding scene there and perhaps Singapore TV could have given him a break as compared to our own RTM.

All the belated accolades and titles were meaningless as far as the man himself was concerned. He died hopelessly broke and broken.

The documentary is not only an eye opener but a very good case study for anyone contemplating returning home to Malaysia.

Whether you are a scientist, engineer, accountant, doctor, etc, beware of the conditions enticing you to return.

If your kid is an aerospace engineer, a naval architect or a transplant surgeon, it's a no brainer that he/she should not return at all unless you are absolutely sure the country has the infrastructure and skilled manpower to support these fields.

Don't believe in these stories that you should come home to "help" and "develop" your areas of expertise. That's not going to happen. That sort of thing will only go to the chaps who have the connections.

Assess any offer carefully and do not trust anyone including this government. Make certain all agreements are enforceable in Singapore and the UK.

In retrospect P Ramlee, with no formal education but was able to compose more than 360 songs and 66 movies, probably returned to a society that was not developed nor had the brainpower and skills to match up to his vision.

In short he was just surrounded with a whole lot of officials and journalists with serious hangups who were not interested in the industry itself. There was no driving force like the Shaw brothers.

And the prevailing attitude at that time and probably even now was and still is a third class mentality. In an environment such as this, no one with creativity, innovation, skills and brains can ever hope to survive let alone thrive.

It's better they stay back where they can develop and nurture their talent. If a star as bright as Ramlee could be extinguished with such impunity, the rest are nothing.

Ramlee and his entire family were wiped out financially despite his immense talent. But he remains still till this day, the Malay Archipelago's cinematic legend. With apologies...

Hancur badan dikandung tanah
Budi baik dikenang juga
Biar alam hancur dan musnah
Jasa mu tetap dikenang juga

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

2.3 juta ringgit dibelanjakan perbaiki rumah panjang di Pensiangan

Antara rumah panjang di Pensiangan yang diperbaiki kerajaan Persekutuan.

Kurup disambut penduduk Kg.Solog, Nabawan, Pensiangan, Sabah sempena perasmian pembaikan rumah panjang, 23 November 2010.

Gambar : Rozie Jumat - Pegawai Media kepada YB Timbalan Menteri Sumber Asli dan Alam Sekitar, Tan Sri Joseph Kurup.

Pensiangan adalah antara kawasan paling terpencil di Sabah dan juga antara yang termundur di negeri itu. Sebahagian kawasan di Pensiangan hanya boleh dilalui menggunakan bot merentasi sungai, sepertimana boleh dilihat dalam video di atas.

Namun kerajaan negeri dan pusat sentiasa memberikan perhatian untuk membawa kesejahteraan kepada penduduk Pensiangan agar mereka juga menikmati kemakmuran negara.

Ini dilakukan menerusi pelbagai projek bertujuan mewujudkan kemudahan prasarana asas termasuk rumah, jalanraya, bekalan air dan elektrik, serta mewujudkan peluang pekerjaan, aktiviti ekonomi dan niaga serta pemasaran hasil pertanian.

Semua itu dengan tujuan meningkatkan taraf ekonomi rakyat dan merapatkan jurang antara penduduk bandar dan luar bandar di Sabah.

Projek dan peruntukan disalurkan menerusi pelbagai program termasuklah Belanjawan negeri dan negara setiap tahun, Rancangan Malaysia setiap 5 tahun, pakej rangsangan ekonomi, Bidang Keberhasilan Utama Nasional atau NKRA serta peruntukan khas yang diumumkan dari masa ke semasa.

Terbaru, RM2.3 juta telah dibelanjakan untuk memperbaiki rumah-rumah panjang di Parlimen Pensiangan sejak tahun 2009 dan 2010.

Pada masa sama, usaha untuk memperbaiki rumah-rumah panjang masih diteruskan secara berperingkat untuk keperluan penghuni rumah panjang yang terdiri daripada masyarakat Murut.

