October 19th, 2014

R&D syok sendiri

KUALA LUMPUR: Kurang dua peratus daripada 27,449 hasil penyelidikan dan pembangunan (R&D) di 15 universiti awam di negara ini berjaya dikomersialkan dalam tempoh lima hingga 10 tahun lalu.

Ini bererti hanya 494 hasil penyelidikan berjaya diterjemahkan dalam bentuk produk atau perkhidmatan untuk dimanfaatkan pengguna selepas berbilion ringgit dilaburkan dalam bentuk geran penyelidikan sama ada oleh kerajaan atau pelbagai agensi dalam dan luar.

Malah, kebanyakan penyelidikan yang berjaya dikomersialkan itu dihasilkan empat universiti penyelidikan dengan 1.5 peratus daripadanya adalah daripada Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) dan Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM).

Keempat-empat universiti itu berjaya mengkomersialkan 421 daripada lebih 20,000 hasil penyelidikannya dalam tempoh itu, berbanding hanya 73 daripada 7,449 hasil penyelidikan 11 universiti lain.   Berita Harian Rencana 14 Oktober 2014

Concerns over language skills

FORM Six student Intan* (not her real name) dreams of entering the legal profession one day.

However, the 18-year-old is worried that her English language skills may not be up to par for entry to local universities.

“I got a B for English in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), and I can understand the language – but I still don’t feel confident enough to speak it.

“I’m always self-conscious about getting the grammar wrong, or mispronouncing words.

“I’ve been trying to improve my language, but sometimes my friends make fun of me for wanting to speak in English,” said the Kuala Lumpur native.

Intan added that while she has been trying to grasp the language by reading more books in English, the process has been slow.

“Before this, my teachers taught me to get through the examinations by memorising essays, so I thought it was enough to get by.

“It’s my Form Six teacher who’s been really pushing me to do better, by making us do presentations and coaching me personally.

“But I don’t know if I will score well enough in the Malaysian University English Test (Muet) to study law if the entry and graduation requirements are raised,” she said.

Intan is one of the students concerned about honing her English language skills fast enough to meet the new entry requirements for public tertiary institutions next year.

When tabling the Budget 2015, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced that minimum Muet band required to enter public universities will be raised based on students’ field of study.

Carried out by the Malaysian Examinations Council, Muet scores students’ skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening from Band One (lowest) to Band Six (highest).

Currently, students need to achieve at least a Band 1 in Muet to enrol in public universities.

From next year onwards, students who wish to pursue courses in the arts and social sciences will need at least a Band 2 in Muet, while those who want to take up science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) courses require a minimum of Band 3.

Meanwhile, a Band 4 score will be the minimum requirement for programmes in medicine and law.

Students will also need to achieve a certain Muet band to graduate, namely at least a Band 3 for arts and social sciences courses; Band 4 for STEM courses; and Band 5 for courses in medicine and law.

Saying that graduates’ English proficiency skills needed to be enhanced, Najib also urged private institutions to implement the same requirements.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Wednesday explained that for the first year of implementation, universities will be given leeway to take in students who fulfil the general admission requirements.

However, such students will still be required to improve their English proficiency during their university study; so while a student may be admitted with just a Band 1 in Muet, he would still need to graduate with an equal or higher band than the required level.

Muhyiddin, who is also the Education Minister, added that while initiatives were being taken to extend the same requirements to private tertiary institutions in the future, the ministry wished to ensure that private institutions were prepared for such a measure.

As it stands, some public universities have already enforced similar measures; Universiti Malaya (UM) for instance, requires students to complete and pass two English modules in either reading, writing, presentation or communication and speaking.

K Ratna, who is a second-year student at UM, said students should seize any opportunitiy to expand their skill sets.

“Instead of seeing it (the language requirement) as a burden, students should make use of this opportunity to better themselves so they can stand out in job interviews.

“I suppose I’m lucky that my university is providing these sort of extra classes,” she said.

Form Six student Angeline Fong agreed, saying that said the new requirements will spur students to buck up.

“It’s definitely a good move as our graduates really do need to speak better English. This will be a motivation for university students to improve their English,” she said.

Other students however, pointed out that efforts to raise English proficiency should start at the school level.

Medical student Shaik Ashraf said the Muet requirement for incoming medical students was “unrealistic and almost unnecessary” as English is not the first language for many Malaysians.

“From experience, doctors mainly converse with their patients in Bahasa Malaysia anyway.

“This (measure) will add to the heavy workload we already have.

“If students don’t converse in English from the time they are in primary or secondary school, how can we expect them to be suddenly good in the language when they start their tertiary studies?” he said, adding that the move was not a quick-fix for increased English proficiency among students.

Sashi Subakaran, who is pursuing a degree in English, said that universities should increase the use of the language on campus first before such a policy is implemented.

“I don’t have a problem with it, but not everyone comes from an English-speaking background like I do.

“Students need to be exposed to the language first.

“It is unfair to penalise good students just because they are weak in a language,” he said.

As for Intan, her main aim now is to work even harder to secure a place at university for a course of her choice.

“With the little time I have, I don’t see a point in just complaining,” she said.

“I’m lucky enough to have my teachers help me, so I just have to do what I can.

“Who knows, maybe by next year, I’ll be speaking as fluently as a Mat Salleh!” The STAR Gome News Opinion 19/10/2014

Enhancing existing initiatives

Cash cheer: The RM100 schooling assistance will once again be handed out to all schoolchildren in 2015. - File photo

Cash cheer: The RM100 schooling assistance will once again be handed out to all schoolchildren in 2015. - File photo

Among other things, Budget 2015 seeks to strengthen education plans and policies already in place.

AS with previous years, the education sector received a substantial allocation in the Budget 2015.

When tabling the budget in Parliament, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced that RM56bil will be allocated to the Education Ministry to carry out teaching and learning programmes.

Some RM250mil will be channelled to School Improvement Specialist Coaches and School Improvement partners.

The Budget 2015 also provided RM10mil to establish 20 more trust schools in Johor, Sarawak, Selangor, Perak, Negri Sembilan, and Kuala Lumpur.

Established in 2011, the trust school programme sees the private sector partnering with schools to improve their performance.

The heads of trust schools are also given more autonomy in managing and determining the teaching and learning process in the schools.

With 30 trust schools in the country so far, one of the aims of the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013 - 2025 is to establish 500 trust schools by 2025.

For the maintenance and repair of schools, RM800mil will be allocated towards ensuring a “safe and conducive learning environment” for students.

A class in session: Pupils carrying out an activity at SJK (T) Kangkar Pulai, one of the 30 trust schools set up so far. Another 20 trust schools will be set up next year. - File photo
A class in session: Pupils carrying out an activity at SJK (T) Kangkar Pulai, one of the 30 trust schools set
up so far. Another 20 trust schools will be set up next year. – File photo

Of this, RM450mil will be earmarked for national schools, while RM50mil each will be for Chinese vernacular schools; Tamil vernacular schools; religious schools; fully residential schools; government-aided religious schools; and Mara junior science colleges.

Conforming schools (Chinese vernacular secondary schools) which use the national curriculum and registered pondok schools will receive RM25mil each.

Vernacular schools will receive additional support from the ministry in paying their electricity and water bills, as the monthly allocation cap for these utility bills will be increased to RM5,000 from RM2,000 previously.

It was also announced that 12 new schools will be built next year – seven primary schools, three secondary schools and two boarding schools.

