June 15th, 2014

Time —the best present

I HAVE a sneaky feeling that all the fathers are too fatigued from watching the World Cup matches in the wee hours to celebrate Fathers Day today.

And the happiest fathers must be those who got a Fathers Day gift of an extra-large, widescreen, high-definition TV sets to watch their favourite teams in action.

Never mind if the scenario is like this: Wife gives permission to buy. Children say, “Happy Fathers Day! You deserve this!” And Dad pays the bill.

Among those who celebrate Fathers Day most enthusiastically (as well as the other days like Mothers Day, Valentine’s Day, Secretaries Day, or whatever) are the business people.

They play on the emotions of those who have been given the honour of having a day designated on their behalf, and laugh all the way to the bank when we fall for their promotions.

Actually, when you think about it, there are many ways to appreciate the fathers in our life, without having to spend a sen. But we must be prepared to spend time in building up the relationship.

When my wife and I decided that at least one parent should be at home during our children’s growing-up years, we were taking the road less travelled.

But it gave us huge dividends.

Somehow, one income, and a bit here and there with our freelance efforts, was more than enough to see us through.

There is an interesting website that talks about the 10 Awards Every Dad Should Win.

It brought a smile to my face that I could win probably most of them, like The Best Storyteller Award, The I’ll Clean Up before Mom Gets Home Award and The Can Fix Everything Award.

But the reality is that these awards can only be won if one has invested time in the father-child relationship over the years.

Although my boys are fine young men now, I do not think they will dispute the fact that I was a fantastic storyteller in their growing-up years.

I was going through my home library recently to clear books to make way for new ones. When it came to the children’s books, it was really difficult to let them go.

It was not so much the books themselves but the memories embedded within each story.

I chuckled at how, when they were not able to read by themselves yet, I would simply embellish every story to make the plot even more interesting.

As for the I’ll Clean Up Before Mom Gets Home Award, I am glad I qualify for this category, because I spent a number of good years being the Fulltime Househusband.

Making a mess of the house when Mum is at work, and then making sure everything is fine just before she comes back is part of the deal.

How does one put a price on time? How do you measure those moments of bonding with your children in their growing-up years?

The song Cat in the Cradle comes to mind. Made famous in 1974 by Harry Chapin, the song is told in first-person by a father who is too busy to spend time with his son.

And, eventually, the boy grew up just like him – a busy man who also does not have time for his father.

Time. It’s priceless. Happy Fathers Day.

Executive editor Soo Ewe Jin (ewejin@thestar.com.my) is thankful that instead of buying him gadgets or gizmos, his boys found the time to send him the creative cards that money cannot buy. The views expressed are entirely the writer's own. The STAR Sunday Starter Jun 15, 2014

Pendaftaran Politeknik Malaysia 2014

Kira-kira 22,000 lulusan Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) akan mendaftar di 33 buah Politeknik Malaysia hari ini dan esok dengan Politeknik Pagoh muncul sebagai politeknik terbaharu yang mengambil pelajar jurusan Teknologi Makanan.

Pendaftaran Politeknik Malaysia akan bermula pada 15 dan 16 Jun 2014 bergantung kepada politeknik yang menawarkan tempat.

Selaku institusi peneraju pendidikan teknik dan vokasional (TVET), Politeknik Malaysia muncul sebagai institut pengajian tinggi yang menawarkan tempat pengajian yang terbesar dalam bidangnya.

Pelajar baharu ini akan menyertai keluarga besar siswa siswi Politeknik Malaysia yang berjumlah 90,000 orang.

Politeknik Malaysia juga telah memperkenalkan program Diploma Kejuruteraan Elektrik (Tenaga Hijau) yang ditawarkan di Politeknik Port Dickson dalam usaha mengukuhkan tahap relevan dan responsif program pengajian di politeknik yang merupakan objektif kedua Transformasi Politeknik, bagi ambilan sesi Jun 2014 ini.

Melalui program baharu ini, adalah diharapkan Politeknik Malaysia mampu melahirkan modal insan berkemahiran tinggi dalam bidang elektrik pengkhususan kepada teknologi hijau.

Program baru ini menjadikan keseluruhan program yang ditawarkan di Politeknik Malaysia adalah sebanyak 64 program untuk peringkat Diploma bagi lulusan SPM dan 5 program peringkat Sijil Kemahiran Khas yang dikhaskan untuk pelajar bermasalah pendengaran yang telah tamat tingkatan lima.

Politeknik Malaysia ingin mengucapkan jutaan terima kasih dan penghargaan di atas kepercayaan dan keyakinan ibu bapa memilih Politeknik Malaysia sebagai laluan pelajar pasca SPM bagi dibentuk sebagai modal insan berkemahiran tinggi pada tahap diploma.

Dengan pelbagai pengikitirafan luar negara terhadap kualiti akademik Politeknik Malaysia seperti Asia Pacific Accreditation and Certification Commission (APACC) dan Canadian Technology Accreditation Board (CTAB) maka ibu bapa dan pelajar yang mendaftar pada hari ini dan esok akan mendaftar di sebuah insitusi memiliki kawalan kualiti yang tidak terhad kepada akademik semata-mata tetapi juga merangkumi pembentukan sahsiah diri pelajar agar menjadi warganegara yang berkemahiran tinggi serta memiliki sahsiah yang terpuji. - Yusrizal Sufardi MohdYunan Utusan/Rencana/20140615/

Padamkan keangkuhan itu...

Rasanya reaksi sebegini luar biasa tidak pernah berlaku selepas Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, seorang penjawat tinggi kerajaan menfailkan saman terhadap sebuah portal berita. Tindakan itu tiba-tiba dianggap telah melanggar hak bersuara, hak mengeluarkan pendapat dan mahu menakut-nakutkan media.

Portal berita itu yang berkeras enggan memohon maaf dan menarik balik pandangan pembaca yang menjadi punca saman fitnah itu walaupun telah diminta berbuat demikian, sebaliknya dipertahankan, bahkan terus dijunjung dan dijulang.

Latar belakang portal ini yang mendapat dana asing telah terdedah sebelum ini. Bukan perkara asing kepada portal ini yang memusatkan berita, analisis dan komen pembaca untuk memperlekeh, mengecam dan cuba memfitnah pihak yang tidak sefahaman dengan mereka.

Dalam kamus pemberitaan portal ini, ia dianggap adil, terbuka dan tidak memihak.

Perdana Menteri pula dikecam dan dikritik hanya kerana mahu menggunakan hak asasi beliau di sisi undang-undang. Seperti ditegaskan oleh Najib, saman itu bukan sebahagian bagi mana-mana tindakan keras. Ini juga bukan satu cubaan untuk menutup mulut pengkritik. Ini adalah tindakan terhadap tuduhan spesifik yang melampaui batas, daripada komen adil kepada fitnah.

Tetapi sebut sahaja apa jua organisasi yang berkaitan undang-undang, hak asasi dan media yang mereka ada seperti sengaja digerakkan secara sistematik bagi mempertahankan tindakan portal berita ini. Tetapi barang diingat kritikan berkenaan harus dibaca sekali dengan kesedaran bahawa organisasi itu jika tidak pun dianggap sebagai propembangkang, adalah organisasi ciptaan kumpulan songsang.

Saman

Saman fitnah seperti ini tentu sekali tidak akan mendapat reaksi sedemikian rupa jika portal berita itu bukan Malaysiakini. Realitinya sebelum ini sudah berpuluh-puluh eksekutif termasuk bertaraf Menteri Besar di pihak sebelah sana menfailkan saman kepada media sama ada media cetak, elektronik mahupun dalam talian.