Ahli Parlimen Pensiangan yang juga Presiden Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah, PBRS, Tan Sri Joseph Kurup dalam satu kenyataan media bertarikh 23 November 2010, berkata perancangan pembaikan rumah-rumah panjang di kawasan itu khususnya di pedalaman Pensiangan telah dimulakan ketika beliau menjawat Timbalan Menteri Kemajuan Luar Bandar dan Wilayah.

“Saya telah melihat dengan sendiri keadaan rumah-rumah panjang di kawasan ini, dan juga tidur di rumah-rumah panjang ini. Kita prihatin dengan keperluan rakyat dan melakukan sesuatu demi melihat perubahan kepada tempat tinggal mereka yang daif dan kurang selesa,” kata Kurup yang juga Timbalan Menteri Sumber Asli dan Alam Sekitar.

Beliau berkata demikian ketika berucap di Majlis Pemimpin Bersama Rakyat Sempena perasmian pembaikan rumah panjang di Kg.Solog, Nabawan, Pensiangan pada 23 November 2010.

Malahan kata Kurup, beliau sendiri turut membuat lawatan ke Kapit, Sarawak untuk melihat rumah-rumah panjang disana yang turut dibantu oleh kerajaan.

“Rumah panjang disana lebih baik dan moden dibandingkan dengan rumah rumah panjang di kawasan Pensiangan yang dihuni oleh suku kaum Murut. Rumah panjang kita tidak berapa baik,” kata Kurup.

Oleh itu kata Kurup beliau telah membawa masalah itu kepada Kerajaan Persekutuan untuk mendapatkan peruntukan dan meminta kakitangan dari Kementerian Kemajuan Luar Bandar (KKLW) turun padang ke Pensiangan untuk melihat sendiri keperluan tersebut.

“Saya sangat gembira dan mahu berkongsi kegembiraan ini bersama rakyat bahawa kerajaan sehingga kini telah membelanjakan RM2.3 juta untuk memperbaiki rumah rumah panjang di kawasan ini, rumah mereka kini selesa dan cantik-cantik belaka,” kata Kurup.

Kata Kurup, usaha beliau adalah berterusan untuk melihat kesejahteraan rakyat dan tumpuan pembangunan beliau terdapat dalam Rancangan Lima Tahun Pembangunan (Blueprint).

“Rancangan pembangunan dari pihak saya banyak lagi untuk membantu penduduk di kawasan ini, kita mahu basmi kemiskinan habis-habisan,bukan semata-mata memperbaiki atau membina rumah panjang” kata Kurup.

Turut sama dalam majlis itu ialah Naib Presiden Parti Berstau Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) Datuk Kadoh Agundong.

Sempena majlis itu Kurup menerima 200 keahlian baru yang menyertai Barisan Nasional (BN) melalui PBRS.

Dari jumlah itu seramai 28 orang adalah dari ahli parti pembangkang yang mengambil keputusan untuk menyokong kerajaan setelah melihat pembangunan yang dibawakan oleh kerajaan di kawasan tersebut.

Sebelum mengakhiri posting Pensiangan di blog ini, berikut di bawah ini adalah lagu dalam bahasa Murut yang amat popular di kalangan masyarakat Pensiangan, termasuklah ketika sesi keramaian atau "Aramaitiee". Terima kasih kerana membaca.. Byeeee

North Korea shells South Korea in fiercest attack in decades

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak (L) listens to Defence Minister Kim Tae-young (2nd R) during the urgent security conference at the presidential Blue House in Seoul November 23, 2010.

Smoke rises from South Korea's Yeonpyeong island near the border against North Korea.

The surprise attack occured at a time when South Korean and North Korean athletes are competing for honour, in full sportmanships valour as a symbol of peace, at the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou, China

After the Korean War ended in 1953, the South and North Korea are still technically at war. Naval clashes at disputed maritime borders were reported in the past, as shown in this news item reported by the world media on March 2010. (video above)

Reuters reported today on Tuesday, 23rd November 2010 that North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells at a South Korean island, killing two soldiers and setting dozens of houses ablaze.

