Archive for December, 2008


    

Lim Guan Eng Chief Minister of Penang was recently in Sabah and he had spoken about a number of issues to the Daily Express, including golf. I want to reproduce a letter a reader wrote to the Editor of Daily Express regarding Lim Guan Eng and his lack of knowledge.

Here goes….

Penang CM exposed naivety in interview

I AM originally from Penang and have been residing in Sabah for 25 years. I love this State and the friendly people. I always tell my Penang friends that Peninsula Malaysians have a lot to learn from Sabah when it comes to harmony and unity.

When Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng visited last week, I was excited that Sabahans will get a good impression of the new CM. My friends in Penang had supported the DAP in the last elections.

But it amazed me that the CM exposed his lack of general knowledge by being mistaken that Santa Monica is in Central America.

Santa Monica is a world famous golfing sea side resort at Santa Monica Bay in the Los Angeles country of California in the US.

I hope the Koreans who wanted to build a US$ 100 million Santa Monica-style golf course in Penang were not equally embarrassed by him.

Penang should also learn from Sabah which has done away with cash distribution to voters many years ago.

According to the interview with your newspaper (21.12.08 ) the Penang State Government will distribute RM70 million to 170,000 families at RM400 per family. The RM70 million could be better spent on human resource training. Cash handouts only contribute to inflation and loose spending.

Already my Sabah friends are complaining to me why the Penang CM wants to use one third of Petronas money to be given out to the people in other states at RM6,000 each per annum (if Pakatan Rakyat forms the Federal Government).

The petrol dollars belong to Sabah (and Sarawak and Terengganu) and is a hot issue here. It is best if the Penang CM avoid any talk of taking Sabah’s oil money to be given to other states.

If Lim cares to spend more time in Sabah, then he will not say things that embarrass himself like boasting about free wifi in Penang and complaining about Sabah getting RM4 billion from the Federal Government.

He should realise that Penang (area 1046 sq.km) is only 1.3%  the size of Sabah (76115 sq.km) with a population (1.5m) that is only 42% of Sabah (3.5m).

Poverty here is serious, cost of doing business is high, infrastructural development is still badly needed and Sabah, generally, needs more federal funds for development.

While Penang has won the funds for the RM3 billion second 24-km bridge (as a back up to the first bridge (13.5km), the Labuan-Sabah mainland bridge still remains a feasibility study at the local university. Sabah’s road transport network still needs basic things like good bridges and land slide prevention.

I also think that the fuss generated over the naming of roads in Chinese, Arabic and Tamil in Penang was not worth it. Penang should spend more time on economic matters like jobs creation. So many talented Penang people have left for other states and overseas to earn a living.

Santa Monica Penang

Lim Guan Eng, in his interview with Daily Express acknowledged that golf was not his game and, therefore, did not know where Santa Monica was.

One cannot but credit him for being honest which many politicians lack. By the same token, even a golfer in the US may not be expected to know any of our top golf courses.

On the RM4 billion that Sabah is getting compared to Penang getting only RM200m from the Federal Government, what he meant was that Sabah is getting this amount despite contributing less than Penang’s RM3 billion yearly to the Federal treasury. – Editor Daily Express.

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Two Palestinians recover belongings and food from their damaged house in Jabaliya on 29 December 2008

My Dear Friends,

Please support this emergency campaign urging for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza by signing this petition. Already 300 people have been killed in this escalating conflict. Now is the time to act. Lets push for real peace by doing our small bit. Read the email below and please help sign the petition.

———————————————
Dear friends,

As we watch the Gaza bloodshed with horror, appalled at how the crisis is spiralling further out of control, one thing is clear — this violence will only lead to further civilian suffering and an escalation of the conflict.

There must be another way. Over 300 are dead and hundreds more injured — rockets are striking Ashdod deep inside Israel for the very first time, and the sides are mobilising for invasion. A global response has begun, but it’ll take more than words — the immediate violence won’t end, nor will wider peace be secured, without firm action from the international community.