Hal ini bukan satu tindakan yang asing. Tetapi kini, mereka seolah-olah cuba menggambarkan bahawa hak untuk mengemukakan saman kepada media tidak tertakluk kepada eksekutif di sebelah mereka.

Tidak pula kita pernah terdengar mereka persoalkan tentang dana awam yang digunakan untuk tindakan saman oleh eksekutif pakatan pembangkang umpamanya di Pulau Pinang, Kelantan dan Selangor.

Tidak pula kita pernah dengar gesaan daripada kumpulan pejuang hak asasi mahupun organisasi pemikir mereka agar pemimpin pakatan pembangkang segera menarik balik saman kepada media yang nilainya sangat tidak munasabah itu.

Tidak pula kita pernah dengar daripada mulut mereka bahawa saman ke atas media hanya akan mewujudkan tanggapan yang tidak baik, dan pemimpin pakatan pembangkang serta ahli partinya menyampaikan mesej salah.

Yang lebih memprihatinkan dalam kes saman Najib ke atas Malaysiakini itu ialah ada kecenderungan untuk melakukan penghakiman sebelum kes tersebut didengar di mahkamah. Pihak-pihak yang diketahui propembangkang secara berterusan cuba merumuskan bahawa apa yang dilakukan oleh Najib adalah salah.

Tetapi lihatlah yang itu mereka diam, yang ini mereka hingar-bingar. Tingkah laku buruk mengata dulang paku serpih, mengata orang awak yang lebih atau ibarat meludah ke langit telah menjadi satu kebiasaan. Sungguh, ini bukan sesuatu yang baik kepada politik negara ini.

Adegan songsang ini semakin kerap dipertontonkan di depan rakyat. Saman kepada media yang bukan pilihan atau mesra pakatan pembangkang mereka galakkan, tetapi yang prokerajaan, mereka bertindak sebaliknya.

Cara seperti ini dianggap lazim dan semacam telah menjadi satu budaya berpolitik di negara ini. Mereka tak peduli betul atau salah, fitnah atau kebenaran. Cubalah ketengahkan apa juga fakta dan hujah, mereka yang totok pakatan pembangkang ini tidak ambil kisah.

Mereka angkuh kerana berasa telah mendapat sokongan majoriti. Media mereka berasa mendapat dukungan kumpulan pembaca yang kuat dan berpengaruh. Parti politik pula berasa rakyat akan sentiasa bersama dengan mereka.

Yang mereka perlukan sekarang ialah membakar sentimen dan semangat bencikan apa yang selama ini telah terbina agar jalan pakatan pembangkang ke Putrajaya lebih mudah.

Menambahkan lagi sengsara, mereka begitu licik mencipta kekeliruan untuk memesongkan pemikiran rakyat agar bersikap curiga terhadap apa juga yang dilakukan oleh kerajaan.

Inilah yang mereka sedang lakukan dalam keadan kerajaan pun masih tercungap-cungap untuk melaksanakan peranan dan tanggungjawabnya sehingga kadangkala terlihat kurang berkeyakinan melawan keangkuhan jentera pakatan pembangkang ini.           Utusan/Rencana/20140615    ZULKEFLI HAMZAH warungrakyat.mingguan@gmail.com

Dasar kejam Mao Tse-tung

DALAM menceritakan kisah wabak kebuluran di China akibat pelaksanaan dasar Great Leap Forward mulai pertengahan 1958, saya berhasrat memetik beberapa bahagian yang relevan dalam buku karangan Yang Jisheng berjudul Tombstone, The Untold Story of Mao’s Great Famine. Bapanya sendiri telah mati kerana kebuluran. Semasa persekolahannya, Jisheng sangat aktif dalam pergerakan komunis sebagai ahli persatuan Young Pioneers (sekolah rendah) dan Communist Youth League (sekolah menengah).



Pada tahun 1958, dia memainkan peranan sebagai aktivis pelajar di bawah kawalan Parti Komunis China (PKC). Malah katanya, pada awal tahun 1959, dia telah mengarang rencana “Selamat Tahun Baru" untuk majalah sekolahnya. Dalam rencana itu, dia menyanjung tinggi Great Leap Forward sampai katanya, guru besar memberi penghormatan membacakan rencana itu di depan perhimpunan guru dan pelajar tanpa meminda satu ayat pun.

Semasa menuntut di Universiti Tsinghua, Beijing, Jisheng telah dilantik Setiausaha cawangan Communist Youth League di universitinya dan pada tahun 1964 dia menyertai PKC. Menurut Jisheng, generasi muda di zamannya terlalu naif dan ringkas. Pemikiran mereka sarat dengan fahaman-fahaman yang telah disogokkan oleh media dan alat propaganda parti dan pemerintah. Tiada lain punca mendapatkan maklumat. Cara inilah Parti Komunis China membentuk pemikiran generasi muda “under the new regime into its loyal disciples. If no major events had occurred during these decades, our generation would have retained those beliefs for our entire lives (halaman 11)."

Menurut Jisheng, pegangannya terhadap fahaman komunis mulai goyang selepas tercetusnya gerakan Revolusi Kebudayaan pada tahun 1966. Dia tersentuh dengan paparan poster-poster besar di Universiti Tsinghua yang mendedahkan kegiatan rasuah dan sikap buruk kalangan pemimpin revolusi lama (termasuk Mao Tse-tung) yang dipujanya sekian lama. Kata Jisheng: “From August to December (1966), several classmates and I went to more than twenty cities to 'establish ties'. In these places, we likewise found big character posters revealing corruption and privilege among senior officials. I began to lose my faith in authority and officialdom, and I no longer believed everything I read. I began to doubt the myths the party had inculcated in me... (halaman 11)."

Selepas menamatkan pengajian universitinya (1967/1968), Jisheng bekerja sebagai wartawan dengan Xinhua News Agency. Ini mendedahkannya kepada pelbagai aspek kehidupan masyarakat yang tidak pernah dilihatnya. Kata Jisheng: “I learned many facts that contradicted what was written in party texts, and observed the hard life of urban workers. As a Xinhua reporter, I learned how 'news' was manufactured, and how news organs served as the mouthpieces of political power (halaman 11)."

Menurut Jisheng: “In my effort to shake off deception, I came to understand the social background to my father’s death and to reflect more profoundly on his life. High officials elsewhere erected particularly imposing tombstones... I thought that even though I was not a high official, I would erect for my father a tombstone grander than many of those others. Then I recalled that in 1958, many of the village’s tombstones had been dismantled for use in irrigation projects, or as bases for smelting ovens in the steel making campaign during the Great Leap Forward… The more impressive the monument, the greater the likelihood of it being demolished. My father’s tombstone had be erected not on the ground, but in my heart... I did erect a tombstone for my father in my heart, and this book is made up of the words I carved into that tombstone... (halaman 12)."

Mengikut Jisheng, 36 juta rakyat di China mati kebuluran semasa dasar ‘gila’ Mao Tse-tung yang digelar Great Leap Forward dari tahun 1958 hingga 1962 dilancarkan. Oleh sebab keadaan kebuluran menjejaskan kadar kelahiran anak, dalam tempoh empat tahun itu negara China menanggung kemerosotan 40 juta kelahiran anak. Bererti, jika kedua-dua angka ini disatukan sebagai petunjuk kesan parah dasar Mao itu, China telah mengalami kehilangan sejumlah 76 juta penduduk akibat kesan langsung dasar Great Leap Forward yang berjalan selama empat tahun itu.