It is one of the heaviest attacks on its neighbour since the Korean War ended in 1953.

The attack was condemned by the world including the US and the UK.

South Koreans watch the news on television showing smoke rising from Yeonpyeong Island after it was hit by dozens of artillery shells fired by North Korea, at Seoul railway station November 23, 2010.


YTN news agency said at least 200 North Korean shells hit Yeonpyeong, which lies off the west coast of the divided peninsula near a disputed maritime border. Most landed on a military base there.

South Korea's military said two soldiers were killed in the attack, 17 were wounded and three civilians were also hurt. South Korean military returned the fire and sent a jet fighter to the area.

YTN showed pictures of plumes of smoke pouring from the island and quoted a witness as saying fires were burning out of control.

The attack comes as the reclusive state has been pressing regional powers to return to negotiations about its nuclear weapons programme and follows revelations at the weekend it is fast developing another source of material to make atomic bombs.

It also follows moves by iron leader Kim Jong-il to make his youngest son heir apparent to the family dynasty.

For decades, the Korean leadership has played a carefully calibrated game of provocations to win concessions from the international community and impress his own military. The risk is that the leadership transition has upset this balance and that events spin out of control.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, who has pursued a hard line with the reclusive North since taking office nearly three years ago, said a response had to be firm following the attack on Yeonpyeong island, just 120 km (75 miles) west of Seoul.

The two Koreas are still technically at war -- the Korean War ended only with a truce -- and tension rose sharply early this year after Seoul accused the North of torpedoing one of its navy vessels, killing 46 sailors.

"Houses and mountains are on fire and people are evacuating. You can't see very well because of plumes of smoke," a witness on the island told YTN Television before the shelling ended after about an hour.

China, the impoverished North's only powerful ally, was careful to avoid taking sides, calling on both Koreas to "do more to contribute to peace".

"China hopes that the relevant parties will do more to contribute to peace and stability in the region ... it is imperative now to resume the six-party talks," a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Hong Lei, told reporters.

Those talks on North Korea's nuclear weapons programme -- involving the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States -- have long been on ice.

However, the reclusive North has more recently been pushing to resume the talks, which previously it has used to win massive aid in return for promises to end its weapons programme.


News of the exchange of fire sent the won tumbling in offshore markets with the 1-month won down about four percent in NDF trading. U.S. 10-year Treasury futures rose and the Japanese yen fell.

It also rattled global markets, already unsettled by Ireland's debt problems and worries about riskier markets.

The South Korean central bank is holding an emergency meeting to assess the possible market impact of the shelling.

The attack comes just as a U.S. envoy is in Beijing on a tour of the region and is expected to ask China to use its influence to help tame North Korea.

Washington has branded the North a danger to the region and expressed concern Pyongyang would sell nuclear weapons technology to other states.

It has said it was ready to return to talks but wants to see more commitment to denuclearisation by the North beforehand.

The White House condemned the attack, telling the North to halt its "belligerent action" and saying it was committed to defend the South.

It has about 28,000 troops in South Korea, their combined forces facing an estimated one million North Korean soldiers who make up one of the world's biggest standing armies.


BRITAIN strongly condemned North Korea's attack on an island in South Korea today, 23rd November 2010.

Foreign Secretary William Hague urged Pyongyang to refrain from further attacks, which he described as “unprovoked”.

In a statement issued by the Foreign Office in London, Mr Hague said: “The UK strongly condemns North Korea’s unprovoked attack on the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong Island.

“Such unprovoked attacks will only lead to further tensions on the Korean Peninsula. We strongly urge North Korea to refrain from such attacks and adhere to the Korean Armistice agreement.

“I welcome South Korean president Lee Myung-bak’s call for restraint.”

The annoucnment came minutes after North Korea threatened to continue to launch strikes against South Korea if the country violates their disputed sea border ´even 0.001 millimeter.

North Korea’s supreme military command said that it would "launch merciless military retaliatory strikes."

