Saturday, September 26, 2009

Korean Treat in Kota Kinabalu

Korean Ambassador H.E. Yang Bong Ryull & Sabah Tourism, Culture & Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun launching the Saranghaeyo Korea Festival


Yeomeong ei bit or 'The Light of Dawn"

Pung mol nori (The farmer's dance)

Breakout B-Boys
The opening night of the Saranghaeyo Korea Festival on 24th September was a spectacular one. It was attended by the Kota Kinabalu Mayor Datuk Illyas, LG Managing Director Mr TY Ko, Sabah Tourism senior officers, Tourism Malaysia representative, top travel agents and others.
Both the Korea House and Breakout kept the crowd entertained. We had a very good show last night. The grand ballroom was packed with more than 1000 audience.
There is another show tonight. More pictures and stories to come. Next, we will be heading to Brunei for another two shows.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Star: Heads must rule, not hearts

Can the MCA delegates put the party’s interest above their own at the coming extraordinary general meeting on Oct 10?

MCA delegates will face a tough choice on Oct 10. President Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat has made it clear – it is either him or Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.

The stakes are even higher than a presidential election where it is not uncommon for both victor and loser to patch up and pledge to work together in the interest of the party. Whatever the outcome, the party must brace itself for a major adjustment and possibly a prolonged crisis.

There has been an interesting twist of events when the party’s central committee (CC) reversed the decision of the disciplinary committee and the presidential council to sack the party stalwart who was caught having sex with an unknown woman in a DVD.

The CC has chosen to suspend him for four years with immediate effect.

Reactions to the surprise decision have been mixed. Some political observers opined that it was a smart tactical move to neutralise the middle ground that might be sympathetic to the sacked deputy president.

Suspension is more common and acceptable to the party neutrals. A few senior Barisan Nasional leaders have been suspended in the past for committing various offences.

A number of observers argued that the suspension was not a reprieve for Dr Chua but to correct the repercussions against the president over his sacking. A suspension will be able to assuage accusations that Ong had wanted to remove a rival.

Dr Chua’s supporters argued that the suspension was as good as sacking him. At 62, it might not be easy for him to make a political comeback after four years. Dr Chua would have preferred to use the EGM to overturn the decision to sack him.

“Are they trying to say the CC is more supreme than the EGM?” he asked.

Dr Chua’s motive was not just to “die an MCA member” but to be given a shot at the leadership or to bring the president down along with him.

Ong had pledged to step down if Dr Chua’s dismissal was overturned at the EGM.

Ambition derailed

Dr Chua was bitter about the sex video which had curtailed his unstoppable desire to ascend to the top. If not for Datuk Seri Chua Jui Meng, he would have challenged Ong for the top post. The former’s decision to challenge Ong had widened the rift between the two Chuas.

I mentioned in my earlier article that Dr Chua’s sex scandal was tragic. Like other top politicians, it is not wrong to have ambition. Dr Chua should be aware of the risk involved in his extramarital relationship and the repercussions of being caught in the act.

He has complained that he was being punished twice. But it is necessary to ask if he was ever punished by his party.

Dr Chua’s resignation from his ministerial and party positions was done voluntarily. How can the party criticise other sexual offenders and immoral acts if its own leaders go unpunished?

While the party delegates would need to decide if he had contributed to the party or was a burden to reform efforts, they have to bear in mind the public’s frustration over leaders who were embroiled in scandals.

Can Dr Chua continue in his job as the Barisan chief coordinator to recapture the opposition states without his own personal scandals becoming a burden to the coalition? His presence at several recent by-elections did very little to convince the Chinese voters.

The party should realise that the Malaysian voters are looking for the emergence of fresh, responsible and credible candidates and politicians. If Dr Chua is really keen to contribute to his party, there are other better ways to do it.

One possibility would be to retreat to the background and use his experience to train new leaders including his own son, who is already a member of parliament.

At a crossroads

The EGM would be a good indication of the party’s seriousness in wanting to reform. If the delegates are unable to put the party’s interest above personal issues, it will mark the end of the party.

Ironically, Dr Chua’s suspension should not have been the deciding factor for the party’s survival.

Malaysian politics is at a crossroads. The MCA is also at a crossroads. The moral capital of a leader should not even be debated. A good moral character should have been the pre­requisite for those who aspire to hold public offices. The MCA’s survival is in its ability to reform and meet the high standards of its electorates.

Hence, the president’s request for support to tackle the biggest financial scandal in the history of Malaysia has to be taken seriously.

The party needs to be accountable to the people regarding the failure of its former ministers and appointed officers of the Port Klang Authority and the Port Klang Free Zone.

The creation of a new super task force should not diminish the role of the Transport Minister in his efforts to continue probing and taking appropriate actions against those culprits.

Being part of a ruling coalition, the party can only win back the support of the voters if it can play an effective role in the Government in ensuring good governance.

The voters are not really paying that much attention to personal disputes. Ong was criticised for being arrogant, aloof and brash. Many people are more interested in his promise to investigate the PKFZ financial fiasco thoroughly.

It is in the interest of the Barisan and MCA leaders to fully support his endeavours. Just like the V.K. Lingam saga, the PKFZ scandal may just be the trigger of another political tsunami in the next general election.

MCA delegates must vote with their heads and not their heart in deciding the fate of these two leaders.

TI Report: The Right Step Forward for Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng


Global corruption watchdog, Transparency International (TI), has ranked Malaysia as the 47th least corrupt nation in the world and commended the island state of Penang for its anti-corruption efforts. The results is disappointing. The country should strive to be ranked among the top 10 if it wants to attract more investment.