Kegilaan

Ini tidak jauh bezanya dengan pendapat penulis Jung Chang-Jon Halliday dalam buku mereka “Mao, The Unknown Story" yang menyebut : “Mao Tse-tung, who for decades hold absolute power over the lives of one-quarter of the world’s population, was responsible for well over 70 million deaths in peacetime, more than any other twentieth century leader (halaman 3)." Sangat jelas, penderitaan rakyat China adalah bukan kepalang akibat ‘kegilaan’ Mao Tse-tung hendak menentukan seluruh rakyat China mula menjalani hidup sebagai manusia komunis - bukan sebagai orang Cina - semasa hayat Mao sendiri.

Menurut penyelidikan Jisheng, di sesetengah wilayah di China, hampir setiap keluarga mengalami satu kematian kerana kebuluran, ada pula keluarga di mana seluruh ahlinya mati kerana sebab yang sama. Banyak kampung di wilayah-wilayah yang mengalami kematian penduduk sedemikian memberi gambaran seperti padang jarak padang tekukur. Kata Jisheng, ini semacam mengiakan kata-kata Mao Tse-tung dalam sebuah puisinya: ‘Seribu buah kampung penuh dengan rumput-rumpai, penduduknya asyik membuang masa; sepuluh ribu rumah dihuni hantu-hantu yang asyik menyanyi.’

Jisheng menghitungkan, kira-kira 36 juta rakyat China yang terkorban kerana kebuluran itu menyamai 450 kali ganda bilangan manusia (rakyat Jepun) yang mati bila bom atom digugurkan di Nagasaki pada Ogos 1945. Angka itu menyamai 150 kali ganda bilangan rakyat China yang terkorban akibat gempa bumi di Tangshan pada Julai 1976. Ia jauh melebihi bilangan manusia yang terkorban semasa Perang Dunia Pertama. Malah katanya, korban kebuluran selama empat tahun (1958-1962) itu mengatasi kemusnahan nyawa manusia semasa Perang Dunia Kedua. Menurut Jisheng, Perang Dunia Kedua menelan korban 40 sehingga 50 juta manusia di Eropah, Asia dan Afrika sepanjang tempoh peperangan selama tujuh atau lapan tahun. Namun, kebuluran di China yang meragut 36 juta nyawa manusia itu berlaku dalam masa tiga atau empat tahun. Malah, katanya, sebahagian besar kematian berlaku dalam tempoh enam bulan sahaja.

Wabak kebuluran 1958 - 1962 itu menurut Jisheng lagi, mengatasi semua peristiwa kebuluran dalam sejarah China. Paling teruk kebuluran di China berlaku pada tahun 1928 hingga 1930 yang melanda 22 wilayah. Ia memecah rekod kebuluran sebelumnya tetapi hanya 10 juta manusia mati. Dalam tempoh tujuh belas tahun iaitu dari 1920 sehingga 1936, kekurangan hasil pertanian kerana cuaca buruk telah menyebabkan kematian kira-kira 18 juta rakyat China.

Dia melanjutkan kisah sedih itu: “Di sesetengah kampung, mayat-mayat dibawa ke liang kubur besar-besaran dengan menggunakan lori-lori usang. Orang kampung yang masih hidup tidak larat mengebumikan mayat-mayat itu dengan sempurna, menyebabkan banyak terjadi bahagian mayat-mayat timbul terpapar.Di sesetengah tempat, mayat-mayat bergelimpangan di tepi jalan dengan berpakaian kerana sebelum itu, mereka telah keluar merayau mencari makanan sampai tersungkur jatuh kerana kelaparan. Ada juga mayat-mayat yang ‘terdampar’ di rumah-rumah yang dimamah oleh tikus-tikus (halaman 13)."

Di halaman 15 dalam bukunya, Jisheng menyebut bagaimana Liu Shaochi, yang menjadi Presiden negara China ketika itu, telah merasakan ‘terdesak menghadapi kesan-kesan buruk wabak kebuluran China, sampai dia memberitahu Mao Tse-tung; “Sejarah akan mencatatkan peranan anda dan saya yang menyebabkan begitu ramai orang kebuluran. Kanibalisme yang berlaku akan juga dikenang orang menerusi penubuhan memorial." Pada satu ketika lain, Lin Shao-chi pernah juga berkata malapetaka kebuluran sepanjang 1958 hingga 1962 itu perlu dipahatkan di batu bersurat sebagai ingatan kepada generasi Cina akan datang supaya tidak mengulangi kesalahan seumpama itu.

* Banyak lagi akan diceritakan kisah Mao Tse-tung dengan dasar-dasar kejamnya terhadap rakyat China dalam coretan akan datang.   Abdul Rahim Noor Utusan/Rencana/20140615

Sisi lain Piala Dunia, pasukan kita jaguh kampung

Saya bukan peminat bola sepak dan Piala Dunia yang sedang berlangsung sekarang membawa saya melihat di luar sudut pandang seorang peminat. Daripada pembacaan, Piala Dunia melampaui bola sepak tetapi sebagai cara negara-negara tertentu memperagakan nasionalisme dan patriotisme.

Negara-negara waima yang jauh lebih miskin serta kucar-kacir politiknya berjaya ke Piala Dunia kerana semangat nasionalisme. Algeria, Cameroon malah Bosnia misalnya yang membayar sokongan rakyat dengan berkerja kuat melayakkan diri ke Piala Dunia. Apa yang pasukan Malaysia bayar kepada kita?

Malaysia yang jauh lebih kaya, pemain-pemain diberi ganjaran besar malah berura-ura mendapatkan khidmat jurulatih antarabangsa yang gajinya setengah juta ringgit sebulan tetapi hanya mampu menyediakan 'pasukan sorak profesional' yang menyaksikan Piala Dunia menerusi siaran langsung RTM.

Hakikatnya sangat sedih, pasukan kita hanya layak menjadi penonton, salah satunya kerana mereka jaguh kampung yang dimanjai dengan ganjaran. Pasukan kita mungkin rendah atau langsung tidak ada semangat nasionalisme kalau dibandingkan dengan negara miskin lain yang berjaya ke Piala Dunia.



Wujud dari Fuleco itu sendiri adalah seekor armadillo atau sejenis trenggiling langka yang hidup di  Benua Amerika

Apakah pasukan bola sepak kita mahu merungut ganjaran tidak cukup besar berbanding Bosnia yang buat pertama kali menyertai Piala Dunia? Apakah yang lebihnya negara-negara miskin dan kurangnya kita yang bau Piala Dunia pun kita tidak boleh hidu, apatah lagi untuk masuk gelanggang? Bagi saya yang tidak mahir sepak terajang politik dalam bola sepak negara kita, saya anggap ini adalah satu kegagalan yang memalukan.

Persatuan bola sepak penuh dengan kontroversi mengalahkan parti politik, tetapi mutu bola sepak semakin mengundur. Dulu lawan kita adalah Korea Selatan, tetapi sekarang mereka sudah masuk ke gelanggang Piala Dunia, pasukan kita hanya setaraf atau lebih rendah berbanding Myanmar.

Disebabkan tidak ada pasukan dari negara ini, peminat tempatan menyokong negara lain yang tidak ada kena mengena dengan kita.