The warning was carried by North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency.

Military Strength of North Korea

According to Global Fire Power, North Korea as at 2008, has 1.17 million active military personells, 4.7 million active military reserves and 189,000 paramilitary units.

North Korean ARMY

Total Land-Based Weapons: 16,400
Tanks: 3,500 [2006]
Armored Personnel Carriers: 2,500 [2006]
Towed Artillery: 3,500 [2006]
Self-Propelled Guns: 4,400 [2006]
Multiple Rocket Launch Systems: 2,500 [2006]
Mortars: 7,500 [2006]
Anti-Aircraft Weapons: 11,000 [2006]

North Korean AIR FORCE

Total Aircraft: 1,778 [2006]
Helicopters: 612 [2006]
Serviceable Airports: 77 [2007]

North Korean NAVY

Total Navy Ships: 708
Merchant Marine Strength: 167 [2008]
Major Ports and Harbors: 12
Aircraft Carriers: 0 [2008]
Destroyers: 0 [2008]
Submarines: 97 [2008]
Frigates: 3 [2006]
Patrol & Coastal Craft: 492 [2006]
Mine Warfare Craft: 23 [2006]
Amphibious Craft: 140 [2006]

And as for South Korea, Global Power reports that it has 687,000 active military personells and 4.5 million active military reserve.

South Korean ARMY

Total Land-Based Weapons: 8,325
Tanks: 1,060 [2004]
Armored Personnel Carriers: 2,480 [2004]
Towed Artillery: 4,000 [2004]
Self-Propelled Guns: 500 [2004]
Multiple Rocket Launch Systems: 185 [2004]
Mortars: 6,000 [2004]
Anti-Tank Guided Weapons: 58 [2004]
Anti-Aircraft Weapons: 1,692 [2004]

South Korean AIR FORCE

Total Aircraft: 538 [2004]
Helicopters: 502 [2004]
Serviceable Airports: 150 [2007]

South Korean NAVY

Total Navy Ships: 85
Merchant Marine Strength: 812 [2008]
Major Ports and Harbors: 4
Aircraft Carriers: 0 [2008]
Destroyers: 6 [2004]
Submarines: 20 [2004]
Frigates: 9 [2004]
Patrol & Coastal Craft: 75 [2004]
Mine Warfare Craft: 15 [2004]
Amphibious Craft: 28 [2004]

Malaysian federal ministers cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday 24th November 2010??

On Monday 22nd November 2010, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak said reports of a cabinet reshuffle and snap polls, are only rumours.

The Premier dismissed reports of a Cabinet reshuffle in anticipation of snap polls early next year.

"Reports are reports. Rumours are rumours. Cabinet changes are rumours. Elections are also rumours. They are just rumours," he said after opening the a forum on global leaders in Kuala Lumpur.

It was reported that a Cabinet reshuffle was likely as Najib sets his sights on a general election next year.

The reports said the reshuffle, expected by next month, would enable Najib to form a strong team to help him implement the economic and transformation policies he has put in place and carry the Government into the 13th general election.

Rumours are circulating that the cabinet reshuffle will be announced by the Prime Minister on Wednesday, 24th November 2010.

The recent mini cabinet reshuffle was announced by Najib on 1st June 2010.

At that time, Datuk Ong Tee Keat was dropped as Transport Minister and replaced by Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha. Deputy Minister, Wee Jack Seng was also dropped.

On April 9th, 2009, 6 days after being sworn in as Malaysia's 6th Prime Minister on 3rd April 2009, Datuk Seri Najib announced a 28-member Cabinet with 25 ministries that saw eight ministers dropped and seven new faces appointed.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who won the Umno deputy presidency in the party elections on March 2009, was appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister.

Najib, also retained the finance portfolio which he has held since Sept 19 2008, following the portfolio swap between him and former premier Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at that time.

Najib’s Cabinet was slightly smaller than his predecessor’s 32 ministers and 27 ministries.

Najib said that the new members of the administration were highly spirited and ready to serve.