For the provision of early childhood education, RM711mil will be allocated specifically to the Education Ministry, Tabika Kemas, Permata and Tabika Perpaduan.

The Budget 2015 also continues two forms of aid that directly benefit parents and students – the schooling assistance programme and the 1Malaysia Book Voucher Programme.

Just like the aid given out earlier this year, all school pupils and students will receive RM100 to help their families with school-related costs, while university students will each receive book vouchers worth RM250 for the purchase of study materials and stationery.

Book boost: The 1Malaysia Book Voucher programme will carry on next year to help university students offset the cost of their textbooks and study materials. - File photo
Book boost: The 1Malaysia Book Voucher programme will carry on next year to help university students
offset the cost of their textbooks and study materials. – File photo

UCSI University student Lim Sin Wei suggested students be allowed to buy more stationery using the book vouchers.

“I’m happy about getting the book vouchers of course, but the 80:20 book to stationery ratio is too much for me.

“Stationery, particularly paper, ink cartridges and thumbdrives can cost a lot,” she said.

The Budget 2015 also gives PTPTN loan borrowers an incentive to pay up; if they make a lump sum payment by March 31 next year, they will receive a 20% discount on their loans, while those who pay consis­tently for 12 months until Dec 31, 2015 will be offered a 10% discount.

Vocational and technical education also received a boost, with a RM1.2bil allocation to upgrade and increase student capacity at vocational and technical colleges.

As demand for places at vocational and technical colleges far exceeded supply, Najib announced an immediate RM100mil allocation to the Education Ministry for 10,000 placements in private colleges. A further RM50 million will be allocated to Mara to implement technical and vocational programmes

A further RM30mil was allocated to provide technical training and education assistance to Indian youth, particularly those from low-income families.

MIC Youth higher education bureau chairman Mahaganapathy Dass welcomed the allocation, saying that it stood to benefit nearly 30,000 youth.

Moving forward: Najib (right) and Muhyiddin holding a copy of Budget 2015 after it was tabled in Parliament earlier this month.
Moving forward: Najib (right) and Muhyiddin holding a copy of Budget 2015 after it was tabled in Parliament earlier this month.

“Every year there are about 40,000 Indian students sitting for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia.

“About 8,000 to 10,000 go to the next level, and perhaps 23,000 go for skills training. What happens to the rest?

“I hope the Government will also consider work placements for these students, so that the investment made for training is fruitful,” he said.

To encourage more people to further their studies, RM112mil will be allocated to MyBrain15 next year to continue offering grants for Masters and PhD study in local universities.

The programme will also be extended to civil servants and employees of statutory bodies next year.


Launched in 2008, the programme aims to produce 60,000 PhD holders by 2023.

To date, there are 34,525 students pursuing post-graduate courses under the programme with a cost of over RM386mil.

Researcher Athirah Rosli said the expansion of the grants would spur more people to embrace lifelong learning.

“Personally, doing a PhD was a no-brainer for me as I was always interested in research and academia.

“But I think many people don’t realise the value of continuing their education; it helps you fine-tune your critical thinking skills, articulate your opinions, and improve your self-discipline.

“Even if you don’t go into academia, these are useful skills for any profession,” she said. PRIYA KULASAGARAN, JEANNETTE GOON, REBECCA RAJENDRAM, AND ANN-MARIE KHOR The STAR Home News Education 19/10/2014

Poor English due to education system and environment

I REFER to the report “Still stumbling over English” (The Star, Oct 16) and am not surprised when Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said many graduates from public universities cannot speak proper English although they score well in reading and writing tests.

The reason for the problem is the lack of communicating in English from primary school, at home and with friends.

Students in public schools do not have a conducive environment to speak English as most of these schools comprise only one race who are used to their mother tongue.

The situation is more glaring in rural schools where a good mixture of students from the various races is lacking. Some English teachers do not speak English beyond their classrooms.

Also, some English teachers are not proficient in the language to express themselves and engage with students in a lively discussion.

As the students progress to tertiary level, the rot has set in where they are unable to speak proper English. It is not their fault as they are the product of the environment to which they are thrown into.

At home, not many students have parents who speak to them in English. Some children watch English movies or cartoons on TV to improve their English. However, they have no one to communicate in English at school, home or even the neighbourhood.

Children from aristocrat families were fortunate as they had parents who were Westernised Oriental Gentlemen (WOG) where English supersedes the mother tongue at home.

For higher education, these well-to-do kids are either sent to local private universities or abroad. In the good old days when public schools used English as a medium of instruction, children from poor families, both in the urban and rural, were able to speak in English from Primary One. As they progress, they have no problem communicating with others in English.

And they are not shy to speak in English even with the nobility. They exude confidence and high self-esteem.

Many retired civil servants who had the privilege of studying in English-medium schools in the 1950s and 1960s, where many among them come from poor families, speak excellent English unlike the present generation of civil servants who are the product of the national education system.

Maybe, if we read between the lines of what was said by Muhyiddin, it was indeed a big mistake to do away with English-medium schools.

We now have a situation of Malaysians speaking Manglish with phrases such as “Like that one ah!” or “Die man!” .

Most prefer not to speak in English for fear of being ridiculed or laugh at. It is a sad situation. Hassan Talib The STAR Letters 17/10/2014

Worship and a way of life

The design of a Hindu temple reflects many things, including the dharma, values and the Hindu way of life, writes Aneeta Sundararaj



Clay lamps NST/Faiz Anuar

ON Deepavali last year, when I visited the temple, something didn’t feel right. Yet, I couldn’t put my finger on why I wasn’t feeling at peace.

When I discussed this with J.R. Rajaji, a former member of the committee of the Hindu Endowment Board which oversees the Waterfall Temple (Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple) in Penang, he asked me if I had stepped into the temple the right way.



Waterfall Temple (Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple) in Penang is the highest hilltop temple in Penang. NST/ Muhammad Mik

This puzzled me. Nonetheless, I recalled that, because of the crowd, I had entered via a side entrance.



Kailash, a Shiva temple in India in the Unesco heritage site of Ellora. The entire structure is carved out of a single granite piece and took centuries to complete. The word kailash means Abode Of Shiva.

Rajaji, 78, then mentioned “vashtu shastra” and I asked him to explain why that was important in matters of temple construction and worship.

He explained: “You see, the design of a Hindu temple is like the structure of a cosmic man who, in Hindu mythology, is called Purush.”

According to the story, Lord Brahma created Purush when he was creating the Universe. In the process, things got a little out of hand and Purush became too large to manage. At the behest of the other Gods, Lord Brahma contained Purush by pinning him down with his head towards north-east and legs to the south-west. Unable to bring Himself to destroy Purush, Lord Brahma decided to make him immortal. Henceforth, he was to be known as Vashtu-Purush and all mortals who built a structure on Earth needed to first worship him.

FUNDAMENTAL CHART

With this in place, ancient architects went on to create the basic metaphysical chart for all Hindu temples, which they still call a Vashtu-Purusha-Mandala.

They chose the square as the fundamental form to symbolise unity, inertia and permanence. From the square, they were able to derive all other shapes such as the triangle, hexagon, octagon and circle.

“You will notice that this chart is divided into 81 parts (9x9),” said Rajaji. “The number 9 is very important and is derived from the human body. We have nine ‘holes’ - two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, one mouth, two orifices for waste.”