Ketika ini lebih 80 peratus daripada penduduk dunia menonton Piala Dunia menerusi siaran TV. Dianggarkan lebih 37 bilion penonton akan menonton perlawanan akhir yang menentukan pasukan yang akan menjulang Piala Dunia sebulan lagi. Bagi kita yang tidak mampu menghantar pasukan ke Piala Dunia, cukuplah hanya bertepuk sorak kepada wira-wira negara lain.

Pesta bola sepak ini sebenarnya melampaui sebagai satu acara sukan. Maka tidak ada semangat kesukanan di Piala Dunia. Yang ada nasionalisme dan rasisme sesuatu bangsa untuk dipancarkan kepada dunia.

Setelah bola sepak menjadi suatu yang sangat diminati, inilah medan perang untuk menentukan siapa yang berkuasa, berpengaruh dan mempunyai pasukan yang berjiwa nasionalis. Lalu Piala Dunia menjadi premis terbaik memancarkan kehebatan atas nama negara di pentas dunia.

Temasya ini adalah agenda penting selepas Perang Dunia Kedua untuk negara-negara tertentu mempamerkan kekuatan, kebijaksanaan dan menguasai dunia. Matlamat negara yang menghantar pasukan ke Piala Dunia bukan saja untuk menjulang piala, tetapi yang lebih besar ialah kekuasaan dan pengaruh.

Di sana adalah peperangan yang menggunakan pelbagai taktik, teknik, stamina dan tidak terkecuali kecerdasan minda semasa beraksi. Piala Dunia sama dengan peperangan di mana kemenangan jarang berpihak kepada pasukan yang kuat tetapi dungu dan penakut.

Sebaliknya kemenangan boleh dikecapi oleh pasukan yang tidak terlalu kuat tetapi kaya dengan taktik, teknik dan jelas hasrat mereka semasa berada di padang. Piala Dunia mempertemukan pasukan daripada bangsa dan negara tertentu untuk menentang negara lain.

Sukan telah berbaur rasisme kerana seorang peminat bola sepak yang mempunyai nilai nasionalisme yang tinggi tidak akan menyokong pasukan bukan wakil negara atau bangsanya. Ungkapan klise bahawa sukan bebas politik dan rasisme adalah karut semata-mata.

Itu kata kita yang tidak mempunyai pasukan ke Piala Dunia dan melihat dari sudut pandang berbeza dengan negara yang turut bertanding kerana nasionalisme. Kerana itu kenyataan bekas Presiden Persekutuan Bola sepak Antarabangsa (FIFA), Jules Rimet dalam tahun 1926 berkata Piala Dunia wadah keamanan dunia adalah karut.

Pada masa sama Piala Dunia menjadi lubuk kapitalis mengaut untung daripada tewasnya masyarakat terhadap perang publisiti yang sangat luar biasa hebatnya. Pengiklan berebut-rebut menempel Piala Dunia waima terpaksa membayar dengan jumlah yang besar. Sebabnya pulangan daripada kegilaan pesta bola sepak ini kepada kapitalis memang tahap gila juga jumlahnya.

Semua ini adalah sisi-sisi lain Piala Dunia yang tidak kelihatan, malah tidak didedahkan. Sudah tentu ada yang menganggap disebabkan saya bukan peminat bola sepak, maka saya membangkitkan sisi yang buruk mengenai temasya yang diminati majoriti penduduk dunia.

Ia barangkali benar kerana apabila kita berada di luar, ruang litup pandangan kita lebih luas berbanding mereka yang terperosok di dalam. Ini termasuklah sikap orang kita yang tidak pernah mempersoalkan pasukan bola sepak negara yang yang diberi kemewahan tetapi membayarnya hanya menjadi jaguh kampung.     Utusan/Rencana/20140615 Ku Seman Ku Hussain  

Analisis Mingguan: Bisik-Bisik Awang Selamat

Ketirisan 1

Dahsyat dan menakutkan. Itulah yang boleh Awang rumuskan terhadap amalan rasuah dalam kalangan agensi penguatkuasaan sehingga membawa ketirisan besar kepada negara.

Paling ketara isu manipulasi dan penyeludupan diesel bersubsidi. Berdasarkan maklumat yang diterima, gejala rasuah berlaku di hampir semua agensi penguat kuasa sama ada di darat mahupun di laut.

Di darat, ada pihak bekerjasama dengan sindiket termasuk membocorkan maklumat operasi serbuan. Ini meliputi segelintir petugas sebuah kementerian dan agensi penguat kuasa. Harapkan pagar, pagar makan padi. Siasatan yang dilakukan mendapati ada anggota bawahan memiliki wang dalam akaun berjumlah RM1juta dan pegawai mempunyai RM40 juta.



Sumber: http://dupahang.wordpress.com/2011/03/04/pesta-rasuah-di-kerdau-dan-merlimau/

Di laut pula, ada kalangan pegawai agensi yang mengambil 'tol' bagi setiap kapal yang menyeludup diesel. Sebab itu, aktiviti penyeludupan diesel dan penjualannya di pasaran gelap berleluasa. Usahawan diesel dan tauke-tauke kapal nelayan tersenyum lebar.

Tidak mengejutkan jumlah yang terlibat dalam penyelewengan diesel di semua peringkat mencecah ribuan orang. Ada beberapa nama tokoh dikatakan terpalit sama, Awang geleng kepala apabila mengetahuinya. Marilah kita berdoa dan bersuara agar gejala ini dibongkar habis-habisan. Bersihkanlah semua agensi penguatkuasaan dengan langkah berani dan drastik - bukan lagi retorik dan tindakan bermusim.

Dalam pada itu, penyelesaian bijak dalam isu manipulasi dan penyelewengan subsidi diesel serta petrol perlu diambil terutama kaedah baharu menyalurkan terus kepada golongan sasaran.

Maka Awang lega apabila Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Abdul Wahid Omar menyarankan langkah seumpama itu bagi mengelakkan ketirisan dan menghalang warga asing daripada menerima manfaat subsidi.

Kerajaan telah membelanjakan RM136.6 bilion bagi menyediakan subsidi minyak sejak tahun 2000 tetapi sejumlah besar mengalir kepada golongan bukan sasaran dan pihak yang meraih untung melalui pasaran gelap. Awang difahamkan, daripada jumlah penggunaan 14.5 bilion RON95 pada 2013, sebanyak 6 bilion liter digunakan oleh kenderaan Singapura, Thailand, rakyat asing dan 75 peratus pemilik kereta mewah yang tidak sepatutnya menikmati subsidi.

Angka 6 bilion liter RON95 adalah jumlah yang amat besar. Lebih menyedihkan kerugian dialami berbilion-bilion ringgit, yang siapa harus dipertanggungjawabkan.

Tahap ketirisan ini sudah luar biasa. Tiada negara lain mengalami situasi seperti ini. Pada Awang, ia adalah sabotaj kepada rakyat dan tanah air sendiri. Formula lama pengagihan subsidi hanya memperkasakan golongan yang kaya raya, orang asing, dan membiakkan gejala rasuah. Sampai bila begini dan sekali lagi, siapa harus dipertanggungjawabkan?

Ketirisan 2

Awang sudah beberapa kali menerima aduan berkaitan Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri (LHDN) yang lebih tunjuk taring kepada pembayar cukai individu berbanding hartawan dan syarikat besar. Antaranya aduan memohon pengurangan denda kerana terlewat membayar cukai, yang bukan sahaja tidak dilayan malah tidak dijawab surat rayuan mereka.



Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri

Lain pula ceritanya apabila berurusan dengan seorang bilionair sehingga boleh mendapat 'diskaun' lebih RM100 juta. Itupun melalui ansuran selama 18 bulan, yang rakyat biasa tidak akan menikmati diskaun dan kelonggaran luar biasa itu. Awang tidak pasti sejauh mana kesahihannya tetapi cakap-cakap tentang kes itu berlegar dalam kalangan pihak tertentu. Memandangkan ia isu kepentingan awam, LHDN wajar tampil memberi penjelasan termasuk menafikannya jika hal tersebut tidak benar.

Jika tidak ditangani dengan tegas soal ketirisan ini, Malaysia boleh menjadi seperti Mexico yang kerugian hasil lebih 30 peratus akibat penipuan dan gejala elak cukai. Awang percaya LHDN boleh mengutip lebih banyak hasil jika lebih efisien dan tidak mengira bulu. Aneh di Malaysia, tiada jerung besar yang didakwa kerana kesalahan tersebut walaupun gejala itu diketahui berlaku. Di banyak negara lain terutama Korea Selatan, hartawan dan bilionair bukan sahaja tidak dapat diskaun malah diheret ke mahkamah sebagaimana dialami oleh Pengerusi Samsung, Lee Kung Hee pada 2009. Renungkan.

Piala Dunia

Walaupun demam Kejohanan Bola Sepak Piala Dunia melanda semua benua, Awang berazam mahu lebih selektif kali ini. Memandangkan semua perlawanan melebihi tengah malam hingga ke subuh, berpilih-pilih sahaja perlawanan yang mahu ditonton.

Jika keesokannya kerja, lebih baik tidur sahaja dan menonton siaran ulangan. Awang juga peminat bola sepak tetapi tidak mahu dikuasai dari segi psikologi hingga boleh menjejaskan produktiviti dan kesihatan diri. Bola, bola tapi kerja tetap kerja dan urusan harian lain mesti berjalan lancar. Awang tidak kisah sekiranya diperli teman-teman kaki bola dengan bermacam provokasi termasuk hujah Piala Dunia cuma empat tahun sekali. Sedikit pun tidak rasa ketinggalan. Bangun pagi boleh tahu keputusan, menarik juga. Takda hal.

Yang menjadikan Piala Dunia lebih menarik kepada para peminat bola sepak ialah kejutan dan drama. Sama juga keadaannya pada temasya 2014 di Brazil. Keputusan kontroversi pengadil perlawanan pembukaan antara tuan rumah dengan Croatia serta kekalahan memalukan juara bertahan Sepanyol menghangatkan demam Piala Dunia.

Siapa sangka pasukan Sepanyol yang dibarisi ramai bintang, dibelasah Belanda 5-1. Walaupun bukan penyokong Sepanyol, Awang tergamam kerana teruja dengan perlawanan dan keputusan.

Kasihan banyak penyokong Sepanyol yang berduka tetapi itulah bola sepak. Kejutan boleh berlaku. Persoalannya nanti mampukah Sepanyol bangkit sebagaimana pernah dibuktikan pada musim lalu, bermula kalah tetapi berjaya di kemuncak.

Tetapi harap-harap ada kejutan lebih besar seperti Korea Selatan boleh melangkah ke final. Apa pun Awang seronok dengan kemunculan Piala Dunia. Boleh alihkan perhatian kita daripada terbelenggu isu-isu semasa dan politik yang berlebihan. Lega rasanya, macam buat refleksologi.

Setiap kali Piala Dunia, berlegar di fikiran, bilakah pula Malaysia layak ke tahap itu? Pada Julai 1999, Persatuan Bola Sepak Malaysia (FAM) meletakkan sasaran pasukan negara ke Piala Dunia 2014 tetapi tidak tercapai. FAM kemudian melanjutkan sasaran ke temasya bola sepak berprestij itu pada 2022.

Awang tidak mahu meletakkan harapan yang tinggi, bimbang kecewa lagi. Ketika negara seperti Korea Selatan dan Jepun secara konsisten boleh layak ke Piala Dunia, Malaysia masih di tahap lama. Pada dekad 1970-an dan awal 1980-an, Malaysia kerap menewaskan Korea Selatan dan Jepun tetapi kini pencapaian kedua-dua negara itu bertaraf dunia. Selagi tiada program khas bersepadu sebagaimana dilaksanakan oleh kedua-dua negara tersebut, janganlah mimpi Malaysia akan melangkah ke pusingan akhir Piala Asia apatah lagi ke Piala Dunia. Ia tidak boleh menjadi misi FAM semata-mata, tanggungjawab itu harus dipikul oleh kerajaan yang menguasai banyak sumber.

Meskipun Malaysia asyik gagal layak ke Piala Asia dan Piala Dunia, nama negara kita tetap disebut-sebut dalam 'kehebatan' yang berbeza. Buktinya, sindiket judi bola sepak Piala Dunia, yang nama Malaysia selalu dijadikan rujukan laporan media antarabangsa. Sindiket judi kita dianggap oleh dunia sebagai licik dengan pertaruhan hampir RM500 juta sebagaimana Piala Dunia 2010. Seramai 143 individu anggota sindiket ditahan tetapi tiada seorang pun didakwa di mahkamah kerana tiada bukti kukuh. Memang 'hebat'. Khabarnya, pertaruhan musim 2014 berkali ganda lebih besar. Akan berulangkah lagi episod berjaya diberkas tetapi tiada pendakwaan. Kita tunggu.

Ohhh Anwar

Sekali lagi cubaan ketua pembangkang, Anwar Ibrahim untuk memburuk-burukkan Malaysia di luar negara, sia-sia sebagaimana temu ramah beliau dengan BBC di London, baru-baru ini. Beberapa isu yang beliau cuba manipulasi dan putar belit seperti kehilangan pesawat MH370, undi popular dan dakwaan menjadi mangsa konspirasi dalam kes liwat, disanggah oleh pengacara BBC itu sendiri.

Awang tidak berminat ulas panjang sekadar mahu menyatakan bahawa dunia semakin mengenali siapa sebenarnya Anwar. Nasihat kepada beliau, daripada sibuk ke luar negara, lebih baik tumpukan perhatian menangani masalah pemilihan PKR yang meruncing sekarang ini. Sudah dua penggal pemilihan parti itu berdepan dengan kepincangan, penipuan, pergaduhan dan ketegangan yang tidak pernah berlaku kepada parti lain di negara ini. Anwar juga harus secara budiman memohon maaf kepada seluruh ahli atas segala kelemahan pemilihan parti itu. Belajarlah ambil tanggungjawab.

Tentera obes

Dalam ruangan ini minggu lalu, Awang paparkan masalah obesiti dalam kalangan tentera dan polis kita sebagaimana yang turut dialami oleh beberapa negara seperti Amerika Syarikat (AS) dan Britain.

Ekoran itu, Pasukan Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) mengambil pendekatan responsif dengan mengumumkan beberapa langkah menangani sebahagian pegawai dan anggotanya yang obes serta berat badan berlebihan. Persoalannya, bagaimana pula dengan Angkatan Tentera Malaysia (ATM)? Setakat ini, pengurusan ATM agak berdiam. Awang percaya ATM juga akan mengambil langkah sebagaimana tentera negara lain untuk lebih efisien 'menguruskan' tentera yang obes. Apatah lagi era sekarang, mudah untuk dibuat perbandingan antara tentera kita dan tentera negara serantau. Siapa kelihatan lebih segak apabila berpakaian seragam? Utusan/Rencana/20140615

Time —the best present

I HAVE a sneaky feeling that all the fathers are too fatigued from watching the World Cup matches in the wee hours to celebrate Fathers Day today.