The CPI is part of TI’s Global Corruption Report (GCR) 2009 released yesterday.
In its report on Malaysia, TI highlighted the Malaysian practice of the “revolving door” whereby individuals move from government to business, or business to politics, and back again, and estimated that corruption could cost Malaysia as much as RM10 billion a year.

“Significant government participation in the private sector and considerable business participation in politics means that the movement of gatekeepers to players and players to gatekeepers has a negative influence on the concept of checks and balances,” said TI.

“The complexity of the relationships between politics and the public and private sectors means that corruption may take place with impunity. Until drastic action is taken to separate the cosy relationship between government, business and politics, the anti-corruption effort will remain no more than a token gesture,” said TI.

It also recognised the state government’s directive barring administrators and state executive councillors from making any new land applications and efforts to attract professionals to serve on various boards, such as the Penang State Appeals Board.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng says he is “humbled” by the recognition by TI and added that he was concerned over the fact that that corruption could cost Malaysia as much as RM10 billion a year – an amount equivalent to 1 or 2 per cent of GDP as pointed out by the GCR when it cited the findings of the special government business facilitation task force Pemudah and the World Bank.

He added that the two local authorities in Penang are expected to save another RM34 million over three years from a “transparent” negotiation over the price of solid waste disposal that reduced the rates agreed to by the previous Barisan Nasional administration by a further 42.4 per cent.

Corruption is the mother of all ills in this country. I would like to commend CM Lim for a job well done. His administration has taken the right step forward to ensure a better accountability of public funds.

In contrast, PAS Selangor State Exco Dr Hasan Ali has taken the exact opposite action in trying to undermine the effort of Selcat to investigate abuse of public funds. Agencies, departments and ministries which tasked with the responsibility of managing the taxpayers' money must be subjected to a strict due diligence.

The PKFZ fiasco is a prime example of a lack of such mechanism and financial discipline.

Lim also today announced that the state has managed to cut about RM36 million or 12 per cent of in operating expenditure this year due to its efforts to curb corruption.
Kudos to CM Lim and rotten eggs for Hasan.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The One Concert - Thanks for Supporting Our 100% Local Production








From the one 'playing' Michael Jackson, musicians, dancers to the production team, they have a similarity - all are Malaysians.

Last Sunday (20th September), we put up a show which drew more then 4600 audience. A show having this level of support is a good indication for our local performers. More of them should be given a big stage experience.

I have a dream to put up a MJ musical. Looking to work with our local choreographers, set designers, producers, script writers and artistes.

I would like to thank all parties for supporting the event - The Star, Voize.my, RedFM, HotFM, FlyFM, OneFM, 8TV Quickie, Rock News, Ruumz.com and others supporting the show.

I am in Kota Kinabalu now for the Saranghaeyo Korea Festival. Need to be at the rehearsal @ 2.00pm. We hope to put up a good preview tonight for the Korea Tourism Nite. Some of the high profile guests include Sabah Minister of Tourism Masidi Manjun, Korean ambassador, KTO MD Mr Kim Kee Hun, KK mayor, LG Electronic MD TY Ko and others.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It is Too Early for 2010 Joker of the Year Award, Hishammuddin...

Something must have stopped the oxygen from going to Home Minister Hishammuddin's brain.

He said this, "If there are people out there who are a threat to security, I will fill Kamunting to the brim."

He said this in response to a question regarding any plans to vacate the Kamunting facility, said: "Kamunting is there for a reason because it is to protect against threat to security. They (the current detainees) are a threat to security."

Yeah right, including one who can't sing the national anthem, 'Negaraku'.

Does he have any plan to fill up some of the rooms in Kamunting with those cow head protesters? The last I remembered, he was so compassionate to them and even defended their action.

The next moment, an online news media (Malaysiakini.com) reporters and key executives were interrogated by MCMC for putting up two videos on the protest and his press conference.

Hishammuddin should loosen up his collar to clear the air passage up to his brain.

Monday, September 21, 2009

B-Boys Battle and Performance @ Saranghaeyo Korea Festival



Here is what awaiting Sabahans! See you at the 1Borneo Central Atrium on 25th September.

Remember the Sabah versus Rep. of Korea Battle on 26th September @ 3.00pm. Are you ready to party?

Saranghaeyo Korea Festival @ 1Borneo, Kota Kinabalu (24th to 27th September)



Come watch the show and be thrilled! Tickets are still available at the 1Borneo & Sabah Tourism Board.

I will give out some tickets too at the 1Borneo Central Atrium starting from 12pm on 25th September. All proceeds will be donated to Kiwanis and Hospis, Sabah.

There will be performance previews at 12.30pm & 3.00pm. I hope to see you there.

Hypocrites in PAS


The religious hypocrites in PAS have strike again. This time, and again, calling for a ban of Beyonce concert which is scheduled to be held on 25th October.

The Pan-Malaysian Islamic party (PAS) has campaigned against several foreign performers and in 2007, along with other Muslim groups,threatened protests that forced Beyonce to scrap her planned debut concert in Malaysia.

'We oppose the holding of such concerts and we will take action to prevent such a concert from taking place in Malaysia,' PAS youth chief Nasrudin Tantawi told AFP, without specifying what action would betaken.

'This performance is not suitable for Muslims as her skimpy attire and behaviour onstage are immoral and lead to unclean behaviour,' he said.

The party might as well set up a new unit to be called, the "Anti-Concert Squad". If this concert is not suitable for Muslims, the party should advise them not to attend it instead of calling for a ban.

What about my non-Muslim right and acceptance of Beyonce's performance and music?

Are Muslims that spiritually and morally weak that they could be 'influenced' to commit something immoral by just looking at a few artistes performing in skimpy outfit?

If yes, then the party should first call for a total ban of the Internet. A lot of uncensored stuff can be found on the Internet and most of them can be accessed much cheaper than going for the Beyonce concert.