“This is our lineup and our team which reflects Malaysia’s plural society,“ he said when announcing the list at the Prime Minister’s Department, carried live on national television.

The new Cabinet also a reflection of the slogan “One Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” adopted by Najib’s administration.

The eight dropped are Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar (Home), Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said (Tourism), Senator Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib (Rural and Regional Development), Senator Datuk Amirsham A. Aziz (Prime Minister’s Department), Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan (Housing and Local Government), Datuk Mohd Zin Mohamed (Works), Datuk Seri Zulhasnan Rafique (Federal Territories) and Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad (Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs) who had resigned.

The new faces includes Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon who is appointed Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Unity and Performance Management.

The functions of the Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development will be absorbed by other ministries -- for example, small and medium enterprise development will come under International Trade and Industry, while Mara and Tekun will be overseen by Rural and Regional Development.

However there was a mini cabinet reshuffle, announced by Najib on 1st June 2010, following the MCA elections which saw incumbent President Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, lost the MCA Presidency to Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek.

The mini cabinet reshuffle among others saw Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha appointed Transport Minister replacing Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat and Datuk Chor Chee Heung appointed Housing and Local Government Minister. The post was previously held by Kong.

Malaysian Federal Cabinet Ministers line-up announced by Datuk Seri Najib on April 9th, 2009 :

Prime Minister and Finance Minister 1: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak

Deputy PM and Education Minister: Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin

Ministers in Prime Minister’s Department

Unity and Performance Management: Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon
Law and Parliament: Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz
Religious Affairs: Brig. Gen. (Rtd) Datuk Jamil Khir Baharum
Economic Planning Unit: Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop

Deputies: Datuk Liew Vui Keong, Senator Datuk Dr Mashitah Ibrahim, Datuk SK Devamany, Ahmad Maslan, Senator T. Murugiah

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak
Finance Minister II: Datuk Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah
Deputies: Datuk Chor Chee Heung (replaced by Datuk Donald Lim effective 4th June 2010), Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussein

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin
Deputies: Datuk Wee Ka Siong, Datuk Puad Zarkashi

Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat (replaced by Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha effective 4th June 2010)

Deputies: Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri, Datuk Robert Lau (died April 9th, 2010 of liver cancer) Jelaing anak Mersat appointed Deputy Transport Minister (effective 4th June 2010)

Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein
Deputies: Datuk Wira Abu Seman Yusop, Jelaing Mersat (replaced by Datuk Lee Chee Leong effective 4th June 2010)

Information, Communications, Arts and Culture
Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim
Deputies: Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum, Senator Heng Seai Kie (replaced by Senator Datuk Maglin Dennis D'Cruz, effective 4th June 2010)

Energy, Green Technology & Water
Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui
Deputy: Noriah Kasnon

Plantation Industries and Commodities
Tan Sri Bernard Dompok
Deputy: Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin and Datuk G. Palanivel (appointed 4th June 2010)

Rural and Regional Development
Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal
Deputies: Datuk Hassan Malek, Datuk Joseph Entulu

Higher Education
Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin
Deputies: Dr Hou Kok Chung, Saifuddin Abdullah

International Trade and Industry
Datuk Mustapa Mohamed
Deputies: Datuk Muhkriz Mahathir, Datuk Jacob Dungau

Science, Technology and Innovation
Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili
Deputy: Fadillah Yusof

Natural Resources and Environment
Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas
Deputy: Tan Sri Joseph Kurup

Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen
Deputy: Datuk Seri Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Abdul Taib

Agriculture and Agro-based Industries
Datuk Noh Omar
Deputies: Johari Baharum, Rohani Abdul Karim (replaced by YB Chua Tee Yong on 4th June 2010)

Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
Deputy: Datuk Dr Abdul Latif

Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor
Deputy: Datuk Yong Khoon Seng

Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai
Deputy: Datuk Rosnah Rashid Shilin

Youth and Sports
Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek
Deputies: Datuk Razali Ibrahim, Wee Jeck Seng (replaced by Senator Gan Ping Sieu effective 4th June 2010)