Like any other art form, there are regional variations in the style and construction of a temple, such as those from Orissa, Gujarat, Kashmir and South India. However, this basic metaphysical chart is still used to create the final form (inclusive of the vertical and horizontal dimensions) of the temple.

Once the plan is drawn up on paper, the next step is to “draw” it at the actual building site.

“There is a sanctification ceremony called the Bhoomiparipalana puja. A priest from India will conduct all the necessary ceremonies before actual work begins,” said Rajaji.

Then, I succeeded in drawing his ire by asking why it was necessary for a priest to come all the way from India to work on a temple plan. Surely, our local architects and engineers are able to create and construct a temple as well.

He paused before replying: “Yes, with modern technology, you can even build a temple in the middle of the ocean. But is it practical? You need a place where God can be powerful enough to bless the world. I mean, if you had a president and gave him a weak chair to sit on, what’s the point? This is something that only those who are well-versed in temple structure, astrology and construction can do.”

Having set the record straight, Rajaji continued: “When you look at a temple, imagine you’re looking at a man who is lying down with his head in the north-east and his legs in the south-west. The entrance to the temple, the gopuram, is the man’s feet.”

This means paying obeisance at the entrance of a temple is the first step of Hindu worship. Once inside the temple grounds, devotees remove their shoes and then rinse their feet, mouth and hands in the place provided.

WORSHIP AT THE FLAGPOLE

Why a flagpole? “In olden times,” said Rajaji, “men used to go around town to pass messages. Some messages were good, some were bad. When they saw a flagpole, such as at a wedding, they would avoid coming in to deliver bad news. So, the flagpole tells everyone that this is a good place. From this point on, you must leave all your negative thoughts and keep only pure thoughts in your head.”

SYMBOLISMS AND MEANINGS

It is customary to worship Lord Ganesh before entering the main hall of the temple. By honouring Him first, the dynamic blessings of the temple will be opened to the devotee. The next step is to pay obeisance to the vehicle of the presiding deity of the temple.

Ranjiji said: “In a Shiva temple, there will be a Nandi or sacred bull in front of the temple. For an Amman temple, you’ll see a lion, Simmhavahanam, because that is her vehicle.

“Step inside the mahamandap (main hall) using your right foot. Don’t step on the threshold. Step over it instead.

“Once you’re inside the temple hall, imagine you’re standing on the stomach of Vashtu-Purush.”

It is said that in the middle of the temple floor, you will find a black dot.

“This black dot is symbolic of the umbilicus of Vashtu-Purush,” explained Rajaji. “It is also the exact centre of the Vashtu-Purusha-Mandala and Brahmasthanam (the station of Lord Brahma). Think of it this way: When you make pickles, you put all the good things into the jar and seal it. This black dot is like the 10th hole and seals all the good things in the temple.”

Thereafter, devotees will present their offerings (usually a tray of flowers) to the priest to be placed before the presiding deity of the temple in the place called the karpagraham or moolasthanam. “This is where the head of Vashtu-Purush lies and is always in the north-east. The sun’s rays must reach the presiding deity of the temple in this inner sanctum. This is why, even in your own house, you should never sleep with your head in the south-west,” said Rajaji.

FIRE AND ASH

After this, the priest recites the necessary mantras and lights the flame (deepum).

“At the moment when he holds the deepum in front of the deity, that’s the single moment when you are in communion with the deity,” he said.

The priest then brings the deepum in front of you and you are invited to draw the blessings of the presiding deity by passing your hands over the flame and lightly touching your eyes.

Rajaji added: “The vibuthi (ash) given to you after this is to remind you that whatever you do in this lifetime, there will come a time when you will return to dust. The chandana (sandalwood paste) and kumkum you apply to your forehead represents the third eye of the spiritual seeing. The kumkum also symbolises that all humans are equal for all our blood is red.”

Food cooked and blessed may then be distributed to the devotees. It is customary to leave a monetary offering in a donation box. One of the final acts of worship in a Hindu temple is to undertake the pradakshina (walk around the sanctum in clockwise fashion). Having come to the end of his explanations, Rajaji smiled at me and said: “Always leave a temple in peace.”. NST Lifestyle 19/10/2014

Failure the Key to Success

Looking back as we approach another year end and tabulating whether my successes have been more than my failures. It’s clear that failure has left its imprint.

The hardest blow came in the form of failing a major exam. The pain was crippling. It did knock me out for a bit. But after all, how do you climb back onto the saddle when the horse has flung you off: when your plans fall to pieces? Life will constantly test your resolve and level of commitment.

If only we could have patience in the midst of our trials. Coping with rejection and apparent failure is a serious matter. The tragic death of John Kennedy Toole (American novelist born in 1830) screams this truth. No publisher would touch Toole’s book. He began suffering from paranoia and depression. In a vain attempt to kill the pain, he committed suicide at the age of 31. Toole's novels were rejected during his lifetime. However, posthumously, he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1980.

Never let Success get to your Head. Never let Failure get to your Heart.


Many of us have stifled our life by heeding some misguided critic who implied we were not good enough. Few things in life are certain. But failure and rejection are.

Failure seems as something to be avoided at all cost. Although it leaves a sour taste, we should embrace failure for the learning opportunity it is. Failure is the oldest teacher, and perhaps the wisest of them all. Some things are impossible to completely grasp without first falling down.

Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” ~Denis Waitley

I would like to share 20 Powerful Quotes on failure that will inspire you to keep persevering.

1. "You always pass failure on your way to success." ~Mickey Rooney

2. "A failure is a man who has blundered, but is not able to cash in the experience." ~Elbert Hubbard

3. "Failure is the tuition you pay for success." ~Walter Brunell

4. "Feeling sorry for yourself, and your present condition is not only a waste of energy but the worst habit you could possibly have. ~Dale Carnegie

5. "Success represents the 1% of your work which results from the 99% that is called failure." ~Soichiro Honda

6. "The season of failure is the best time for sowing the seeds of success.” ~Paramahansa Yogananda

7. "Success is not built on success. It’s built on failure. It’s built on frustration. Sometimes it’s built on catastrophe." ~Sumner Redstone

8. "Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor." ~Truman Capote

9. "There is no failure. Only feedback." ~Robert Allen

10. "Remember that failure is an event, not a person." ~Zig ziglar

11. "Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough." ~Og Mandino

12. "Its fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure." ~Bill Gates

13. "Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again." ~Richard Branson

14. "I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying." ~Michael Jordan

15." Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit." ~Napoleon Hill

16. "Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently." ~Henry Ford

17." My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure." ~Abraham Lincoln

18. "I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward." ~Thomas Edison

19. "Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat. "~F. Scott Fitzgerald

20. Our best success often come after our greatest disappointments. ~Henry Ward Beecher

Finally, don’t let the fear of failure hold you back.

Remember to take risks: if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise. Always find joy in your journey for as George Bailey said it best It’s a Wonderful Life!

I wish you the very best in life, success and prosperity.

I really appreciate that you are taking the time to read this post. Here are the other 6 posts I have written:

Brigette Hyacinth Small Business Adjustor at SCOTIABANK Trinidad LinkedIn October 18, 2014

Warren Buffett: A Profile in Failure

The greatest people in history have been failures. Certainly, we remember these individuals as successes, success stories, and we treat those stories as legends and those individuals as gods. But each of them failed epically and repeatedly, more so than the combined successes of all of humanity.