Perhaps these hypocrites in PAS should mount some serious campaigns against so many cases of corruption, abuse of power, incest, mat rempit, gruesome crime, polygamy, political arrogance, sex scandals and others which are morally worse than just some concerts for people to loosen up and have some musical fun.

As an event consultant, I can fully understand the frustration of my counterparts such as Marctensia.

Get real! You got nothing better to do ar, Nasrudin?
Note:
Got this Beyonce picture from the Net. You do not have to go to her concert to see her in skimpy outfits. You probably would not be so fortunate at her concert in October. Appreciate her musical talent and not her body, for goodness sake!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Salam Aidilfitri

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri to all Muslim readers of Straight Talk.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Coming to Kota Kinabalu: Hip Hop Battle


Atama (a Sabahan hip hop singer) and his troopers have thrown down the gauntlet. Breakout B-Boys have accepted the challenge. This battle is not for the faint hearted.
Otherwise, grab your popcorn and get down to 1Borneo on 26th September at 3pm.
Tickets to watch the Korea dance and musical performance on 25th & 26th September are still available at the 1Borneo or Sabah Tourism Board office.

Najib Hails Utusan, The First Sign of Our RM20mil of PR Fee Has Gone Down the Drain


Najib Razak hailed the Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia today for its ethical and unbiased reporting.

The Umno president also praised Utusan for being the voice of the people, especially the Malay community.

“Utusan is known for its trademark and its trademark is to voice the desire of the people, especially the Malay community,” he said.

His praise came after the newspaper had printed some of the most controversial and racist commentaries and reports.
The Umno-owned newspaper was also responsible for running daily stories criticising calls to allow former communist leader Chin Peng to return to Malaysia, linking it to what the newspaper says are moves to question Malay rights.

The paper also suggested that DAP is anti-Islam and said PKR's Anwar Ibrahim was willing to betray the Malays to be prime minister — both incendiary subjects in mainly Malay Muslim Malaysia.
A columnist of this paper had called Teoh Beng Hock's unborn baby an illicit child and launched a blanket attach on the Chinese community and Chinese media.
The same newspaper has been trying to fuel a Malay uprising against the 'demanding' non-Malays.

This is the first sign that our money which was used to pay for his expensive PR team is going down the drain. That is a cool RM20 million. Can we continue to trust this fellow with millions more for the F1 team?

If Najib wants to use our money to work on his image, he should at least try to sound reasonable. Praising Utusan is akin to praising the cow head protesters. Hishammuddin did exactly that to protect the protesters. We know nothing will happen to the six culprits.
He even suggested that Nordin Mat Top can be rehabilitated. Why not Chin Peng? Why not RPK?
A reader asked, "What can we do?"

Vote not whine.
UPDATE:
I was told by a reliable source that the PM did not make this remark at his press conference. He said the Malaysian Insider was going to amend its story. The headline is still the same at the time of this update.
I put up this update for the benefit of doubt until the correction is made on the Malaysian Insider website.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

With an Advisor Like Dr M, No Wonder the Tourism Industry is Half Dead

The value of advertisement benefits derived from the country’s F1 team is 100 times more than the cost of investment for the team, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.

He said it was not a waste of money to invest in the country’s F1 team as the advantages, including tourism and technological advancement, had always outweighed the disadvantages.

First, advertisement alone is not enough to attract tourists to Malaysia. This is the greatest fallacy practiced by the Ministry of Tourism and now we know who taught them to just advertise and appoint celebrity ambassadors but did little for everything else.

The ministry spends almost RM150 million annually on tourism roadshows and advertisements. How many tourists actually visited the country? 20 million or more but 75% were weekly visitors from Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia.

Second, if the government can invest more than RM250 million a year on the 1Malaysia F1 team why can't the same government invest RM25 million to help improve the amenities in Georgetown, Penang which is now a UNESCO World Heritage city?

Why can't the government spend more money annually to help improve the public transport system? One of the main grouses of tourists is the lack of good and reliable public transport to help them to move around?

Is advertisement alone enough to attract visitors to come back to Malaysia again or to recommend this country to others if there is very little effort to create more tourism products? Or to make the streets safer for tourists? Johor Bahru is so notoriously famous for crime that at one time Dr M and MM Lee Kuan Yew had a spat over the latter's remark on the issue.

Would the foreign tourists be impressed with the level of our cleanliness? Hospitality? Service quality?

Yes, go ahead and spend more on advertisement and all the hoo ha about 1 Malaysia and all those crap stories.

Lets see if we are going to get 100 times more dividends from the investment. Are Dr M and his rich sons, or Tony Fernandez and his partners going to be responsible if the investment is a failure? Will the investment create more jobs locally?

The minister of tourism should resign if her recent investment on Jean Todt and Jimmy Choo does not yield any positive results for Malaysia.

Enough crap. Malaysia really need to Think 1st. Act Later.

1Think.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Tough Choice for MCA - Dogged or Tainted?

So, the second biggest party in Barisan is going into the mother of all battles on 10th October. The EGM will decide whether Ong Tee Keat will be able to remain as MCA president.

The same EGM will also decide on whether his sacked deputy Dr Chua Soi Lek will be able to return to the party. Indirectly, the EGM can be seen as an extended presidential election for MCA.

A vote of no-confidence against Ong and a support for the return of Chua can potentially put the latter in-charge of the party.

Chua is right to say that the Chinese community is no longer bothered with their tussle. There are many issues which both Chua and Ong did nothing to address e.g. the Teoh Beng Hock death, continuation of the NEP, reform of public institutions, racism in Utusan Malaysia and others.