And the happiest fathers must be those who got a Fathers Day gift of an extra-large, widescreen, high-definition TV sets to watch their favourite teams in action.

Never mind if the scenario is like this: Wife gives permission to buy. Children say, “Happy Fathers Day! You deserve this!” And Dad pays the bill.

Among those who celebrate Fathers Day most enthusiastically (as well as the other days like Mothers Day, Valentine’s Day, Secretaries Day, or whatever) are the business people.

They play on the emotions of those who have been given the honour of having a day designated on their behalf, and laugh all the way to the bank when we fall for their promotions.

Actually, when you think about it, there are many ways to appreciate the fathers in our life, without having to spend a sen. But we must be prepared to spend time in building up the relationship.

When my wife and I decided that at least one parent should be at home during our children’s growing-up years, we were taking the road less travelled.

But it gave us huge dividends.

Somehow, one income, and a bit here and there with our freelance efforts, was more than enough to see us through.

There is an interesting website that talks about the 10 Awards Every Dad Should Win.

It brought a smile to my face that I could win probably most of them, like The Best Storyteller Award, The I’ll Clean Up before Mom Gets Home Award and The Can Fix Everything Award.

But the reality is that these awards can only be won if one has invested time in the father-child relationship over the years.

Although my boys are fine young men now, I do not think they will dispute the fact that I was a fantastic storyteller in their growing-up years.

I was going through my home library recently to clear books to make way for new ones. When it came to the children’s books, it was really difficult to let them go.

It was not so much the books themselves but the memories embedded within each story.

I chuckled at how, when they were not able to read by themselves yet, I would simply embellish every story to make the plot even more interesting.

As for the I’ll Clean Up Before Mom Gets Home Award, I am glad I qualify for this category, because I spent a number of good years being the Fulltime Househusband.

Making a mess of the house when Mum is at work, and then making sure everything is fine just before she comes back is part of the deal.

How does one put a price on time? How do you measure those moments of bonding with your children in their growing-up years?

The song Cat in the Cradle comes to mind. Made famous in 1974 by Harry Chapin, the song is told in first-person by a father who is too busy to spend time with his son.

And, eventually, the boy grew up just like him – a busy man who also does not have time for his father.

Time. It’s priceless. Happy Fathers Day.

Executive editor Soo Ewe Jin (ewejin@thestar.com.my) is thankful that instead of buying him gadgets or gizmos, his boys found the time to send him the creative cards that money cannot buy. The views expressed are entirely the writer's own. The STAR Home News Opinion Sunday Starters 15/06/2014

Weathering the storm

For a while it looked like Johor was heading into a constitutional crisis but the storm has passed thanks to a daring Malay newspaper, the groundswell of public opinion and a Mentri Besar who was willing to listen.

IT was one of the biggest political storms to have blown over Johor and it all began with the stunning frontpage report in Utusan Malaysia.

The paper’s bold headline “Wajarkah?” alongside a prominent photograph of the Sultan of Johor in his ceremonial uniform sent shock waves through the country, especially among Malay circles.

Utusan Malaysia, long seen as the champion of all things Malay, had taken the daring step of questioning the Sultan’s role in the administrative affairs of the state or as stated in the paper’s headline: “Is it proper?”

The issue in question was the Real Property and Housing Board Enactment that would have given the Sultan the final say over the operations and composition of the body that will oversee the state’s housing development.

In the following days, people up and down the country voiced their opinion on the issue and, for a while, it looked like Johor was headed for a constitutional crisis.




Crisis averted: Utusan Malaysia took the lead in highlighting a Bill that had raised questions about the constitutional role of the Sultan (top right), prompting Khaled (left) to amend the enactment.

But the state government reacted quickly and the storm passed together with the tabling of an amended version of the enactment that excluded any direct role for the Ruler. All 38 Barisan Nasional assemblymen voted for the Bill while the opposition bench, which had demanded a deferment, voted against it.

Everyone heaved a sigh of relief. Any issue involving the Malay Rulers is regarded as ultra-sensitive. Very few people want to be on the wrong side of the Rulers even though a 1993 amendment to the Federal Constitution has eased some of the dos and don’ts of commentary about the royals.

The Malay politicians in Johor shrank back from commenting on the enactment and some of them were petrified. One Johor-based Malay journalist said he had goose pimples when he saw the Utusan Malaysia headline.

The Chinese vernacular papers were the first to report on the controversial Bill and this was picked up by a pro-Pakatan Rakyat news portal.

Everyone was tip-toeing on eggshells until Utusan Malaysia stepped up to the plate. The game changed after that and the other media took the cue. From then on, the issue snowballed and acquired a life of its own.

The amended enactment was a compromise of sorts – the people sent the right signals, the powers-that-be read the signals and acted on it.

“It ended appropriately,” said one corporate figure with Johor ties.

Johor Palace officials have been at pains to explain that the Sultan had no role in the drafting of the Bill. Datuk Abdul Rahim Ramli, president of the State Royal Court Council, insisted that the Sultan did not ask for the word “ruler” to be added to the enactment nor did he interfere in the state administration.

The Sultan himself has personally quashed rumours that he would not give royal assent to the Bill. At a late evening meeting with representatives from The Star and another English daily on Wednesday, the Tuanku said he was ready to sign the Bill at anytime. He also stressed that he had agreed to the amendments and has asked the state government to go on a roadshow to explain to his subjects and clear the confusion.

The controversy has been a baptism of fire for Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin.

The Johor Mentri Besar’s job has never been easy even from back then. The Johor royals are known for their big and outspoken personalities, they have clear views about the state and they are also rather business-minded.

For instance, former Mentri Besar Tan Sri Ghani Othman’s ties with the Palace were quite tense towards the end of his term and that was a chief reason why he could not continue on.

Ghani’s relations with the late Sultan Iskandar Sultan Ismail was also quite choppy in the beginning and only warmed up as time went by. Ghani was not the typical politician and did not play political games, but his respect for and loyalty to the Sultan were beyond question and he would sit for hours by the hospital bed when the late Tuanku was often unwell.

The present Mentri Besar appeared to have settle into his job without many hiccups and the Sultan had even praised him during the opening of the State Legislative Assembly.

Khaled and the Sultan were classmates in secondary school although that should not be taken to mean that they are friends because the royals move in their own rarefied world.

The perception is that Khaled misread the ground when he tried to rush the Bill through.

“The opinion out there was that the enactment was not consistent with the principles of constitutional monarchy. There was a sense that a line has been crossed,” said the above corporate figure.

Everyone agrees that the enactment was needed to facilitate Johor’s housing needs, especially in the area of affordable housing.

And, as some have pointed out, the original enactment that gave the Sultan a big role was no different from the rules governing Johor Corporation, the state development arm better known as JCorp. The parallels are there except that JCorp deals with commercial development whereas the current enactment involved state land and also Malay Reserve Land which can be a sensitive issue.

But more than that, Khaled had overlooked the undercurrent of misgivings about land and development issues in Johor arising from the impact of the Iskandar Malaysia regional scheme.

Gossip about multi-billion ringgit land transactions have been the stuff of kopitiam chatter. Khaled did not seem to realise that the land deals in Johor were being discussed and dissected on the Internet. Almost every Tom, Dick and Harry in the state was aware of what is going on, they were talking about it in a very critical tone.