Warren Buffet



Image Credit: Javier / Flickr

Failure should not be overlooked in anyone, especially not those we admire. It is through failure that these individuals were able to learn, grow and ultimately succeed. We know this about ourselves but even as we learn to accept our own failures, sometimes we don’t recognize that the most successful people in the world have had an abundance of failure.

Our heroes need to be held to the same standard as the ancient Greek gods: awesome but not infallible. Failure is a humbling exercise, both for the observer and the observed. But learning is a humbling process. Once we realize that our heroes are just like us, we can examine how failure drives success. So I’ve started collecting stories about the failures of successful people, as a reminder that if you’re making mistakes and learning from them, you’re actually on the path to success.

When you think of Warren Buffett, chances are the words “successful” and “rich” come to mind. Look no further than Wikipedia, which highlights Buffett as being “widely considered the most successful investor of the 20 century.” (Wikipedia may not always be the beacon of truth, but it is nonetheless accurate in this case.) Buffett is also known for his wisdom and patience, earning him saint-like nicknames such as “Oracle” and “Sage.” People make annual pilgrimages to Omaha just to hear him speak. But what many people don’t know is that his purchase of Berkshire Hathaway—his crowning achievement now worth over $300 billion—was an epic failure, driven by hubris and immaturity. Buffett once declared “I would have been better off if I’d never heard of Berkshire Hathaway.”

Buffett’s involvement in Berkshire Hathaway started in 1962 as an investment similar to his other purchases. Analysts calculated the stock was worth $19.46 a share, but it could be bought for a mere $7.50, so Buffett bought some “cheap” stock, planning to sell it back to the company when the price rose. After a time, Berkshire’s President—Seabury Stanton—got wind of Buffett’s stock accumulation and called him to his Massachusetts office for a meeting. He asked at what price Buffett would be willing to sell, and Buffett said he’d sell for $11.50 a share if there was a tender offer.

Shortly thereafter, Stanton issued a tender offer of $11.37 and a half cents per share. The young Buffett was livid; he felt that Stanton was trying to pull one over on him. Instead of renegotiating or holding his stock until a better offer came around, he started looking for more stock to buy. He vowed to buy a controlling interest in the company just so he could fire Seabury Stanton.

Berkshire Hathaway in the 1960s was nothing like the powerful conglomerate it is today. It was a lowly textile company that imported raw cotton from the South and turned it into cloth. Before air conditioning was invented, Berkshire addressed an important need as mills had to be located far away from southern heat and humidity. But by the 1960s air conditioning was commonplace, labor was cheap in the South, and both labor and raw materials were even cheaper overseas. So by the time Buffett started buying stocks, New England textile mills were in dire straits, including Berkshire Hathaway.

Yet Buffett was determined to own the company, driven by his disdain of Seabury Stanton. He convinced others to sell him their stock until he had collected enough to control the Board. Seabury, seeing the writing on the wall, resigned, and Buffett was elected Chairman of the Board and hired Seabury’s replacement. Despite new management, the textile mill continued to disintegrate. Buffett first poured money into it and ultimately tried to sell it, but no one would buy it. It ultimately shut down.

Of course, by then Buffett had diversified its holdings, acquiring companies in different industries to keep Berkshire Hathaway afloat. But the original Berkshire Hathaway textile company was a huge mistake. In his biography, The Snowball, he put it this way:

“You walk down the street and you see a cigar butt, and it’s kind of soggy and disgusting and repels you, but it’s free…and there may be one puff left in it. Berkshire didn’t have any more puffs. So all you had was a soggy cigar butt in your mouth. That was Berkshire Hathaway in 1965. I had a lot of money tied up in the cigar butt….I would have been better off if I’d never heard of Berkshire Hathaway.”

Buffett made a series of poor decisions which forced him to fight his way through a hard lesson learned. He was stubbornly persistent, and rather than giving up and allowing Berkshire Hathaway to fail, he diversified the business into one of the greatest success stories in investor lore. What’s more, Buffett didn’t hide from this huge failure. To the contrary, he wore it as a badge of honor. He kept what is arguably a horrible brand name and it’s a reminder of his failure each and every day for the rest of his life. Buffett owned that failure, internalized it, and let it become a defining characteristic of the now supremely successful Berkshire Hathaway. Jeff Stibel influencer Chairman & CEO, Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. and author of NYT bestseller Breakpoint LinkedIn October 17, 2014

Kesan gambir Sarawak

Adakah penggunaan gambir Sarawak akan memberi kesan yang buruk walaupun jarang menggunakannya? Saya masih bujang tetapi rakan ada menceritakan perihal gambir Sarawak.

Gambir Sarawak digunakan untuk sakit gusi.

KHAI Serdang, Selangor

Gambir Sarawak atau nama saintifiknya Uncaria Gambir adalah sejenis tumbuhan yang dihasilkan dari getah kayu pokok gambir yang banyak ditemui di dalam hutan Sarawak.



Untuk makluman anda, gambir Sarawak digunakan untuk sakit gusi. Apabila serbuk gambir disental di gusi, bahagian itu akan rasa pijar dan sakit gusi akan rasa lega.

Jadi, gambir Sarawak sebenarnya memanaskan, memijarkan kulit atau mukosa dan boleh membakar serta meradangkan kulit yang sihat menjadi sakit dan melecur.

Kulit zakar dan kulit anggota kelamin perempuan dari jenis kulit lembut yang mengandungi banyak urat saraf. Apabila gambir Sarawak disapu di bahagian itu dan anggota kelamin perempuan menerima kesan dari zakar yang disapu Gambir Sarawak, kulit anggota itu akan radang.



Jika kebetulan bahan itu mengakibatkan alahan kepada kulit, bahagian itu akan bengkak dan melecur. Kawan anda tidak memberi maklumat ini kerana mereka tidak tahu atau mereka mahu menganiaya anda.

Berwaspada apabila anda diberi gambir Sarawak untuk tujuan melambatkan ejakulasi. Kesan sampingan yang berlaku boleh membantutkan hubungan intim dan me­ngeruhkan keceriaan. Elak guna gambir Sarawak.

Dr Ismail Thamby Harian Metro Kolumnis 18/10/2014

Putus tunang sebab RM10,000

Tidak mudah saya hendak lupakan bekas tunang. Kami putus kerana ibu saya dan keluarga sering berselisih pendapat mengenai belanja kahwin serta hantaran.

Tunang saya bekerja sendiri dan pendapatannya tidak menentu. Namun ibu beranggapan tunang adalah kontraktor berjaya dan meminta hantaran lebih RM10,000 bukan masalah buatnya.

Berbeza dengan keluarga tunang, mereka menyangka saya jenis 'materialistik' menyebabkan kedua-dua pihak bertegang leher ketika hari perbincangan majlis kahwin.

Saya dan tunang turut terheret ke dalam pergaduhan lalu kami mengambil jalan berpisah sementara sebelum putus dua bulan lalu.

Saya sungguh sedih kerana majlis yang bakal berlangsung dibatalkan akibat campur tangan orang lain, malah kami berpisah. Saya masih sayangkan dia, namun dia terlalu mudah mencari pengganti apabila majlis yang sepatutnya menjadi majlis menyambut menantu di sebelahnya tetap diteruskan, cuma pengantinnya bertukar.

Saya terkilan dan hati benar-benar hancur. Tiga minggu lalu, bekas tunang telefon dan tetap mengatakan mahu mengahwini saya, sedangkan keluarganya sudah mengatur majlis perkahwinan dengan calon lain.