Chua is evidently an old school leader who believes, like both Lim Keng Yaik & Koh Tsu Koon, that his party needs to use a soft and persuasive approach to deal with UMNO. This action over the years has contributed to the hegemony of UMNO in the coalition.

Chua should refrain from being a pot calling a kettle black. It is evident that his leadership of MCA (more than 30 years) did nothing to help this government to rule more justly. Take a poll now and many non-Malays will be able to tell him that they feel like 2nd class citizens in their mother land.

It is unbelievable that leaders of MCA and Gerakan continue to tolerate UMNO after the Ahmad Ismail, cow head, Utusan racist articles and others.

How different is Chua leadership? What can Chua do to help the Chinese?

The verdict of the March 2008 general election should serve as a good lesson to MCA. The people expect politicians to respect their constitutional rights. No point referring to the Rukun Negara everytime, like Tsu Koon, to point out to UMNO that they should observe respect. It is a cowardice act.

The people want an outspoken, courageous and decisive party to represent their interest. It is time for the MCA leadership to do two things - first, turn multiracial and second, clean up their image and lose the baggage.

Otherwise, Chua can steer his MCA to become more buddy buddy with an unrepentant UMNO and suffer a sorrow destruction in the next general election.

I have an advice for Chua - repent. He said in his interview with Malaysiakini:

Our readers are asking: In view of the sex scandal DVD, why are you fighting? Why didn't you retire after that?

Somebody taped me. I didn't tape myself. If I tape myself and it leaks out, I should go off. Nobody is talking about the person who taped me and why he taped me. Why? Are we going to have this political culture where we film their secret life, or trap them.

No, the problem is not because you did not tape your sexual exploit. You should go because you were caught on tape having an illicit sex with another woman who was not your wife. What can Chua expect the Chinese community to learn from his leadership if he cannot understand such a simple fact?

To Ong and his promise to investigate the PKFZ financial fiasco; a promise is a promise. The people especially the voters of Pandan will know what to do to you come the next general election if this promise is not being fulfilled.

My support for Ong is conditional. He wants the people to help him fight corruption, create a benchmark for managing public projects and to hold the government/contractors etc. accountable for their action.

Good. He got it (the support). Now, lets focus on the delivery. He should start by telling us how he can continue with his endeavour since the newly established Special Task Force does not include him.

Oh ya, please ask for my permission if MCA (under Chua) is going around claiming to represent the Chinese community.

I can live with an arrogant and aloof fellow who does his job well and handle my money responsibly. Who wants to have a MCA president as his karaoke buddy anyway? Maybe, except Tiong.

Rich Man Toy - Malaysian F1 Team

Sepang International Circuit (SIC), a joint partnership involving the government and a consortium of Malaysian entrepreneurs for the 1Malaysia Formula (F1) One Team project, has allocated between 8,000 and 12,000 hectares for the development of the Made-in-Malaysia F1 team headquarters.

Ahmad Razlan said cooperation between SIC and AirAsia began a few months ago when Asia’s low-budget airlines boss Tony Fernandes told him about his ambitious dream to set up an all-Malaysian F1 team.

Since the government is a partner in this project, I have a few questions to ask PM Najib Razak.

  • How much of the taxpayers' money is involved?
  • How much is the cost to run the team annually?
  • What is the benefit or ROI for the people?
  • How many low cost houses have the government build in a year? An updated statistics would be greatly appreciated.
  • How can this involvement help to turn Proton around?
  • How many Penans are going to be benefited from the project?
  • How many hectares of land have been allocated to build houses for the poor? How many more Kampung Buah Palas incidents in the waiting?
Tony is a rich man. He was ranked No.15 (RM750 million) on the rich list of Malaysia. I am happy if he has found a way to amuse himself BUT on his own expense.

This government got nothing better to do ah? What about improving the efficiency of the civil service? What about spending the money to help improve public amenities and public transport?

I hope the decision to invest in the Malaysian F1 Team is not another contribution of the newly and expensively assembled PR team.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Do I Need to Ask the State Government's Permission if I Want to Call Myself a Penang Kia (Son of Penang)?

Those wanting to use the word “Penang” for functions, events, publications and other purposes must first get permission from the state government, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said Tuesday.

He said there had been complaints of the word being used in functions, events and magazines which had nothing to do with the state government.

I agree that the state government should not be implicated in events, functions or publications which claimed to be supported by the administration when there was no approval.

But anyone is allowed to use the word, 'Penang', because it is a name of a location or a state. The use of the word 'Penang' is not the sole prerogative or right of the state government.

I hope the Chief Minister is made aware that there are better ways to monitor the use of the state government or related logos by organisers and publishers than trying to control the use of the word 'Penang'.

It is not uncommon for restaurants and food stalls outside of the state to use the word 'Penang' to promote their business. It is actually good for the state tourism. Afterall, Penang is known as a food haven.

How to Avoid Whipping: Don't Drink Beer, Own a Brewery

The Syariah court judge Abdul Rahman Mohd Yunos who sentenced Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno to be caned for drinking beer has served up a similar punishment on an Indonesian man for consuming alcohol, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The Malaysian Insider reported that Nazarudin Kamaruddin, 46, had become the first person to be caned for consuming alcohol in Pahang state in central Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Mirzan Mahathir has defended his investment group’s stake in Philippines conglomerate San Miguel Corp (SMC), saying the company was well on the way to diversifying substantially from its brewery business.

In a letter to The Malaysian Insider yesterday, Mirzan said San Miguel Corp had decided to shift its attention to the infrastructure, public utility and energy requirements of the Philippines, from its core brewery business.

Kartika and Nazarudin should learn a valuable lesson here. Do not drink beer if you are not rich and mighty. If you are, own a brewery instead.

