Archive for October, 2009

Sorry folks for the long drought. Really busy the past week preparing for my pilgrimage to Mount Kinabalu.

Yes, I made it to the Rooftop Of South East Asia, the summit, Low’s Peak 13345 feet above sea, at exactly 5.12 am on the 28th of October 2009. What an INCREDIBLE experience…I never felt so much emotion in my life…

Mount Kinabalu –ah! anything more beautiful, taking it altogether, I have never seen. Even the geology in me was put into good use, Mt Kinabalu in geological terms is a young mountain, a massive granodiorite with much sedimentary and ultrabasic and basic igneous rocks seen everywhere.The peak of the most varied form rose high into the air, partly covered with driving clouds. It was sharp and it glittered — a glorious spectacle. There could only be one such mountain in the world, and as a landmark it was priceless. I knew that I could not mistake that.

In conclusion… INCREDIBLE, FANTASTIC, MAGIC… and hard but manageable… but you need to be prepared when you are over 50.

Strange, even after 3 days my heart is still calling for the mountain! It’s an energy of many dimensions.

Anyway, I will like to take this opportunity to thank the one person who made this pilgrimage possible – Rosdiana Wasimin of Tanjung Aru Tours And Travel, Sabah, thank you Rose!

I shall blog about my journey another time but for now I want you to listen to this song “Speed of Sound” by Coldplay

The problem with Anwar Ibrahim is that he is not empowering the PKR local chaps in Sabah.  Why cant he get the Sabah boys to lead Sabahans? Why cannot? What is so wrong with Dr Jeffrey Kitingan to lead? Why so peninsular-centric even after 46 years of independence. Come on lah Anwar you can do better than this.

Appointing Azmin Ali to look after PKR Sabah is a real mistake.

This Azmin Ali fellow  is suppose to organise and help facilitate for Anwar Ibrahim in Sabah, but he is not. He is trying to micro-manage PKR Sabah big time. Who is Azmin Ali a junior in politics, a greenhorn to Sabah politics compared with Dr Jeffrey Kitingan?

All the good people left PKR because of Azmin Ali’s stupid attitude and tendency of dominating and monopolising Anwar. See how he undermine Tan Sri Khalid in Selangor, even in Penang he try to undermine my goodfriend Dr Mansor the Deputy Chief Minister of Penang. Now Datuk Zaid Ibrahim seem destined to become yet another casualty.

Maybe Anwar and PKR should go and learn some management skills from Kit Siang and Karpal. See how the DAP does in Sabah and Sarawak. DAP does not put a West Malaysian guy to look after their operations in Sabah and Sarawak.  Go learn from DAP and maybe this will help PKR run their operations in Sabah better.

I don’t know what is with this KL. It seems politicians both opposition and ruling seem to manifest  how peninsula-centric they can be. Even the federal govt officers in Sabah are full of ego and superiority complex and some so BIG head, arrogant and living in a world of their own. How to promote national unity and integration like this eh? A Penangite, I have been  in Sabah long to know of this kind of mentality and its even more disgusting when my kids both Sabahans tell it to me on my face.

Now Najib our PM talks in great deal about this 1Malaysia thingy, this sugar-coated slogan of his.  For me, this 1Malaysia is an empty-shell slogan with no real substance and intentions. As long as we have corruption, injustice, discrimination, inequality and particularly the “Ketuanan Melayu”, no way we can achieve 1Malaysia. Can Najib do it? I doubt it but we shall see as time will tell. Maybe Najib should come stay in Sabah and Sarawak to learn about 1Malaysia which has been existing long before Malaysia was formed in 1963.

The issue is colonization in the 21st century. East Malaysia is getting the same treatment as East Timor under Indonesia, becoming a second class minority in their own country, with no history of being part of Malaya until Malaysia was formed.

I wish a very Happy Deepavali to my mom and all my family members in Malaysia, as well as all my brothers and sisters of Hindu faith and all those who are reading this blog.

Although I’m still in Sabah and will not be with you all to sample the great food prepared by my mom (damn the nostalgia!), my heart is with you all.