Wajarkah saya menerima lamarannya buat kali kedua dan 'merampas' dia daripada calon pilihan keluarganya?

FARISYA Alor Star, Kedah

Simpati Dang Setia dengan masalah yang menimpa saudari. Inilah akibatnya apabila keegoan menjadi juri kepada setiap penyelesaian konflik.

Sebagai orang tua, mereka seharusnya memikirkan situasi saudari serta tunang. Letak urusan dalam mengurus hari perkahwinan terhadap bakal pengantin sendiri dan bukan masuk campur secara total.

Saudari dan tunang bukan anak kecil yang masih bertatih, malah cukup dewasa menilai yang mana baik mahupun buruk. Dalam soal ini, saudari serta tunang perlu mengambil langkah lebih agresif.

Tindakan berkenaan bertujuan menasihati orang tua dan bukan menderhaka. Selain itu, ambil pendekatan memujuk serta memberi gambaran baik mengenai keluarga tunang terhadap keluarga sendiri.

Selain itu, saudari dan tunang perlu lebih berani dan terbuka dalam meluahkan perasaan kurang senang dengan sikap mereka yang terlalu campur tangan. Minta keluarga kedua-dua pihak memberi ruang dan memahami situasi saudari serta tunang.   Harian Metro Kolumnis 191014

Analisis Mingguan ~ Awang Selamat

Tahniah Malaysia

Walaupun pemimpin pembangkang tertentu agresif menjalankan gerakan memburukkan kerajaan Malaysia sejak beberapa tahun lalu, ia tidak banyak memberi kesan malah masyarakat antarabangsa terus menyakini negara ini.

Terbaharu, Malaysia dipilih menduduki kerusi tidak tetap Majlis Keselamatan Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu (PBB) bagi tempoh 2014-2015 selepas mendapat tempat kedua dengan 187 undi daripada 192 negara yang mengundi pada Perhimpunan Agung badan dunia itu kelmarin.

Inilah kali keempat Malaysia menang selepas 1965, 1989 dan 1999. Kali ini, kemenangan lebih bergaya dengan melebihi sasaran 130 undi.

Kejayaan tersebut dilihat sebagai satu lagi pengiktirafan dunia terutama ke atas kepimpinan, rekod dan imej negara. Sudah tentu ia pencapaian membanggakan buat rakyat. Awang mengucapkan tahniah kepada kerajaan Malaysia pimpinan Perdana Menteri, Najib Tun Razak dan Menteri Luar, Anifah Aman serta delegasi kita yang telah lama bekerja keras dalam usaha mereka.

Kepada Anifah, teruskan dedikasi dan kecemerlangan sebagai Menteri Luar. Awang sudah lama amati, beliau memang ada kelas dan ketokohannya tersendiri.


Tidak banyak cakap tetapi berkesan.

Bersihkan...

Laporan mengenai Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan (JPJ) memperoleh pendapatan sehingga RM400 juta setahun hasil daripada jualan nombor pendaftaran kenderaan di seluruh negara, menarik perhatian.

Kutipan itu dibuat menerusi bidaan bagi mendapatkan nombor plet yang unik dan dianggap boleh membawa tuah sebagaimana menjadi kegilaan sebahagian orang kaya-raya.

Awang tidaklah teruja hal-hal nombor. Biarlah sesiapa yang mampu dan berkeinginan besar membida nombor yang mereka suka, asalkan ia dibuat secara telus dan bersih. Namun JPJ perlu mendedahkan nama pemenang, elok rakyat tahu siapa mereka. Juga, siapa lebih ramai - pembesar istana, menteri, exco, tauke besar atau pegawai kanan awam? Di samping itu, aspek pembidaan perlu diaudit sepenuhnya bagi mengelak ada pihak mengambil kesempatan dan untung atas angin. Kepada JPJ, usahlah berbangga dengan kutipan yang lumayan daripada bidaan nombor pendaftaran. KPI sebenar jabatan tersebut adalah menangani banyak permasalahan terutama rungutan orang ramai. JPJ adalah antara agensi paling menjadi perhatian terutama soal integriti dan kegagalan menyelesaikan isu. Sampai sekarang isu cermin gelap dan nombor plet rojak masih belum diatasi. Bermula 1 November ini, JPJ akan melancarkan pula operasi khas nombor pendaftaran, pemasangan aksesori lampu tambahan (lampu strob) dan lampu xenon di seluruh negara. Awang bukanlah skeptikal, sudah banyak operasi bermusim seumpama itu dijalankan tetapi wal hasil balik asal - tiada kesan. Kedai menjual aksesori makin banyak dan bebas mengeluarkan produk yang melanggar peraturan JPJ. Seperkara lagi, elok dipastikan terlebih dahulu semua pegawai, anggota dan staf JPJ benar-benar mematuhi peraturan pada kenderaan peribadi mereka terutama cermin gelap supaya menjadi teladan. Janganlah hanya tunjuk taring kepada orang ramai sambil pejam mata kepada salah laku anggota sendiri. Kepada Ketua Pengarahnya, Ismail Ahmad, tolong bersihkan JPJ terlebih dahulu.

Tidak mustahil

Awang bersyukur apabila Parlimen Britain mengundi menyokong pengiktirafan Palestin sebagai sebuah negara berdaulat. Sebanyak 274 ahli Parlimen mengundi menyokong dan 12 menentang bagi satu usul mendesak kerajaan Britain untuk mengiktiraf kedua-duanya - negara Palestin bersama negara Israel.

Walaupun undian itu tidak mengubah pendirian diplomatik rasmi Britain, ia adalah satu lagi perkembangan yang positif. Bulan lalu, Perdana Menteri Sweden yang baharu, Stefen Lofven mengumumkan pengiktirafan ke atas negara Palestin meskipun berdepan dengan kritikan Israel.

Awang angkat topi kepada Lofven kerana mendokong kebebasan dan keadilan sejagat yang sebenar walaupun tahu cabarannya cukup besar. Selepas Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu (PBB) mengundi untuk mengiktiraf negara Palestin pada 2012, tiada peningkatan kepada usaha tersebut, apatah lagi ditolak oleh Amerika Syarikat dan banyak negara Eropah.

Sememangnya perjalanan Palestin untuk mendapat pengiktirafan dunia sebagai negara berdaulat masih jauh. Namun Awang yakin ia bukan sesuatu yang mustahil. Rejim aparteid di Afrika Selatan tumbang jua akhirnya walaupun pada mulanya tidak diberi harapan. Teruskan berdoa dan perhebat usaha beri tekanan kepada dunia terutama Israel. Boikot terhadap produk dan perkhidmatan Israel semasa serangan yang mengorbankan lebih 2,100 nyawa rakyat Palestin, Ogos lalu, ternyata memberi kesan. Ekonomi Israel terjejas dengan kerugian hampir AS$5 bilion ekoran banyak pihak termasuk di Eropah menyertai kempen boikot itu. Dengan kuasa tekanan yang meningkat tahun demi tahun maka peluang dan harapan buat negara Palestin berdaulat masih terbuka luas. Apa senjata utamanya? Obor keyakinan yang tidak pernah padam.

"Tak Nak"

Walaupun pernah menerima banyak teguran dan kritikan kerana kegagalan iklan antimerokok `Tak Nak’, Kementerian Kesihatan nampaknya masih menggunakan kempen yang sama.