Is the syariah court judge going to call up Mirzan to face a whipping sentence too? If yes, I bet it could be more than 10k lashes. What hypocrisy!

PKFZ - Same Old, Same Old

DAP's Tony Pua was right to question the need of yet another Special Task Force. This super task force is expected to produce some super human effort to try limit the damage of the scandal for the Barisan government.

The most important question which has to be asked now is, "Can Barisan be entrusted to clean up its own mess and to hold its leaders accountable for the PKFZ fiasco?" Or will the investigation ended up like other previous royal commissions - nothing much to show?

There are several key questions which have to be answered by the various task forces, MACC, the police and the cabinet:

1) Will the government make available all investigation papers?
2) What are the steps to be taken by the government to prosecute the perpetrators?
3) How to limit the financial losses of the project so that it does not continue to drain PKA and tax payers' money
4) Several officers including the new GM and the Minister of Transport Ong Tee Keat had said that PKFZ can be turned around - what are the guarantees and where are the studies done to justify the conclusion?
5) Where are the various turnaround plans?
6) Why is Tiong King Sing and O.C Phang not yet being hauled up to answer to the various allegations against them?

Najib should be reminded that the creation of more special task forces are merely superficial steps trying to appease the people. At the end of the day, this government must still be held responsible for its own fiasco.

We need to remind the government again and again that there is a need of a credible closure for the two royal commissions - V.K Lingam and the police force.

MJ - This Is It!



Sony Music has just send me this youtube link. Those who are coming to The One Concert in the Arena of Stars will get to buy MJ's special edition new music CDs and DVDs from Sony Music.

This is your last chance to celebrate the life and contribution of the King of Pop to the music industry.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

MJ Tribute - Watch This Folks!

Malaysian MJs Vow the Fans at Sungei Wang

Thriller? Zombies...
It was a bomb performance, bro! (second runners-up)

Rhythm of fun and good timing (runners-up)

Darshan - The Winner of MJ Tribute Dance Competition

12 year old contestant reminds us of Jackson Five days
Jordan Sam and his dancers

One for the album - contestants, judges and emcee (left - Fellest Yan)

Attentive & experienced judges (Alex, Shay & Bobby)

The appreciative crowd - hope to see you at The One Concert



Over the last two days, a total of 13 contestants battled out and vowed the crowd with their slickly dance moves. Some of them competed in teams. All of them were great dancers.
Some dancers even mixed Michael Jackson's signature moves and music with other styles such as popping, jazz, old school, hip hop, break dance and others. A few impersonators were just dazzling with their imitation of MJ.
The following are the winners:

Second runner up: Project Elementz
First runner up: Rhythm Music
First Place: Darshan
With more competitions like this one, I am sure we will be able to set the local stage on fire and unveil more talented dancers.
For those of you who want to learn a thing or two about dancing, you can contact Fellest at contact@wildstream.cc
This competition is jointly produced and managed by GFW, CMG & Wild Stream Productions. See you at The One Concert - A Tribute to MJ on the 20th September. Buy your tickets at Genting outlets.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Penan's Plight Reflects the Failure of Bumiputera Policy


It is sad that the sexual abuse of Penan women took so long to be uncovered. The main question which should be asked is, "Was the state authority trying to cover up this embarrassment?"

Spokesman of the Bruno Manser Fund noted that the report, which contains the results of an investigation conducted by the ministry in November 2008 "contradicted statements by leading Sarawak politicians."

"(This includes) Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu, who had condemned (us) for making the Penans' allegations of sexual abuse public," it said.

The extend of poverty and neglect faced by the community is yet another proof that the Barisan pro-Bumiputera policy has a limited focus on a certain segment of the Bumiputeras.

Collectively, the communities in Sabah, Sarawak, Trengganu, Kelantan and other parts of the country which are located outside of the Klang Valley development sphere should pressure the federal government to decentralise its power and development budget.

Socio-economic development and infrastructure development cannot be focused merely around Klang valley. The overly centralised model has failed in its purpose and objective to help develop Malaysia more evenly.

As usual, this case has put Malaysia in a bad light and it reflects another failure of the Barisan government ability to rule fairly.

UMNO & Money Politics

PM & UMNO President Najib Razak has spoken. He said, "Umno, MCA and MIC must evaluate how far we are popular with the rakyat not only among the party. If we are popular among the party and we win but BN loses in the general election it would be of little use."

I had given the same advice to sacked MCA deputy president Chua Soi Lek who was adamant to overthrow his nemesis and president of the second biggest party in Barisan.

Unfortunately, it is Najib's party members who refused to accept his advice. For the Bagan Pinang by-election, the Teluk Kemang division has nominated a sole candidate to contest the seat. The person, Isa Samad, was a controversial figure and someone who is not new to money politics. If the division insists on their candidate, it might as well be a repeat of the Rohaizat saga in Permatang Pasir.

Tainted candidates must not win and the public would only do themselves a favour by rejecting such candidates.

Isa, who was menteri besar of Negeri Sembilan from 1982 to 2004, rose rapidly in the Umno political arena but it was short-lived when he was accused of money politics.That landed him in a six-year suspension by the Umno disciplinary committee but the punishment was shortened to three years.

It is very hard for UMNO to free itself from warlord politics and corruption in the party. Dr Mahathir, the architect of patronage politics, has turned fortune teller. He predicted that UMNO/BN might just follow the foot steps of LDP in Japan.

For the sake of Malaysian politics, I support a change of the federal government. A change of power will help to clean up the system and break the entrenched patronage system.

Some of these politicians have turned complete arrogant and senseless. The fact that Hishammuddin can come out to defend the cow head protesters and reprimand Malaysiakini is a clear indication that we need to change this country.