As you all know by now that I have never been able to churn out the long, verbose, grand greetings like those on the e-cards,  so in a plain, simple way I say again “Happy Deepavali” guys. Have a fantastic and most importantly a safe day. Enjoy yourselves.

And remember and NEVER forget that Deepavali the Festival of Lights is the symbol of the triumph of good over evil. It is a struggle between forces of evil and enlightenment, and we must never allow ourselves to fall into the trap of ignorance.


None of the Malaysian universities figures among the world’s top 100 universities, with the U.S. and the U.K. dominating the scene.

Harvard University has retained its top position in 2009, while Cambridge University, U.K has moved up from third to second position. Yale University of the U.S. has slipped one position to third.

According to the QS/Times Higher Education rankings, the University College London (UCL) leapfrogged Oxford University as the latter slipped from fourth to joint fifth position along with Imperial College, London.

Overall, the U.K. still punches above its weight, second only to the US. It has four out of the top 10 slots and 18 in the top 100.

Tokyo is highest ranked Asian university.

The number of Asian universities in the list of top 100 has increased from 14 to 16. The University of Tokyo, at 22, is the highest ranked Asian university, ahead of the University of Hong Kong that stands at 24 and National University of Singapore (NUS) is at 30.

However, Malaysia’s top university, University of Malaya (UM), is back in the world’s Top 200 varsities at no 180. This is 50 places better than last year. Wow what a showing!

It is really a pity that none of the Malaysian Universities could figure among the Top 100 universities in the world. From this, one gets a clear picture of where we stand in the global education scenario.

It is high time the matter is looked into seriously, and fruitful measures taken at the earliest before we slide even lower. Why we are sliding down so badly is very obvious. The quota system is screwing up everything. Besides, our education system in Malaysia doesn’t allow our students flexibility and the opportunity to explore a subject in depth and worst still meritocracy is not favored at all by our political masters.

Politicians should stop experimenting with our education system. UMNO and BN is responsible for our sorry state of affair. Wonder what happened to our great APEX University, the University Sains Malaysia (USM)? Habuk pun tadak ini USM. This goes to prove that we are just JAGUH KAMPONG lah. Our University of Malaya used to be on par with National University of Singapore during the 60’s and 70’s, where are we now? Why have we fallen so badly? Is it not because our education system and civil administration here is politicised?

Our education must be liberated from racism and capitalism then only will we be able to see some change in our international ratings.

Anyway, the top 10 Universities are: Harvard (U.S.), Cambridge (U.K.), Yale(U.S.), UCL, London (U.K.), Imperial College, London and Oxford (both U.K., joint 5), Chicago (U.S.), Princeton (U.S.), MIT, Massachusetts (U.S.) and California Institute of Technology (U.S.). See the full ranking here

The historic house in Johannesburg where Mahatma Gandhi lived almost a century ago has been snapped up by a French tourism company, for what is believed to be almost twice the asking price of $3,77,029, outbidding others, including Indians.

Voyageurs du Monde plans to turn the property into a museum, in line with its philosophy of investing in heritage properties worldwide.

As young lawyer, Gandhiji lived in the house from 1908 to 1910.

Referred to as ‘the Kraal,’ the house in the suburb of Orchards is one of several that Gandhi lived in during his stay in South Africa as he developed his Satyagraha philosophies and led the local Indian community in its struggle against oppression.

Venkatraman Ramakrishnan becomes the ninth person of Indian origin to win the coveted Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2009.

Dr. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, 57, who was born in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India, is the senior scientist and group leader at the Structural Studies Division of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England. An American now, Dr. V Ramakrishnan won the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry on Wednesday for atom-by-atom mapping of the protein-making factories within cells.

Rabindranath Tagore was the first Indian to win the Nobel Prize, when he was honoured for his contribution to literature in 1913.

Renowned physicist C.V. Raman was conferred the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930 for his work on the scattering of light and for the discovery of the effect named after him.