Awang tidak faham mengapa. Tidak mungkin kementerian itu sudah ketandusan idea untuk tampil dengan kempen yang lebih menarik dan berkesan. Persoalannya, untuk apa membelanjakan wang yang banyak bagi kempen yang sudah pun diragui oleh orang ramai. Tentu ada pendekatan baharu yang boleh dilaksanakan bagi berdepan dengan realiti hari ini yang menyaksikan peningkatan jumlah perokok terutama remaja. Mahu menyerah sahajakah?

Kajian jenaka?

Sebagai pengamal media, Awang sudah lama hilang kepercayaan kepada syarikat penyelidikan The Nielsen Company (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd. kerana kewibawaannya yang terdedah kepada keraguan, manipulasi dan bias.

Kajian pembaca yang dibuat oleh syarikat itu menggunakan kayu ukur yang ketinggalan zaman dan tidak reflektif kepada pasaran sebenar penonton serta pembaca. Contoh paling mudah, ada akhbar yang jauh lebih tinggi edarannya tetapi menurut kajian Nielsen, jauh lebih rendah dari segi jumlah pembacanya. Tidak munasabah tetapi sampai hari ini, Nielsen gagal menjawab penggunaan kaedahnya yang samar dan tidak tepat.

Awang boleh faham mengapa beberapa organisasi media menarik diri daripada menggunakan khidmat Nielsen. Malah ada yang membidas dan mahu menyaman Nielsen sebagaimana akhbar TheSun pada 2011. Bukan itu sahaja, reputasi Nielsen sudah menjadi bahan jenaka sebahagian pemain industri media tanah air, macam menonton program Maharaja Lawak - ketawakan sahaja.

DAP dan Integriti

Hairan mengapa para pemimpin kanan DAP tidak tahu malu membiarkan parti itu terus beroperasi tanpa pengiktirafan Pendaftar Pertubuhan (ROS) ekoran banyak aduan ahlinya berhubung salah laku dalam pemilihan Jawatankuasa Eksekutif Pusat (CEC).

Ia umpama parti politik haram sementara anggota CEC boleh ditafsir berstatus hantu. Isu itu kembali panas ekoran kenyataan beberapa individu bersama hujah yang tidak mampu dijawab oleh kepimpinan DAP. Antaranya 120 cawangan yang belum mendaftar tetapi hadir dan mengundi dan 500 surat akuan palsu. Lalu Awang teringatkan buku tulisan Father Augustus yang mendedahkan kepincangan dan salah laku pemilihan CEC DAP.

Siapa penulisnya tidak penting tetapi isi kandungan buku itu yang lebih bernilai iaitu kebenaran banyak perkara. Awang cadangkan pendedahan Father Augustus dijadikan perbahasan umum, yang para pemimpin dan ahli DAP boleh terlibat sama. Itu juga kesempatan bagi DAP membuktikan bahawa parti yang mendapat sokongan majoriti kaum Cina itu, ada harga diri dalam soal integriti. Bukankah kaum itu tidak berkompromi dan tidak mahu dilihat berkompromi kepada penipuan, salah laku dan penyelewengan?

Walaupun pemimpin pembangkang tertentu agresif menjalankan gerakan memburukkan kerajaan Malaysia sejak beberapa tahun lalu, ia tidak banyak memberi kesan malah masyarakat antarabangsa terus meyakini negara ini.

Terbaharu, Malaysia dipilih menduduki kerusi tidak tetap Majlis Keselamatan Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu (PBB) bagi tempoh 2014-2015 selepas mendapat tempat kedua dengan 187 undi daripada 192 negara yang mengundi pada Perhimpunan Agung badan dunia itu kelmarin.

Inilah kali keempat Malaysia menang selepas 1965, 1989 dan 1999. Kali ini, kemenangan lebih bergaya dengan melebihi sasaran 130 undi.

Kejayaan tersebut dilihat sebagai satu lagi pengiktirafan dunia terutama ke atas kepimpinan, rekod dan imej negara. Sudah tentu ia pencapaian membanggakan buat rakyat. Awang mengucapkan tahniah kepada kerajaan Malaysia pimpinan Perdana Menteri, Najib Tun Razak dan Menteri Luar, Anifah Aman serta delegasi kita yang telah lama bekerja keras dalam usaha mereka.

Kepada Anifah, teruskan dedikasi dan kecemerlangan sebagai Menteri Luar. Awang sudah lama amati, beliau memang ada kelas dan ketokohannya tersendiri.


Tidak banyak cakap tetapi berkesan.

Laporan mengenai Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan (JPJ) memperoleh pendapatan sehingga RM400 juta setahun hasil daripada jualan nombor pendaftaran kenderaan di seluruh negara, menarik perhatian.

Kutipan itu dibuat menerusi bidaan bagi mendapatkan nombor plat yang unik dan dianggap boleh membawa tuah sebagaimana menjadi kegilaan sebahagian orang kaya-raya.

Awang tidaklah teruja hal-hal nombor. Biarlah sesiapa yang mampu dan berkeinginan besar membida nombor yang mereka suka, asalkan ia dibuat secara telus dan bersih. Namun JPJ perlu mendedahkan nama pemenang, elok rakyat tahu siapa mereka. Juga, siapa lebih ramai - pembesar istana, menteri, exco, tauke besar atau pegawai kanan awam?

Di samping itu, aspek pembidaan perlu diaudit sepenuhnya bagi mengelak ada pihak mengambil kesempatan dan untung atas angin. Kepada JPJ, usahlah berbangga dengan kutipan yang lumayan daripada bidaan nombor pendaftaran. KPI sebenar jabatan tersebut adalah menangani banyak permasalahan terutama rungutan orang ramai. JPJ adalah antara agensi paling menjadi perhatian terutama soal integriti dan kegagalan menyelesaikan isu. Sampai sekarang isu cermin gelap dan nombor plet rojak masih belum diatasi. Bermula 1 November ini, JPJ akan melancarkan pula operasi khas nombor pendaftaran, pemasangan aksesori lampu tambahan (lampu strob) dan lampu xenon di seluruh negara.

Awang bukanlah skeptikal, sudah banyak operasi bermusim seumpama itu dijalankan tetapi wal hasil balik asal - tiada kesan. Kedai menjual aksesori makin banyak dan bebas mengeluarkan produk yang melanggar peraturan JPJ. Seperkara lagi, elok dipastikan terlebih dahulu semua pegawai, anggota dan staf JPJ benar-benar mematuhi peraturan pada kenderaan peribadi mereka terutama cermin gelap supaya menjadi teladan.

Janganlah hanya tunjuk taring kepada orang ramai sambil pejam mata kepada salah laku anggota sendiri. Kepada Ketua Pengarahnya, Ismail Ahmad, tolong bersihkan JPJ terlebih dahulu.

Walaupun pernah menerima banyak teguran dan kritikan kerana kegagalan iklan antimerokok ‘Tak Nak’, Kementerian Kesihatan nampaknya masih menggunakan kempen yang sama.

Awang tidak faham mengapa. Tidak mungkin kementerian itu sudah ketandusan idea untuk tampil dengan kempen yang lebih menarik dan berkesan. Persoalannya, untuk apa membelanjakan wang yang banyak bagi kempen yang sudah pun diragui oleh orang ramai. Tentu ada pendekatan baharu yang boleh dilaksanakan bagi berdepan dengan realiti hari ini yang menyaksikan peningkatan jumlah perokok terutama remaja. Mahu menyerah sahajakah?