SAY NO TO RACISM!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Joseph Salang Gandum - When Silence is Better than a Few Words

Before this report was published by Malaysiakini.com, I did not realise that Josep Salang Gandum is the Deputy Minister of Information, Communication and Culture.

Joseph Salang Gandum defended the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission's (MCMC) investigations into Malaysiakini's airing of the cow-head video protests.

"The MCMC is acting within the parameters of the law," said Joseph. "The issue is hot. I don't think anyone should contribute to make it hotter" The MCMC is the custodian. The public won't like it if they (MCMC) did not take any action," said Joseph.

What did Malaysiakini contribute to make it hotter? Did the deputy minister realise that the same report/video of protesters spitting and stomping the cow's head was reported by media organisations worldwide?

Malaysiakini is an online news media. This is a common duty for them to provide such a report. The deputy minister should just stick to the law and not trying to pull the public into the investigation to support the agency's action against Malaysiakini.

Is the government trying to act like the Iranian government in blocking access to all videos of the recent mass protests against the elected president and his government?

To Joseph Salang, it is better to keep a silence than to speak a few words - that sounded completely unreasonable and intellectually limited.

UPDATE:

A poll on Malaysiakini and the cow-head probe is up on the side bar. Please let us hear your voice.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Idris Jala First Task as KPI Minister - Sack MACC Chief Ahmad Said!

The family of the late Teoh Beng Hock denounced the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) Ahmad Said Hamdan for publicly insinuating that the 30-year-old political secretary had committed suicide because he “could not withstand the pressure”.

Lee Lan, who was the closest of three other siblings to Teoh, challenged Ahmad Said to answer three questions:
  1. Who saw Beng Hock jump from [the] MACC building?
  2. Beng Hock was classified as a witness in the investigation, what pressure would he have faced?
  3. Will MACC’s interrogation method bring about pressure on the witness or suspect to cause them to jump to death?

Ahmad Said is a total disgrace to this country. No anti-corruption head in the whole world would have said what Ahmad did without any solid proof. Is he trying to protect himself and his colleagues?

No wonder Malaysia is still backward, democratically. Something is very wrong with the performance yardstick in the public institutions.

This government seems to reward those 'cow-ards' who are abusing their power and talking 'bull-shit' most of the time.

This is the first task for Idris Jala. Review the performance of Ahmad Said. The government is already receiving some flaks for renewing the contract of IGP Musa Hassan. What is the justification for renewing Musa's contract? Performance?

Crime rates have climbed up by more than 100 % in the last few years. More than 95% of respondents in a poll were afraid of their personal safety.

I am afraid we might need a third KPI minister if Idris fails to deliver.

This Hassan is equally as senseless as the Ahmad.

I Support Zaid Ibrahim's Challenge to Najib Razak

Barisan Chairman and UMNO President Najib Razak has said that Pakatan is getting a taste of its own medicine. A number of UMNO leaders have said the same thing. They said that the newly minted coalition is breaking apart.

The UMNO leader is using the Hindu temple relocation issue in Section 23 and other issues including the recent resignation of Lunas assemblyman from the PKR as examples. However, his party's thumb prints are all over these incidents - pointing to a conspiracy bring down the PR states.

I support Zaid Ibrahim's call to Najib: "Well, why doesn't he turn our discomfort into presumable misery by calling for snap elections in Perak to allow voters to rectify the mistake they made in March last year?" challenged Zaid.

Zambry and Khairy were so confident that Perakians have accepted the power grab. Why don't Najib and his gang try to prove Nizar, Zaid, Ngeh and the rest wrong by calling for a fresh state wide election in Perak?

Talk is cheap. I hope the newly appointed and very expensive PR consultant, APCO, was not involved in the prime minister's latest speech. The consulting fee is going to be paid from our pockets. I can assure you that I will scrutinize every move made by this PR consulting firm.

Hopefully, I will not be ambushed by another Indonesia based PR consultant again.

Hip Hop Battle, Koreans versus Sabahans, Who Will Prevail?

Breakout: World Renowned B-Boys


Sabah B-Boy Champions


The Dejavu crew has issued a challenge to the visiting Korean B-Boy team from the popular Breakout group. They wanted a fierce do-or-die battle. But I reckoned it will be more of a friendly competition.

You know b-boys la...they kiss and make up very quickly - all for the love of their music and art.

Come join us at the 1Borneo Central Atrium on the 25th September at 3pm to watch the battle between two teams.

It will be exciting and explosive...

Sunday, September 06, 2009

The One Concert: "Can You Dance Like the Gloved One?"



You think you have some hot moves? Or constantly wondering if you can become the next hot sensation like Michael Jackson? If yes, please register to take part in the MJ Tribute Dance Competition at the Sungei Wang Concourse on 11th & 12th September 2009.

Winners will walk away with cash prizes and perhaps get spotted to perform in other major dance shows and concerts.

Judges:

1) Bobby Tan - Founder of Street Nation Dance Studio.
- Judge of Astro’s Battleground season 1 - 3.

2) Kelvin Low - Winner of World Supremacy Battlegrounds Sydney,
HipHop Battle, Solo Category.

3) Adrian Lim - Head of Sony Music, Malaysia

* Emcee: Fellest Yan (Royal Phantom Dance Studio & Judge of Battleground season 1)

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Islam & Malay, The Main Victims of the Sri Mahamariamman Hindu temple Fiasco

There two important lessons we must learn from the Sri Mahamariamman Hindu temple fiasco. The 21st century Malaysia is still a mirror image of its post-colonial self. It is crucial for all Malaysians to study the impact of the temple relocation issue to be fully aware of its cost and tribulation for the country.