Human Resources
Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam
Deputy: Datuk Maznah Mazlan

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs
Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri
Deputy: Datuk Tan Lian Hoe

Housing and Local Government
Datuk Kong Cho Ha (replaced by Datuk Chor Chee Heung effective 4th June 2010)
Deputy: Datuk Seri Panglima Lajim Ukin

Women, Family and Community Development
Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil
Deputy: Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun (replaced by Senator Heng Seai Kie effective 4th June 2010)

Foreign Affairs
Datuk Anifah Aman
Deputies: Datuk Lee Chee Leong (replaced by YB Richard Riot, effective 4th June 2010), Senator A. Kohilan Pillai

Federal Territories
Datuk Raja Nong Chik Zainal Abidin
Deputy: Datuk M. Saravanan

So.... who among them will be dropped in the new cabinet reshuffle??? And who will be appointed or promoted??? Only Najib knows...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Malaysian housewife conned of RM245,000!!!

Cheating cases like these are rampant in Malaysia. Numerous cases of so called talismen or religious men, claimed to have super-powers in prediciting the correct number of the winning lottery numbers, cheating unsuspecting vistims, had been reported many many times. And yet, gullible people especially housewives continue to be the victim of this smooth talking conmen!!

So ladies and gentlemen out there - BEWARE...

The latest case where a housewife from Kuala Lumpur was cheated of RM 245,000 was reported on 23 November 2010 by The Star, Malaysia's number 1 newspaper.

The full report here :

A housewife’s greed caused her to lose RM244,708 of her savings to a “sifu” who promised her at least RM1 million in prize-winning four-digit numbers.

MCA Public Services and Complaints Bureau chief Datuk Michael Chong said the woman, who only wanted to be known as Yeoh, 57, had received a brochure offering to change her luck.

“The brochure had a name and the telephone number of a feng shui ‘sifu’ as well as the testimonies of those who had apparently benefited from his predictions.

“The sifu promised to give four-digit numbers that would change her luck and make her reap five times the sum of money she invested,” he told reporters here yesterday.

He said Yeoh then contacted the “sifu”, who requested her to bank in RM244,708 into five bank accounts to buy religious items for prayers.

Chong said Yeoh banked in all her savings on Oct 20 and had even intended to borrow more money from her daughter.

He said the daughter, however, realised that her mother had been cheated and lodged a police report on Oct 27.

He added that according to statistics, 19 people, mostly housewives and businessmen, had been victims of similar fraud involving about RM930,000 since 2007.

“I urge the public who come across suspicious individuals to quickly lodge a police report,” Chong said.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Shamrin - vokalis kumpulan Fotograf dalam kenangan

Peminat rock tanah air pada 1990an pasti pernah mendengar lagu ini - Di Alam Fana Cintamu, persembahan kumpulan Fotograf.

Lagu ini pernah muncul juara kategori Rock pada Juara Lagu 1992 siaran TV3.

Vokalisnya - Shamrin.

Namun Shamrin telah meninggalkan kita pada petang 11 November 2010, bersamaan hari Khamis.

Berikut petikan laporan Berita Harian bertarikh 11 November 2010.

Penyanyi utama kumpulan Fotograf meninggal dunia

KUALA LUMPUR: Penyanyi utama kumpulan Fotograf, Shamrin Abdul Samad, 43, meninggal dunia selepas rebah ketika bermain bola sepak dalam satu perlawanan persahabatan di padang Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL), kira-kira jam 6.30 petang semalam.

Menurut rakan baiknya yang juga penyanyi kumpulan Bumiputera Rockers, Johari Mat Rozekhi atau Joey, Shamrin sempat memaklumkan badannya kejang ketika kejadian itu berlaku.

“Kami terus mengangkatnya ke dalam kereta untuk dibawa ke hospital, tetapi pada masa itu, wajahnya sudah kebiruan," kata Joey yang turut menyertai perlawanan antara artis Malaysia dengan pasukan MAA Insurance itu.
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