Awang bersyukur apabila Parlimen Britain mengundi menyokong pengiktirafan Palestin sebagai sebuah negara berdaulat. Sebanyak 274 ahli Parlimen mengundi menyokong dan 12 menentang bagi satu usul mendesak kerajaan Britain untuk mengiktiraf kedua-duanya - negara Palestin bersama negara Israel.

Walaupun undian itu tidak mengubah pendirian diplomatik rasmi Britain, ia adalah satu lagi perkembangan yang positif. Bulan lalu, Perdana Menteri Sweden yang baharu, Stefen Lofven mengumumkan pengiktirafan ke atas negara Palestin meskipun berdepan dengan kritikan Israel.

Awang angkat topi kepada Lofven kerana mendokong kebebasan dan keadilan sejagat yang sebenar walaupun tahu cabarannya cukup besar. Selepas Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu (PBB) mengundi untuk mengiktiraf negara Palestin pada 2012, tiada peningkatan kepada usaha tersebut, apatah lagi ditolak oleh Amerika Syarikat dan banyak negara Eropah.

Sememangnya perjalanan Palestin untuk mendapat pengiktirafan dunia sebagai negara berdaulat masih jauh. Namun Awang yakin ia bukan sesuatu yang mustahil. Rejim aparteid di Afrika Selatan tumbang jua akhirnya walaupun pada mulanya tidak diberi harapan. Teruskan berdoa dan perhebat usaha beri tekanan kepada dunia terutama Israel.

Boikot terhadap produk dan perkhidmatan Israel semasa serangan yang mengorbankan lebih 2,100 nyawa rakyat Palestin, Ogos lalu, ternyata memberi kesan. Ekonomi Israel terjejas dengan kerugian hampir AS$5 bilion ekoran banyak pihak termasuk di Eropah menyertai kempen boikot itu. Dengan kuasa tekanan yang meningkat tahun demi tahun maka peluang dan harapan buat negara Palestin berdaulat masih terbuka luas. Apa senjata utamanya? Obor keyakinan yang tidak pernah padam.

Sebagai pengamal media, Awang sudah lama hilang kepercayaan kepada syarikat penyelidikan The Nielsen Company (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd. kerana kewibawaannya yang terdedah kepada keraguan, manipulasi dan bias.

Kajian pembaca yang dibuat oleh syarikat itu menggunakan kayu ukur yang ketinggalan zaman dan tidak reflektif kepada pasaran sebenar penonton serta pembaca. Contoh paling mudah, ada akhbar yang jauh lebih tinggi edarannya tetapi menurut kajian Nielsen, jauh lebih rendah dari segi jumlah pembacanya. Tidak munasabah tetapi sampai hari ini, Nielsen gagal menjawab penggunaan kaedahnya yang samar dan tidak tepat.

Awang boleh faham mengapa beberapa organisasi media menarik diri daripada menggunakan khidmat Nielsen. Malah ada yang membidas dan mahu menyaman Nielsen sebagaimana akhbar TheSun pada 2011.

Bukan itu sahaja, reputasi Nielsen sudah menjadi bahan jenaka sebahagian pemain industri media tanah air, macam menonton program Maharaja Lawak - ketawakan sahaja.

Hairan mengapa para pemimpin kanan DAP tidak tahu malu membiarkan parti itu terus beroperasi tanpa pengiktirafan Pendaftar Pertubuhan (ROS) ekoran banyak aduan ahlinya berhubung salah laku dalam pemilihan Jawatankuasa Eksekutif Pusat (CEC).

Ia umpama parti politik haram sementara anggota CEC boleh ditafsir berstatus hantu. Isu itu kembali panas ekoran kenyataan beberapa individu bersama hujah yang tidak mampu dijawab oleh kepimpinan DAP. Antaranya 120 cawangan yang belum mendaftar tetapi hadir dan mengundi dan 500 surat akuan palsu. Lalu Awang teringatkan buku tulisan Father Augustus Chen yang mendedahkan kepincangan dan salah laku pemilihan CEC DAP.

Siapa penulisnya tidak penting tetapi isi kandungan buku itu yang lebih bernilai iaitu kebenaran banyak perkara. Awang cadangkan pendedahan Father Augustus Chen dijadikan perbahasan umum, yang para pemimpin dan ahli DAP boleh terlibat sama. Itu juga kesempatan bagi DAP membuktikan bahawa parti yang mendapat sokongan majoriti kaum Cina itu, ada harga diri dalam soal integriti. Bukankah kaum itu tidak berkompromi dan tidak mahu dilihat berkompromi kepada penipuan, salah laku dan penyelewengan?

-AWANG SELAMAT

- See more at: http://www.utusan.com.my/rencana/analisis-mingguan-1.14347#sthash.jCO9t3Vq.dpuf

Dr Hilmi: One in every 100 Malaysians schizophrenic

KEPALA BATAS: The Health Ministry has found that one out of every 100 Malaysians suffers from schizophrenia, said Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya.

The Deputy Health Minister said this was worrying as a person with the mental illness could hurt himself and others.

"More Malaysians are suffering from schizophrenia but they and the people around them do not view the problem seriously and refuse to get appropriate treatment.

"The problem should not be viewed lightly because if left untreated, they (schizophrenics) can injure others. This is very dangerous," he told reporters after opening the Kem I Want Sihat (I Want Health Camp) function, in conjunction with the 2014 World Mental Health Day here, Sunday.

Schizophrenia is a mental illness whose sufferers experience emotional, thought and behavioural disturbances, causing them to behave as if they are in their own world.

Meanwhile, he said the Ministry wanted to to increase the number of psychiatrists from the 300 currently to 900 over the next few years to meet the people's needs.

He said 50 scholarships were given to doctors keen to become psychiatric specialists each year by the Ministry.

"Currently, the ratio in Malaysia is one psychiatrist to 150,000 people.

"We should have a ratio of 1:50,000 according to international standards," he added. - Bernama

http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2014/10/19/1-in-100-malaysians-schizo/

Sack all racist leaders from BN, Zahid says

BANGI, Oct 19 — Any Barisan Nasional (BN) leader found guilty of issuing racist statements should be sacked from the coalition, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today after the suggestion was made by Gerakan earlier this morning.

The Umno vice-president said it is only fair that the same treatment is given to all BN leaders regardless of race.

“Don’t just focus on Malay leaders who are talking about Malay rights. What about the non-Malays fighting for non-Malay rights?

“They say something racist, sack them. Sack everybody,” he told a news conference here.

Earlier this morning, Gerakan President Datuk Mah Siew Keong proposed that the BN sack those in the coalition who are found guilty of spewing racial hatred.

In his inaugural address at his party’s 43rd National Delegates Conference, Mah said BN component parties should at the same time take disciplinary action against such leaders who are found guilty by the BN of making racist statements.

The Gerakan chief argued that this is one way to promote moderate voices as the “true heroes” of Malaysia, while taking the spotlight off extremists.

The country has seen a fair amount of racial and religious vitriol spewed over recent years, with right wing groups pushing a pro-Malay and pro-Islam narrative to counter what they claim to be an active attempt by various parties to dilute the power held by the majority Malays.

The latest controversy points to the authorities’ decision not to pursue criminal charges against Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali over his call last year to burn Malay language bibles, following claims that the holy scriptures were distributed to Muslim students in a school in Penang.