First, the level of religious and racial tolerance in Malaysia is at its lowest ebb. It was made worse by racist and extremist politicians who want to continue feeding their supporters with sensitive and senseless race and religious issues to keep them fired up.

As a result, not only the issue was blown out of proportion but it was put on a global microscope for the world to see how senseless, intolerant and uncivilised Malaysians are. These zealots may continue to argue that what happened in Malaysia is not the concern of other outsiders.

They must be reminded that this world is interconnected. If we can criticize the Israel atrocities against the residents of Gaza, we should be able to do the same to protect our own minorities.

We should be able to deplore violence and threats and accept that a proper civilised discourse is a better option to help solve issues which involved different beliefs and races.

This was precisely the option taken by the Selangor state government headed by PKR's Khalid Ibrahim. Khalid's goodwill was instead reciprocated by insults and jeers. These protesters should feel ashamed of themselves for not being able to act reasonably and sensibly to help build a bridge of understanding and mutual respect with the minority Hindus in their area.

Both Khalid Ibrahim and Khalid Samad should be commended for showing a good leadership in managing the issue. The reaction and compassion of both Khalids should be able to help the other non-Malay Muslim Malaysians to understand that the rude behaviour and uncivilised mannerism of a small bunch of protesters do not represent the general attitude and behaviour of all Malay-Muslims.

There is now a real solid reason for many of us to believe that those involved in the 'cow head' demonstration were UMNO members or supporters. They were quick to get a personal attention from the Minister of Home Affairs Hishammuddin Hussien and other UMNO big guns such as Khir Toyo.

It is so unfortunate that these leaders had consistently defended all wrongdoings committed by various public agencies in the country e.g. the police, the Election Commission, the MACC, the judiciary and others.

Secondly, it is becoming evidently clear that the actions and deeds of these unscrupulous protesters and those politicians who had helped to defend and protect them are doing a great injustice to the good image of the Malays and Islam.

I can only urge all Malaysians to practice restrain in our responses and words and not to be provoked into making unfair and insensitive criticism against the other Malay Muslims.

In the holy month of Ramadhan, I am sure many of our Muslim brothers were equally upset and hurt by the action of these protesters who were too cowardice to step forward and accept responsibility for their senseless action.

Let the Bagan Pinang by-election become a valuable lesson to UMNO. They must lose the by-election to understand that this country wants to move away from the old ethno-religious politics which is senseless, irresponsible, shameless and violent.

3 Stooges & 1 Apple Polisher

First, it was the Election Commission which was accused for usurping the power of Perak state assembly speaker by refusing to accept a notice of vacancy in the Dewan. The case is still being argued in the court. The verdict will not surprise many.

Next, the police force (PDRM) has been acting very weird lately. The IGP who recently got his term extended by another year was only energized to combat crime after the prime minister announced his KPIs - one of them is to combat crime. The rest of the time was he napping or too busy playing a security director to some politicians?

The third stooge, MACC, would go after 'ikan bilis' but not the 'buaya'. The biggest of the crocodiles is still moving freely and even cooked up several allegations against a minister who was tasked to investigate his scandal. An innocent person was instead found plunged to his death at the MACC office. What a shame!

And the icing on the cake is an apple polisher who claims that IGP Musa extension has received the support of 'all' except for a few opposition politicians. This goon is of course enjoying his fat pay cheque every end of the month dishing out the same rubbish.

Amazing! I hope the new KPI Minister Idris Jala will not find his impressive corporate track record being tarnished with dirt not being able to implement the right KPIs. In Malaysia, the goons are being rewarded. All you need to do is to praise the PM, UMNO and to talk silly, act tough and being totally unreasonable just like the MCMC warning letter to Malaysiakini.com

Malaysians, kick these goons out before it is too late!

Why Malaysiakini?

The Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has requested independent news portal Malaysiakini to remove two 'provocative' videos, including the footage of the controversial cow-head protest, from its website.

"These videos contain offensive contents with the intent to annoy any person, especially Indians.

"This is an offence under Section 211/233 of the Communication and Multimedia Act 1998," said monitoring and enforcement division senior acting director Abdul Halim Ahmad in a letter dated Sept 3.

Funny, not an offence to act out the racist and provocative action? None of the 50 demonstrators was punished. The minister of home affairs even tried to defend the perpetrators.

It is best for UMNO and other BN component parties to learn the lesson of LDP in Japan quickly.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Saranghaeyo Korea Festival (24th to 27th September)


Fancy the Korean food, culture and performances? If yes, I hope to see you at the Saranghaeyo Korea Festival at the 1Borneo, Kota Kinabalu from the 24th to 27th September.

On the 24th September, there will be an official KTO dinner to launch the carnival and to celebrate the 50th anniversary diplomatic relations between Malaysia-Republic of Korea.

Among the dignitaries are Sabah Chief Minister, Sabah Minister of Tourism and Culture, Korean Ambassador, KTO Managing Director, LG Electronic Managing Director and representatives from the Tourism Malaysia, Sabah Tourism Board, 1Borneo, travel agencies and others.

There will be two dance and musical performances by the Korea House and Breakout B-Boys at the 1Borneo Grand Ballroom from 25th to 26th September at 8pm. Tickets are available in 1Borneo and at the Sabah Tourism Board offices. The two performance teams are ranked among the best in South Korea.
Korea House runs a theatre performing cultural and traditional dances. It is supported by the government. Breakout had successfully staged 6 shows in Malaysia. The extreme dance comedy theatre was managed by GFW.

A carnival will be held at the 1Borneo Central Atrium from the 25th to 27th September starting at 11am onwards. There will be food tasting, special discounted travel packages and LG product exhibition. Lucky shoppers will walk away with many attractive prizes including return air tickets to Seoul.