Hargobind Khorana won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1968 for his interpretation of the genetic code and its function in protein synthesis. He shared the Prize with Robert Holley and Marshall Nirenberg. Born in Raipur in 1922, he migrated to England in 1949 from where he moved on to the U.S. and settled there.

Subramanyan Chandrasekhar won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1983 for his theoretical studies of the physical processes of importance to the structure and evolution of stars. He shared the prize with William Fowler. He was born in Lahore in 1910 and joined the University of Chicago in 1937.

Peace prize Mother Teresa won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her work in the slums of Calcutta (now Kolkata) through the Missionaries of Charity, an organisation founded by her. She was born in Skopje (then in Turkey) in 1910 and came to India in 1931.

In 1998, the Nobel Prize in Economics was awarded to Amartya Sen.

In 2001 Literature Prize went to V.S. Naipaul.

In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, chaired by R.K. Pachauri, shared the Nobel Peace Prize with the former U.S Vice-President and environment activist Al Gore.

In 1989, Dalai Lama, who has been living in exile in India since 1959, got the Nobel Peace Prize.

From Seremban, I just got word from my UMNO intelligentsia cum UMNO foot soldier Idris Othman, that UMNO/Barisan National , will surely lose this Bagan Pinang by-election this October 11 by about 500 votes to PAS Zulkefly Omar.

According to Idris, the RM500 bonus the government gave to all civil servants just before the Raya is of no effect to the 4000+ soldiers who are the bulk of the postal voters in Bagan Pinang constituency. It seems that the RM500 bonus the government gave the civil servants is far too little and the army personnel are not too happy with this miserable sum considering the million million $ the UMNOputras stashed away in their cookie jars all over the country. Just the thought of the million million $ stolen away by UMNOpurtas is enough for the entire or majority of the army votes to go the PAS way. Besides, many are saying that ISA Samad had the Negri Sembilan state coffers wiped clean during his time as Mentri Besar (Chief Minister) for 22 years (apparently to the tune of billions!!). Again Isa Samad’s suspension from Umno, after he was found guilty of buying votes during the party polls in 2004 confirms the level of corruption amongst the UMNOputras . So what is RM500 lah? This RM500 bonus has backfired. It seems it is very clear now that cronyism, patronage and corruption sums up UMNO.

To be exact, the soldiers account for 4,571 of 4,604 postal votes in the constituency and they are intelligent voters and cannot be dictated by anyone including the GENERALS.

Remember, the postal votes saved Bagan Pinang seat from falling to the opposition in the last March 8, 2008 General Elections. In the 2008 General Elections, BN’s Azman Mohammad Noor obtained about 3,000 postal votes against about 1,000 postal votes polled by PAS’ Ramli Ismail. Azman won the seat with 2,333-vote majority. This time around it seems as though its going the other way. But, the Barisan Nasional is desperate for a win and wants to retain the seat by hook or crook with a bigger majority. For UMNO, the postal votes were always perceived as its safety net, but, this time around they are going to be in for a big surprise.

Bagan Pinang has 13,664 voters. 2834 voters are Indians, 1498 voters are Chinese and 8500 voters are Malays.

In the last general election, PAS garnered 80 per cent of the Indian votes, 65 per cent of the Chinese votes and merely between 10 and 15 per cent of the Malay votes. This time around, PAS and Anwar Ibrahim are really working very hard to get at least 40% of the Malay votes which according to Idris is very possible. Ustaz Hadi Awang and Anwar had been seen spending a lot of time in the PD army camp the last two days and this is sure good sign.

So after seven successive by-election defeats for Barisan Nasional in the last 1 year after the March 8, 2008, the tsunami still continues to Bagan Pinang. Are we going to see a real regime change after this by-election? It seems that there’s a real prospect of BN losing this time to give an 8-1 score to the people of this nation.

So my take for this by-election in Bagan Pinang is the same as Idris. PAS TO WIN BY APPROXIMATELY 500 votes majority.

The voters of Bagan Pinang will Vote out the forces of tyranny. Bagan Pinang will vote against the BN.

Despite Pakatan Rakyat having much flaws they are still a better choice than UMNO/BN.