Among many nationalistic Malays, there was concern about land falling into the hands of Singaporeans and China nationals. Land carries quite a bit of emotion for many Malays – after all their national bumiputra status comes from the word itself.

The Malay blogs had been abuzz about a Singaporean billionaire owning a piece of land along a strategic stretch of the Causeway that has national security implications. All this provided the backdrop to the groundswell of opinion over the problematic enactment. Rightly or wrongly, many people inside and outside Johor were already uneasy about what was happening and the enactment sort of tipped the scale of public opinion, the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Some have unfairly blamed Utusan Malaysia for instigating the uproar. One Barisan assemblyman has even demanded that the paper apologise to the Palace.

Utusan Malaysia group editor-in-chief Datuk Aziz Ishak is an intense and serious-minded journalist but he is at heart a Malay nationalist.

There is little doubt that his paper got the greenlight from “up there” to pursue the issue. But the paper has earned renewed respect for rising to the occasion – to defend national interests and also to protect the good name of the constitutional monarchy.

Some have even blamed Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for fuelling the issue. The former premier had penned a cryptic piece entitled “Jual Tanah” in his Cet Det blog on May 30. He did not name names but everyone knew where he was coming from.

A week later, he wrote a more forthcoming piece on the Federal Constitution where he said: “There is already a feeling of disrespect for the royals. This may lead to other forms of disrespect. Although, by and large, the Malays are for the institution of the monarch, when their ability to defend is eroded, they might forego their adat(customary norm).”

Many more said they would have been shocked if Dr Mahathir had kept quiet. After all, this man had dared to bell the cat, so to speak. He had clipped the wings of the monarchy in 1983 when he was struggling to make his mark, and again in 1993 when he was at the height of his power and popularity.

“Tun Mahathir wanted to make the concept of constitutional monarchy very clear. He was not against any particular sultan. His argument was that if the royals respect their own role, the people will respect them,” said publisher Juhaidi Yean Abdullah.

Every monarch wants to be loved and to be known as the people’s sovereign. It was easier in the old days before the era of the Internet where almost everything and every one is regarded as fair game. It is something that those who hold public office have to note.

Khaled was very stressed out and taken aback by the uproar. At a war room meeting a night before the Bill was tabled, the Mentri Besar had insisted that even if there were no revisions, it did not mean that the Sultan would be in charge.

Johor is a modern state but Johoreans have a very strong sense of the powers of the monarch. What happened was a test of the Malay psyche of Johor. There has always been this tension between the concept of daulat (royal sanctity) and derhaka(treason) in Malay society and the contestation between the two concepts was put to the test when Utusan Malaysia took up the issue. But these age-old concepts are also being challenged by public opinion on the role of a constitutional monarchy and the desire for transparency and accountability in the affairs of state.

There is a much more informed and sophisticated society out there who is not afraid to be heard. And that was why it responded to Utusan Malaysia’s daring move.

The views expressed are entirely the writer's own. JOCELINE TAN The STAR Online Home News Opinion Analysis 15/06/2014

Dad’s the way!

We look at some dads who gave their all to their beloved homeland

THERE are a lot of famous Malaysian fathers. And then, there are some not-so-famous dads. Fathers who gave their time, energy and love to this country, in their own way.

We asked members of the Malaysian Heritage & History Club, a facebook group, how they saw their own dads (or forefathers) in our history. Clearly, there’s nothing ordinary about Malaysian fathers.

The Malaysian Heritage & History Club is a facebook group founded in October 2012 by Bert Tan from Malacca for families and friends interested in the history of the people by the people. The group grew to some 4,000 members and is still growing.

Last year, the club began monthly Heritage Talks at the Riverine Coffeehouse in Malacca.

Speakers are sourced from club members according to their field of expertise, all done voluntarily. Most of the talks were recorded and can been watched on YouTube. The club believes history and heritage are for the masses, and not exclusive to academics and elites.

DATUK Ismail Mustapha

MY dad Datuk Ismail Mustapha, a graduate of RMC, went on to serve in Wisma Putra for 30-plus years, starting as a junior secretary before rising the ranks to become ambassador of Malaysia to Kuwait, Switzerland and Brazil.

He represented Malaysia at the UN General Assembly in 2003 where he called for the arrest of the “Butchers of Bosnia” Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic. “They must be apprehended and brought to justice. The consequences of ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity must be repaired through justice ...such heinous crimes must not be tolerated and must never be allowed to happen again. Without justice, there would be no genuine peace.”

Thanks to his job, I was born in Spain and experienced the deserts of Kuwait, the mountains of Switzerland and the beauty (and havoc!) of Brazil. He retired in 2010 and enjoys his days relaxing. Azlan Ismail, business manager, Kuala Lumpur

Tan Ah Chai

My dad, Tan Ah Chai @ Tan Guan Swee, (1930-2006) served in the Jungle Police Company. He was wounded in the hand in a skirmish with bandits in Jasin in the early 1950s, and was reassigned as a detective after he recovered. He was always seen at Chinese functions around Malacca. During the May 13, 1969 period, he didn’t come home for several days. No one knew about his work. He was a strict disciplinarian and a loving father of 10 kids. We still miss him. Bert Tan, Malacca

Mohd Derus Shariff

My father Mohd Derus Shariff was a good son, loving husband, father and generous granddad. A dedicated teacher, passionate farmer, ingenious carpenter, fisherman, hunter, handyman, amateur barber and musician. A committed community man and politician. All packed into 86 years.

“A man without principle is worthless,” he said. He quit politics to be an educationist. “A teacher can do more than a politician to mould children,” he reasoned. He declined a datukship upon his retirement.

“Umno isn’t the same party. Pre-Merdeka, it fought for things we didn’t have. Now it fights over things we have in abundance.” His disappointment was conspicuous, abstaining from all comment on Malaysian politics. He stood proud and resolute, anchored by his humility. I miss him dearly. This picture with some of his children was taken several weeks before he died.

Hamin Derus, Writer, Auckland

M. Rajagopal

MY father M. Rajagopal (1936-2003) was a Japanese Occupation survivor. In his heart, he was an artist, in his head, he knew he had to support a family.

He would tell me stories about the Occupation years: How his own mum died when he was just two, growing up with only his Dad. He grew up in very hard conditions, and that and post-war stress would later take a toll on his heart.

He taught at St George’s Girls School and at Convent Pulau Tikus. He was loved and respected because of his dedication to his pupils, so much so that his second heart attack happened when he was marking Art papers for SPM.

He went back to being an artist when he retired. I have all his artbooks, sketches and lino cuts.

Mohan Das, producer/audio engineer, Berlin

Ajis Salimin

MY dad Ajis Salimin really enjoyed his life. He attended the all-boys boarding school Sekolah Datuk Abdul Razak (SDAR) in Tanjung Malim, Perak (1958-1963) on government scholarship. There, he was involved in the literature club, rugby, football, and was a sprinter too. He held many posts: Prefect, deputy head boy, Sultan sport house captain and football captain.

He represented the Perak junior soccer team. He was the only one in his SDAR batch selected for training at the Outward Bound School, Lumut. Then, he was selected for Form Six at Malay College Kuala Kangsar. Unfortunately, because he came from a poor family, he declined and went to work. A great sacrifice.

He joined the police force in 1964 during the era of Royal Federation Police and finished his police inspector admission training. During his service in the force, he met his lovely wife and built a family. He served in every police branch — Field Force, UPP, traffic, narcotics, marine etc — and finally retired in 1999 as superintendent.

In retirement, he spent all his time with his family. He has contributed a lot to his beloved motherland.