Nancy Shukri, the de-facto law minister, told Parliament last week that the Attorney-General’s Chambers decided against charging Ibrahim over his remark as he was defending the sanctity of Islam.

The authorities, however, are charging Abdullah Zaik Abd Rahman — the president of Islamist NGO Isma — under the Sedition Act 1948 for claiming that Malaysia’s ethnic Chinese are “intruders” who had colluded with the British colonialists to oppress and bully the Malays.

Zahid himself has recently come under police scrutiny over complaints by the opposition that he had allegedly made a racist statement during a speech on the Pengkalan Kubor by-election campaign trail last month.

Zahid had reportedly spoken of so-called divisions among the Malays during a ceramah in Pengkalan Kubor that day, characterising them as an Umno-PAS rivalry, and claiming that it has made Umno’s foes “big-headed” enough to question provisions in the Federal Constitution that safeguard Malay interests.

The Umno strongman later cited incidents surrounding the Perak constitutional crisis to back his claim that because the Malays were divided, the predominantly Chinese DAP opposition party were able to take advantage and pit the Malays against each other. https://my.news.yahoo.com/photos/no-action-malay-ngo-offering-reward-assault-teresa-photo-091200463.html

Come, let us all be seditious!

COMMENT Let me start by saying "If writing the truth, asking questions, taking a minister to task or making a powerful figure accountable is seditious, then lets all be seditious!"

I say this as one who has been detained under the Sedition Act 1948, the first in my profession to be threatened with this archaic law left by our British colonial masters.

And what an irony because it happened only days after the country celebrated 57 years of independence from Britain.

It was also the time when the police crackdown on at least 20 individuals, from opposition politicians, academicians, activists, students, preachers and lawyers under the same Act.

I know I am not alone. Journalists all over the world are being prosecuted for the work they do, some are killed, or maimed, thrown in jail, tortured, harassed, abused and threatened with death.

On Sept 4, I became an ' orang kena tangkap ', code-named OKT or loosely translated 'A detainee'. I was interrogated for nine hours over a report headlined: Exco man grilled for four hours, treated like a 'criminal' .

My detention came in the wake of 10 police reports lodged against me by 14 pro-government NGOs. These are diehard supporters of the Sedition Act and worshipers of Prime Minister Najib Razak.

My interrogator told me that the words 'like a criminal' in my report not only offended these NGOs, who may represent hundreds or thousands, they pissed off the inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar.

He said my detention is a warning to other journalists so that they do not take the same route as I.

That journalists have to be 'responsible and cautious' when writing reports. And why should I be "helping" the opposition politician?

Honestly, I felt as though I was being ticked off by my editor!

My interrogator went on to say that my story cast a negative light on the police force and asked me point blank "Do you realise how many police personnel had been angered by your story?"

I said I had merely written a news story quoting state cabinet member Phee Boon Poh who was detained for allegedly participating in illegal activities by the now outlawed Voluntary Patrol Unit (PPS).

Phee said he was documented like a criminal, with his photographs and fingerprints taken. The report did not say that the Sungai Puyu assemblyman was beaten or abused by the police.

Treated like criminal

I tried to pass on the responsibility of the published article to my chief editor in Kuala Lumpur.

But my interrogator replied "So what? You wrote the story. If you did not write, it would not be published!".

"If you did not think he was a criminal, would you have arrested or detained him?" I asked. My friend did not answer me.

During the nine hours, I too was treated like a criminal, my phone, the machine I used to file my stories was seized, my photos and finger prints taken and a file on my life story was opened in my name.

Will I be prosecuted or not? A conviction means maximum three year in jail, a fine of not more than RM5,000 or both.

My interrogator told me that the investigation papers on me are still with the Attorney-General's Chambers, pending a decision to charge me or not.

And if this is not enough, this controversial story on the PPS was cited as one of the five reasons why the Home Minister rejected Malaysiakini 's application for a print permit.

This story, like the other four reports, can cause public distress, said the home minister.

Wow! That's how powerful journalism is in this country!

But the decision of the Home Minister and my interrogator's remarks that the article would not be published if I did not write it are great implications to our jobs as journalists.

It makes us solely responsible for our reports. The underlying message is "Don't write that report".

Because anything you write can be seditious, can piss of someone at the top, or can hurt someone's feelings, and may invite dozens of police reports against you.

Doesn't it make it very difficult for us to work then, since our jobs as journalists are not to make people happy?

Not here to say 'I love you'

We're not a happiness bakery or a smile production company.

We're here to tell it as it is. I like what my Chief Editor Fathi Aris Omar said in his Facebook on Oct 3:" Malaysiakini is a newspaper and not a love letter" or else we'll be writing "I love you Minister! Muah! Muah!".

These days I am often asked "Am I afraid of being seditious again?". My reply is surely "Absolutely no!"

In this country one does not know where to draw the line. You are seditious just as long as you offend the 'right' group. It does not really matter what you say.

The double standards in prosecution under the Sedition Act are aplenty. I need not regurgitate the examples.

Whatever the authorities or the powerful do to journalists, whether it is murder, jail time or questioning for hours, it is to stop us from doing our duty, to prevent us from being documenters of history, or participants in the democratic struggle of our nations.

When I chided a top politician (in my Facebook ) for sometimes treating us just like stenographers, many of my peers were angry with me.

Indeed, the truth hurts. But this is what we have become - as most of our daily work entails processing statements, rewriting stories, repeating remarks in a press conference when we are not allowed to ask questions or when asking questions, do not get answers.

Detention has united us

We have to fight this sad state of affairs, to be united in this, do not just accept our fates, and become the stenographers that the politicians love us to be.

When the police acted on me, I was touched to see how the world responded in support of me, in support of Malaysiakini, and a free and independent media.

Journalists organisations from New York, France, Bangkok to Indonesia condemned the police action.

In Penang, my peers from the Penang Chinese Journalists and Photographers Association, submitted a memorandum to the Chief of Police to ask that no further action be taken against me.

In Kuala Lumpur, the National Union of Journalists issued a statement to ask the police to apologise to me. Bravo!

And my comrades in the newly formed Institute of Journalists (IoJ) sent a petition of 200 over signatures to the Prime Minister's Department asking that charges against me be dropped. Lawyers came together to speak to journalists about how they can protect themselves against Sedition charges.

For all these, I am thankful.

Indeed every cloud has a silver lining. My detention, though brief, has put our profession and our struggles once again in the limelight.

The world is again reminded about how journalists become victims in the power struggle between politicians, journalists who do not toe the line.

We also become victims of those who are being victimised by their paymasters, the police for example, who have no choice but to kowtow to the government of the day.

Not enough jails

As Phee, my partner in crime said "The police too, are victims of circumstances".

Be rest assured that when you get in trouble, our comrades will fight and speak up for us, and we must do the same for one another.

Be not afraid, although everyday, we feel the noose of dictatorship tighten around us. Carry on, speak and write the truth, confidently, no matter how difficult, no matter how "seditious".

If all of us are seditious, when all of us are brave, how many more jails will they built to keep us in? To borrow from Victor Hugo, how many prisons does it take to stop an idea whose time has come?

This is an edited version of Malaysiakini journalist Susan Loone's speech at the Southeast Asian Press Alliance regional conference on media and the Internet, in Kuala Lumpur yesterday evening. MalaysiakiniThu, Oct 16, 2014