Today, we’re launching an emergency campaign which will be delivered to the UN Security Council and key world powers, urging them to act to ensure an immediate ceasefire, address the growing humanitarian crisis, and take steps to build real and lasting peace.1 Follow this link now to sign the emergency petition and send it to everyone you know:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/gaza_time_for_peace/98.php?CLICK_TF_TRACK

After eight or more years of ineffective US and global diplomacy — and now Gaza’s bloodiest day in recent memory — we must issue a global outcry demanding that world leaders do more than make statements if they’re to bring peace to this region. The UN, the European Union, the Arab League and the USA should now act together to ensure a ceasefire – which includes an end to rocket attacks into Israel and opening the checkpoints for fuel, food, medicine and other humanitarian aid deliveries.

With a new US President taking office in less than a month, a real opportunity exists to breathe new life into peace efforts. These latest hostilities require not only an immediate ceasefire but a commitment from Obama and other world leaders that resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is at the very top of their agendas. As the whole world is impacted by this ongoing conflict – we should demand nothing less.

In 2006 we mobilised for a ceasefire in Lebanon. For years we’ve worked to encourage a just and lasting peace, taking out billboards and ads across Israel and Palestine. Now as we head into 2009, we need to come together again to demand a peaceful and lasting resolution, instead of a further escalation of violence. Follow this link to put your name forward for peace:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/gaza_time_for_peace/98.php?CLICK_TF_TRACK

All sides to the conflict will continue to act as they have in the past if they believe that the world will stand by and allow them to do so. 2009 is a year that things can be different. As we face this crisis, and the possibilities of a new year, it’s time for us to demand a ceasefire and work together to finally put an end to this cycle of violence.

With hope and determination,

Brett, Ricken, Alice, Ben, Pascal, Paul, Graziela, Paula, Luis, Iain and the whole Avaaz team

Dear friends,

The Gaza crisis has exploded — put your name to our emergency petition demanding a ceasefire. We’ll deliver it immediately to the UN Security Council, the Arab League, the US and other world leaders!

 

As we watch the Gaza bloodshed with horror, appalled at how the crisis is spiraling further out of control, one thing is clear — this violence will only lead to further civilian suffering and an escalation of the conflict.

There must be another way. Over 280 are dead so far in the Gaza Strip and hundreds more injured — rockets are striking Ashdod deep inside Israel for the very first time, and the sides are mobilising for invasion. A global outcry has begun, but it’ll take more than words — the immediate violence won’t end, nor will wider peace be secured, without firm action from the international community.

Today, we’re launching an emergency campaign which will be delivered to the UN Security Council and key world powers, urging them to act to ensure an immediate ceasefire and address the growing humanitarian crisis — only with robust international oversight and action can civilians on all sides be protected and real steps be taken toward a wider peace. Follow this link now to sign the emergency petition and send it to everyone you know:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/gaza_time_for_peace/?cl=161973787&v=2606

After Gaza’s bloodiest day in recent memory and eight or more years of ineffective US and global diplomacy, we need to get world leaders to do more than issue statements if they’re to ensure a lasting ceasefire.1 Through the UN Security Council and other international bodies, the world can provide the help and pressure needed to stop the violence and change the situation on the ground in Gaza — preventing the rockets and incursions, re-opening crossing-points under international oversight so that instead of weapon-smuggling, the 1.5 million ordinary people of Gaza can get the fuel, food and medicines they so desperately need.

All sides to the conflict will continue to act as they have in the past if they believe that the world will stand by and allow them to do so. We mobilised for a ceasefire in 2006’s Israel-Lebanon war and succeeded, but this time the international community must not delay — let’s raise a truly worldwide outcry. 2009 is a year that things can be different. As we face this crisis, and the possibilities of a new year, it’s time for us everywhere to work together to stop this violence.

With hope and determination,

Brett, Ricken, Alice, Ben, Pascal, Paul, Graziela, Paula, Luis, Iain and the whole Avaaz team

1 Further actions could include: a formal resolution from the Security Council rather than issuing a press statement as was done on 28 December 2008; explicit private and public international pressure on the parties to end the hostilities including developing clear terms for the resumption of negotiations; proper international oversight of the Rafah border; and in time, a detailed Security Council resolution setting out the terms in international law for a permanent peace between Israel and Palestine. For background, see this Jerusalem Post article, “No international pressure to end op”: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1230456497503&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull)