Sunday, May 25, 2003

A speaker at the second International Muslim Leaders' Consultation on HIV/AIDS caused an uproar when she claimed that "Islam teachings worsen spread of AIDS".

Further reads:
1. The Advocate
2. The Independet Online, South Africa
3. The Daily News, South Africa
4. Marina offered to resign after incident, The Star
5. The New Straits Times

Does anyone know what Dr Amina actually said in her speech?

6. An interview with Dr Amina Wadud

Does anyone get this?

The Indians think that our Convergence initiative, putting broadcasting, communications and information technology (IT) under a single regulator, is heading towards disaster.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Lim Liong Sik and Lim Ah Lek have resigned from the no. 1 and no. 2 posts of the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) respectively.

UMNO is also undergoing a transition period at the top level. We will know more for certain in October.

But in the Malaysian Indian Congress, Samy Vellu has returned unoppposed for the ninth consecutive term on May 10th.

With the two main parties in the coalition government having a change in leadership surely the Indian community will benefit in a change as well?

Note: MIC does not have an online presence other than the Kluang and Cheras divisions.

I have recently found out that Record Labels are humans.

Much have been said about Vivendi, Sony, BMG etc., and how anal they are at protecting their "copyrights".

Record labels are very much resposible for (sometimes) publishing, promoting and marketting and as well distributing works by the artistes globally. And problems with piracy makes them very sticky of any "exploitation" of their artistes' works. Hence their, Singaporean style of doing away with the music "bad-guys" such as Napster and more unsuccesfully with Kazaa and Gnutella, and implementing law-infringing controls on their products.

What was surprising to me is that most artistes are paid less than what I would think they were in the first place, sometimes earning single digit percentages of revenue sales.

Much to the artistes chagrin of course. And worse still contracts are laid out so that all intellectual property is owned by the record labels, turning them into libel zealots over copyright infrigements and the artistes', well, not as rich as they can be, but more importantly they have less or no control over their own creations.

The new media i.e. internet is opening up various opportunities to budding artistes. Proper exposure on the internet can generate some kind of revenue and you will have to play the marketting game to compete with the bigger boys and girls. There is no one on the internet that has been succesful (at least enough to be printed in conventional media) using this model.

While the likes of Gnutella and Kazaa continue to find loopholes within the copyright laws and piracy prevailing, artistes can look at the net for better profit margins; although the truth remains that this would be most succesful if the likes of Madonna was to sell all her music on, but also to threaten record labels; pay more or I'll go solo, if they dare.

Music buyers are to blame too, for not buying of course, but the paradox here is that while music lovers continue to share and download music through peer-to-peer networks, they are to a certain effect helping the artistes to a better deal with record labels.

But Record Labels being humans will want to protect their profit margins, as I would as a business owner, will continue to fight to keep their piece of the cake fiercely.

Other reads/watch:
1. Vendors deride copyright controls
2. Why Grokster and Morpheus Won, Why Napster Lost, and What the Future of Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Looks Like Now
3. The Future of Intellectual Property in the Information Age (Real Video Feeds)

Monday, May 19, 2003

From, how close are we from having flying cars as in the Jetson's or The 5th Element?

Actually quite recently. But we can't fly them just yet. Oh bummer.

Someone was angry with me for wanting to watch sports on TV. I would not have mind being told about it and would have definitely obliged not watching too!

1. Ferrari might still have pipped McLaren but Kimi is still top!
2. Arsenal wins something - finally! (phew...)

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Recently Azalina Othman and Puteri UMNO wanted to push for an increase in the wing's age limit to 40. Some say it is so because Azalina wishes to remain Chief of the Wing but she needs to remain elligible (yes she is forty!).

Apparently, Mahathir has spoken and Puteri has a change of heart.

Other links:
The Straits Times

Farish A Noor is sulking because of this letter to Malaysiakini.

But he did receive plenty of support from a Brenda S and a certain Ruth Matthews.

He should not stop writing in malaysiakini just because of some "below the belt" criticisms. But he attempts to address his critics in his last article. This is what someone had to say about it.

Other Links:The Other Malaysia by Farish A Noor

Malaysia is to host the World Conference of Islamic Scholars in Putrajaya from July 10-12.

Other links:
1. Borneo Bulletin
2. Right and Wrongs in Turkey and Malaysia

According to the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Switzerland, Malaysia is the 4th most competetive country in the world behind the US, Australia and Canada.

This is relation to their release of the World Competitiveness Yearbook. You can download the parts of the report and also look at the criteria on how they come up with the "scorecard". The main four competiveness factors are Economic Performance, Government Efficiency, Business Efficiency and Infrastructure.

I must say that I am impressed.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

13th May Revisited. Last night was the first time Najah and I ate at Picollo Mondo. Let's just say it was a post-birthday trea and pre-birthday treat for me. Confused yet? So am I.

I was born on May 13th five minutes before midnight but because the date has a dark history in Malaysia, the doctor sympathised with my mom and he agreed to change it to five past midnight and hence my official birthday in on May 14th. With two birthdays, how lucky can a guy get?

Readings on 13 May 1969. (ed. I can't find much articles on it on the net, you are free to contribute links)
1. The Real Story of May 13 by Raja Petra Kamarudin (Part One)
2. The Real Story of May 13 by Raja Petra Kamarudin (Part Two)
3. The Real Story of May 13 by Raja Petra Kamarudin (Part Three)
4. The Real Story of May 13 by Raja Petra Kamarudin (Part Four)
5. The same from harakah.

Monday, May 12, 2003

Did anyone notice during last night's UMNO's live annversary celebbration the big poster behind the stage had a colourful montage of past leaders and Mahathir himself.

There was also a watermark of another supposedly up-and-coming successor right next to Mahathir's picture and everytime the camera focussed on Mahathir's picture you could see the watermark. Guess who? Dato' Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Sunday, May 11, 2003

Hahaha. Will the Real Saddam Please Stand Up?

Saturday, May 10, 2003

An SMS conversation started with my brother (whois studying overseas), after I found out that he left comments on Najah's website but not on mine. Being the naturally jealous husband/brother I smsed him:

Me: Dont you visit my blog?
Shahril: Yeah, Course i do. But sometimes u dont write for a while
Me: Oh. What are you doing up so early? (ed. it was 0700hrs in Ireland)
Shahril: U woke me up. Besides got to study. Just finished opthalmo xam (ed. What the f**k?) on thurs.
Me: Oh really. How was it?
Shahril: Was ok. Get the results next thurs. Wut u guys up to for the weekend?
Me: Najah buying tickets for X2 tonight.
Shahril: Its good shit man. But dreamcatcher and phonebooth is also good.
Me: Phone booth?
Me (2 hrs later): Whats phone booth?
Shahril: Movie with colin ferrel. The guy from the recruit.

Hmm that is another movie I need to watch, but isn't technolgy great?

The phone-in tickets for X2 are out and the queue at GSC is too long for Najah. Don't want to impose on her, she is just too cute today!

Of traffic and hormones. I was caught in traffic last night on the way to picking up Najah from work. Let's see we had torrential rain, uprooted tree (near Gombak- sorry pic not too clear - I was driving), a burning building. Sigh.

If you don't how I feel about traffic you can read my ramble.

I was supposed to reach home by 6pm as I promised my aunt that I would let her in at that time for her to take some 'daun pandan' from the back of our house for my mum (by the way my parents are overseas).

By 7pm I was still stuck at Jln Mahameru and I was at least another 1.5 hours in traffic away from my house and aunt was very agitated when she called having to wait for so long. I explained to her, although quite rudely (wouldn't you be after 1 hour plus in traffic?), that I am still far away. Heated arguments passed and she hung up.

I am sorry aunty...

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

My comments via is down. Arghhh!

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

The sidemenu for Malaysians Politicians is up. If you find anymore links please let me know!

If you want to share this blogroll list, you are welcome too! Just add the following javascript to where you want to place the list.

Let's put them all on the net! But I would advise against putting up any party websites as they do not not reflect the personal views on the politicians. If you do, I'll remove them! You have been warned!

Najah suggested that our politicians should start blogging. I agree and I think some of them have started. Although they are really online diaries, but this activity is still very much am activity not taken up by the more popular politicians.

I they they should.

Here is list of some not so popular ones:
1. Dato Shahrir A Samad - UMNO Supreme Counci Member; not updated
2. Lim Kit Siang - DAP Chairman; only up-to-date press releases

I will be putting up a blogrolling list for those who are interested and we will see how many more I can find!

Monday, May 05, 2003

Today I came across this blog.

It comes to mind that our newspapers do not really cover the issue of the Iban Bible in depth. I cannot recall why the Interior Ministry banned the Bible but Bin Gregory did go here and found out why.

Although I do agree with the lifting of the ban, but I have reservations on the usage of Allah Taala as the reference to God in the Bible (In Iban this Bible is called Bup Kudus).

I recall being confused in my early teens watching a TV sermon in Indonesia one day where Jesus the God and Allah the God was used in one sentence.

I did suggest that at least the circulation to be controlled in Bin Gregory's website , but now I think we need to better our education of our kids with a comparative study in religion.

Rain. It seems to summarise my day today.

1. I am trying to wash away bad habits. i.e. change, Among others; to lose 20kg in the next couple of months (really).
2. Arsenal's hopes of the double being washed away by their defeat to Leeds at home. Hopefully they don't mess up some more by not winning the FA cup.

It is definitely pissing down outside. I hope Arsenal doesn't get washed away totally and I hope I don't have to wash my habits away that hard.

Saturday, May 03, 2003

Not so long ago, kottke wrote about Rael Dornfest. However, I think we should not be confused the Raël that kottke hyperlinked to. Maybe it was a cruel joke but you can compare both of them below. Raël is a self proclaimed ambassador but more infamously as a cult-leader and a more recently human cloner. Whereas Rael Dornfest is a Researcher at O'Reilly & Associates.

I have known about Raël since 2001 and my first impression of him was a con-man, much confused person and maybe, even worse, a loony.

Rael Dornfest & Rael

But after reading Rael Dornfest's personal website I decided to revisit his namesake's online presence.

Formerly Claude Vorilhon, he was a french journalist before being allegedly abucted by aliens. Now he has become a self-confessed prophet and claims that the organisation's company have cloned the first human being as their attempt to emulate "our" alien creators.

In a nutshell they believe that the extra-terrestrials told them that:

1. It was they who created all life on earth (through cloning of course)
2. Humans in the beginning mystified them and adored them as gods.
3. It was they who started the world religions as a way of progressively educating humanity.
4. Now that we can understand them, they wish us to establish an embassy for them.

This embassy is supposed to be built in Jerusalem.

Now let me mess with your minds some more. It is true that not only Jerusalem is the city where the monotheist faiths had their origins, but it is also where Muhammad (S.A.W.) had ascended to the heavens on the night of Isra' and Mi'raj.

My friends and I had concluded that Jerusalem is probably a place with the lowest point of gravitational pull and wouldn't that make it an ideal landing site?

Other links:
1. The Spiritual Significance of the Prophet's Miraculous Night Journey and Ascension
2. Other links to the Raelians

What does it mean if you feel that you have short-changed your love to loved ones?