The sponsors are Korea Embassy, Korea Tourism Organisation, Sabah Ministry of Tourism & Culture, LG Electronic (M), Korean Airlines, Asiana Airlines, 1Borneo and others. The official media is Daily Express.


The team will also be holding two performances in Brunei for special guests and dignitaries. More information to come.

This festival is managed by GFW. For more information, please contact kpkhoo@yahoo.com.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Cow Head & Cow Dung


Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein should shoulder the blame for the cow head incidence and any other subsequent copy cat actions since he was so adamant to protect a bunch of senseless, arrogant and racist protesters.

In a democratic country like Malaysia, these protesters are allowed to air their grievances through a peaceful demonstration. However, they should not run a broad stroke of ridicule over the Hindu religion and Hindus in the country.

Hishammuddin's lofty attempt to defend these protesters by claiming that they were victimized is hilarious and idiotic. These 'victims' were the ones who threatened the state government and Hindus in Section 23 that something terrible will happen if the temple is relocated to the area.

Did Hishammuddin react the same when DAP's Anthony Loke was clearly victimized when an anonymous blogger posted a message allegedly from Loke which was critical of Islam? Anthony was immediately called in for interrogation by the police.

Yet, these rowdy, violent and uncivilised protesters who had made themselves famous worldwide were given a chance to meet the minister of home affairs and were successful in getting his personal protection.

He further defended the protesters, saying that “they just wanted their voices to be heard”. The anti-ISA protesters also wanted their voices to be heard. Did the government abolish the ISA despite a few national polls calling for the deletion of the draconian act?

Hishammuddin is practicing selective listening skill.

Although the protesters reportedly did not have a permit the minister said “the protest was not big and they (organisers) were very respectful of the Selangor sultan”. This is another example of a silly justification. Why were the small groups of 1Black Malaysia protesters detained if the minister claims that no arrest should be made against groups below 50 people?

Is he willing to honour his words by allowing groups below 50 people to conduct peaceful demonstrations without any permit? This should be a good news to all 1Black Malaysia volunteers and participants.

I find it sad and discriminatory because a group of Malay Muslim find it so difficult to accommodate a non-Muslim worship place. Will they become similarly agitated if a non-Muslim family were to live beside any of them? Can they stand the sight of a Taoist, Buddhist of Hindu prayer altar?

Hishammuddin's swift action to defend this group of protesters proves that there are really 2Malaysia - one for UMNO and one for the rest of us.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

"Can You Dance Like The Gloved One?"


In conjunction with the Michael Jackson concert this coming 20th September at the Arena of Stars, Genting Highland, the organisers are organising a dance competition at the Sungai Wang concourse on 11th & 12th September 2009.

Preliminary : 11th September 2009 at 3pm
Semi-Finals & Final: 12th September 2009 at 3pm
Venue: Sungai Wang Concourse

Contestants can enrol individually or in a team of not more than 6 members. They must creatively incorporate elements of MJ's signature dance moves and music into their routine. They can include also elements of hip hop, popping and break dancing to make it unique and attractive.

Contestants will also be judged on their costume and stage charisma.

For further information, please contact Fellest Yan (Battleground 1st session judge) at +6012-8333755 or email: contact@wildstream.cc.

Enrolment is free. Cash prizes are available for top three winners (RM2k, RM1k and RM500 plus other gifts).

Escala Means "Sophisticated, Beautiful & Intelligent"

Escala in an interview
Tasya, Izzy, Me, Chantal & Victoria

I have discovered a gem while I was in Hong Kong to attend a new album preview show by a hugely talented group, Escala. The trip was made possible by Sony Music.
The quartet comprises of four highly talented, classical trained, beautiful and sophisticated ladies in their mid twenties. They are Izzy Johnston, Tasya Hodges, Chantal Leverton and Victoria Lyon.
Escala first captured the imagination of the British audience when they participated in the final of ITV's Britain Got Talent 2008.
They did not win the competition but their performance was enough to thrill Simon Cowell, one of the judges and creators of the reality show.
He says, "They are completely original and they have got it all; remarkable dedication and training, looks, intelligence, the right attitude to make it big and music that has wide appeal. With their amazing stage presence as well, they are a very rare talent and I believe there will be a huge interest in them, particularly America."
When asked if they were disappointed for not winning the BGT 2008, the ladies said they were relieved not to have won because both the expectation and pressure would have been overwhelming.
However, the competition had allowed the ladies to showcase their talent. Izzy added, "Without the opportunity, it would have been difficult for the audience to accept something new."
Of course, Simon wasted no time in taking the ladies under his wings. Apart from America, where the group has appeared as special guests in the popular Oprah Winfrey show, Sony Music has decided to launch the ladies in Asia ahead of other continents.
During a live preview on the show, the ladies were surprised that the audience gave them a warm round of applause at the middle of the performance. We did that too at their preview showcase in Hong Kong.
The ladies also have another musical mission - to dispel the misconception about classical instruments. They wanted to prove that classical instruments are not meant for only classical performance or orchestra. They have proven this fact quite convincingly.
The instruments can only be used to create fusing contemporary sounds like the ones contained in their debut album produced by the legendary Trevor Horn. Personally, the track "Kashmir" is my favourite. (Click here to sample their astonishing music)

There is an obvious reason why the group wants to focus on live performances and to put instrumental music at the forefront. They have performed with some of the best musicians in the world namely McFly, Led Zeppelin, Take That, The Streets and The Arctic Monkeys.
I was not only bowled over by their music, talent and beauty but also by their friendliness and charm.
The ladies have a message for the listeners in Malaysia, "We look forward to come over." With the support of Sony Music and other corporate sponsors, it may just happen in the next few months.
Be prepared to be enchanted!
(Escala debut album is available in the local record stores.)