In addition, he always reminded me to appreciate what we have and to always think about what we can do for our country, and not what the country can do for you. Mohd Faiz Ajis, veterinary enforcement officer, Selangor

Zain Mahmood

MY father Zain Mahmood was a scriptwriter, playwright, TV producer, broadcaster and filmmaker, one of the early pioneers of Malaysian television and later breaking new ground in Malay film history. He was Director of Broadcasting for TV Singapura and Director-General of Broadcasting for RTM until he retired in 1987.

He then launched into filmmaking and released his first movie in 1988, Fenomena — the first Malay movie to gross over RM1.7 million in ticket sales.

In 1990, his second film, Fantasia, also broke the record — it became the first time in the nation’s history that a Malaysian film was banned, apparently because it was deemed to contain “unIslamic elements”. It was finally allowed to be released in March 1994.

Abah did not live to see it on the widescreen — he died in his sleep one month before it was released. All that Abah was — creative, eloquent and unafraid — has inspired me to be the man I am today.

Sabri Zain, Policy Director, Writer and Rebel, Cambridge.

Alfonso Soliano

MY grandfather Alfonso Soliano, or Nonong to family and friends, was instrumental in single-handedly revolutionising the music industry, having infused western music elements in Malay Asli songs, re-arranging them to be played by a full scale orchestra as opposed to traditional instrumentation (like gendang and rebana) in the early 1950s.

Alfonso also notated Malay Asli songs (a first), at the request of Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman so that they could be played at all Malaysian embassies around the world. Apart from leading Orkes Radio Malaya (1951-1965), composing, arranging and re-arranging Malay music to fit our country’s first orchestra, he was also a mean jazz pianist.

Introducing be-bop to Malaysian audiences in 1948 at the tender age of 23, he was, 50 years ahead of his time! The list goes on in terms of his many contributions to our nation. His influence is still rippling 24 years on after his demise and will continue so for many more generations to come.

Rachel Guerzo, Jazz Pianist-Singer, Kuala Lumpur

Chang Ta Kang

MY father, Chang Ta Kang (1910-1965) was educated in English and a pioneer among Foochow boys to study in American mission colleges in China, including Yenching University, Beijing, graduating in journalism. He started the first English newspaper, Sarawak Times, in Kuching in 1939 which was bombed by the Japanese.

During the war he was beaten, imprisoned and put to hard labour like many men in Sibu. But he was not willing to serve the Japanese. In the colonial period, he was often asked to be interpreter, and examiner for the Colonial government. At various times, he was a local town councillor, a Council Negri Member, a founding father of the SUPP and the first general manager of Sarawak’s Foochow bank, the Hock Hua Bank.

Because of the beatings during the Japanese Occupation, he suffered heart problems which brought about his premature death. He was a brilliant bilingual scholar and a believer in non-violence. He practised Confucian ethics.

Chang Yi, Retired English Lecturer, Miri. Now a freelance photo-journalist.

Lim Keng Watt

MY father Lim Keng Watt (1909-1996) was a teacher but like many Chinese Malaccans, he joined the Straits Settlements Volunteer Force. As Sergeant 80047, he volunteered to evacuate families from Malacca to Singapore on Jan 11, 1942, accompanying Capt Cho Sow Lin. He saw action in Singapore as the supposedly impregnable city fell to the Japanese in February 1942.

He escaped slaughter during the fierce battle which killed many volunteers, probably due to survival techniques he learnt as a pioneer King’s Scout in Malacca and his sharp shooting skills. Another highlight of my father’s soldiering career was being chosen to represent the B (Chinese) Company in the Victory Parade in London on June 8, 1946. Audrey Lim Swee Peck, Malacca

Mustapha Hussain

IN 1938, my father Mustapha Hussain (1910-1987) was the founding vice-president of Kesatuan Melayu Muda (KMM) or Young Malay Union. As a result of the KMM President’s collusion with Japanese Intelligence before WW2 broke out in Malaya, my father had to “move” with the Japanese troops.

But he used his situation to save the lives of police officers, soldiers, volunteers and civilians. He also prevented hundreds of soldiers from being detained as Prisoners of War.

He is on record as the first Malay to ask for independence for his homeland. The Japanese reply: “Let the Japanese be the father. Malay, Chinese and Indian be the children. However, if the Malay child is thin, we will give him more milk.”

His life and his vivid narrative of Malay involvement in the war are documented in The Memoirs Of Mustapha Hussain: Malay Nationalism Before Umno (Malay, English). Insun Sony Mustapha, Taiping

Koay Ban Chuan

MY dad Koay Ban Chuan, born in Penang on April 23, 1933, was a former national football player having played for Malaya/ Malaysia from 1956-1964. He won the prestigious Merdeka Cup held in Kuala Lumpur in 1958 together with greats such as Ghani Minhat, M. Kuppan, Ng Boon Bee, S. Lourdes, Pang Siang Teik, Mok Wai Hong and Aziz Ahmad. The enigmatic Choo Seng Quee was coaching our Malaysia team then. My father represented Penang for more than a decade making him among the most capped Penang player of all time. In the tribute video to Tan Sri Ghani Minhat, you can see my dad at 1:40 front left,http://youtu.be/FtuVKGMFjx8. Mencius Koay, Penang

NST Online  Learning Curve 15 June 2014

Trivia Piala Dunia 2014

Koleksi trivia Piala Dunia 2014 yang akan di ulang siaran bagi setiap empat tahun kejohanan di jalankan.



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1. Pemain-pemain yang berjaya meledakan gol dalam dua perlawanan akhir.

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2. Pemain paling muda menjaringkan gol dalam sejarah Piala Dunia

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3. Pemain menjaringkan gol dalam empat final berturut-turut

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4. Pemain menjaringkan gol untuk dua negara

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5. Pemain  tertua England beraksi pada pusingan akhir Piala Dunia

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6. Teknologi Garisan Gol

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7. Mengapa Marcelo (pemain Brazil dan Real Madrid) menjaringkan gol sendiri dalam perlawanan pembukaan di antara Brazil melawan Crotia pada 12 Jun 2014.

Sumber Harian Metro 14 Jun 2014

Cuaca dan Suhu

Jika berasa suasana sangat panas dan membahang di negara kita kini, bayangkan Al'Aziziyah di Libya yang pernah mencatatkan suhu paling tinggi iaitu 58 darjah Celcius. Suhu terbabit di catatkan pada 13 September 1922. Suhu dunia paling rendah pula dicatatkan di Stesen Vostok Antartika pada 21 Julai 1983 pada tahap - 89.6 darjah Celcius.

Sementara itu, Mawsyaram di India di laporkan sebagai tempat paling basah di dunia apabila ia menerima lebih daripada 11 meter hujan setiap tahun. Sebaliknya di Antofagasta di Chile mencatat rekod sebagai tempat paling kering yang memperoleh kurang daripada 0.1 mm hujan setiap tahun, malah pernah tidak menerima hujan selama beberapa tahun.


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Sumber: Harian Metro 14 Jun 2014

DNA dan Babi

Rekod keterangan mengenai DNA dan Babi untuk pengetahuan umum

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1. Apakah itu DNA ?


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2. Gealtin babi boleh di hasilkan dalam 30 hari berbanding dengan haiwan lain ....


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3. Bagaimana proses status halal di lakukan di makmal.


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4. Akta Perihal Dagangan 2011


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5. Sumber daripada Babi/Khinzir dalam Industri


Sumber: Harian Metro Ahad 15 Jun 2014