Archive for November, 2013

Test Of Three

Posted: November 25, 2013 in Wisdom

In ancient Greece (469 – 399 BC), Socrates was widely lauded for his wisdom.

One day the great philosopher came upon an acquaintance, who ran up to him excitedly and said,
“Socrates, do you know what I just heard about one of your students?”

“Wait a moment,” Socrates replied. “Before you tell me,
I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Test of Three.”

“Test of Three?”

“That’s correct,” Socrates continued. “Before you talk to me about my student let’s take a moment to test what you’re going to say. The first test is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”

“No,” the man replied, “actually I just heard about it.”

“All right,” said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now let’s try the second test, the test of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my student something good?”

“No, on the contrary…”

“So,” Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about him even though you’re not certain it’s true?”

The man shrugged, a little embarrassed.

Socrates continued, “You may still pass though because there is a third test – the filter of Usefulness.
Is what you want to tell me about my student going to be useful to me?”

“No, not really…”

“Well,” concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?”

The man was defeated and ashamed and said no more.

This is the reason Socrates was a great philosopher and held in such high esteem.

Originally posted on:

And so it begins. The very first has just been presented by the new Sabah Government after being re-elected in May 2013, and after hours of back and forth (cursing and paper tearing included), the new budget shows that the Sabah Government is committed to progress and is also as determined to increase the pace of development in the state.

Musa Aman says the bulk of the Sabah budget is earmarked for development. The RM4.622 billion of the Sabah budget for the financial year of 2013-2014 proposed by Chief Minister-cum-State Finance Minister Musa Aman in the state assembly Friday sought to tell the Sabah growth story vis-a-vis Malaysia’s and achieve the five-year dream in the first year itself. The release states “The new budget for 2013-14 would build new confidence among people and showcase state’s potentialities before the world”. “Ensuring Continuity of People’s Well being”, it was announced that new missions and schemes, referring to State Barisan National’s Government is very committed to the development of not only in the urban but also rural areas in Sabah and at the same time ensuring nobody is sidelined in the budget.

A press statement continued by saying that “The State 2014 Budget is higher by nearly 80-fold than Sabah’s first State Budget 50 years ago where the revenue estimate was only RM61.5 million while the expenditure estimate was RM61 million. In 1974, the estimated revenue rose to RM207 million and the estimated expenditure increased to RM239 million. Ten years later in 1984, the estimated revenue reached RM1.22 billion while State revenue rose to RM1.38 billion. 2014, has set the highest ever State revenue target which is RM4.58 billion, marking an increase of 20 per cent from 2013’s original estimate of RM3.83 billion.”

Even as the Federal government earmarks just 35 per cent of the Federal Budget for development work, the Sabah government spends as much as 65 per cent of the state Budget on development work. Talking about Sabah’s contributing a lion’s share in the nation’s development, Musa said, “Although the state government was elected for a five-year term, it resolves to fulfill the people’s aspirations from the very first year itself.”

While Musa’s budget speech said the state economy has grown by leaps and bounds in the past five decades since independence, he added that “I am confident that people from all walks of live regardless of religion, race, gender, rich, poor, old or young, physically challenged, wherever they may be ( whether on land or sea); people’s well-being and States prosperity are our main agendas for us to always strive for, which are certainly achievable.”

So there is the mission for which the government has allocated RM 1.58 billion “for improving infrastructure and public amenities”. This is besides RM627.92 million allocate to upgrade water supply. Musa claims that to achieve zero hardcore poor target and reduce relative poor in Sabah, the government has allocated RM178.14 million to implement various programmes. The reduction of poverty from 19.7% in 2009 to 8.1% in 2012 proved that the governments efforts in this has borne fruits.

The budget, claiming to be for inclusive development, seeks to strike balance for growth in both agricultural and industry, enhance quality of life in rural and urban by focusing on housing and infrastructure. To empower the youths the Y Generation so that they will be more valuable, creative, innovative and productive through education, training, skill programmmes, sports and community activities the budget has set aside RM229.86. The budget also proposes The Enhancement of Knowledgeable Livestock Entrepreneur (K-Entrepreneur) Programme which will be continued.

To spur growth in the State tourism sector, particularly on investment in providing tourism facilities, the State Government has approved the Tourism Master Plan covering the coastal areas of Tuaran to Kota Belud and RM233.99 million has been set aside for next year. The State tourism sector targets 3.4 million tourist arrivals and an estimated tourism receipts of RM6.277 billion although while writing this, a Taiwanese tourist got killed and his wife got kidnapped in Pom Pom Island in Semporna by Abu Sayyaf bandits. Perhaps in this instance, it is best if the state tourism sector uses the money to ensure maximum security before handing out pamphlets about exotic resorts in the East Coast of Sabah.

For a fair and unbiased understanding of the ‘Sabah Story’ we should read it with an open mind and look at the State’s performance against the backdrop of the low socio-economic base from where it started its journey to rapid growth and spectacular development. The ‘Sabah Story’ is a story in the making, much like the Thousand-and-One Arabian Nights, it is not a story that concludes here and today and perhaps never will. Sabah inherited low levels of social indicators (at independence) and it is the change in these indicators where Sabah shows impressive progress. The literacy rate has risen from 22 per cent in 1960 to 69 per cent in 2001 and 80 per cent in 2011. Even the infant mortality rate per thousand has fallen from 144 in 1971 to 60 in 2001 and 21 in 2011.”

Anybody reading the ‘Sabah Story’ with an open mind would see it is a story of immense success that inspires hope and determination to achieve greater success. But an open mind is something that is alien to our liberal media and the intellectually bankrupt commentariat that controls publications which lay greater stress on fiction over fact.

by James Sarda

Kota Kinabalu: No one should accuse Sri Lanka as bitterly as they do just because there had to be casualties in the process of ending that island nation’s civil war.

Stating this to Daily Express in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the 59th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, recently, its Secretary General Dr William Shija, said in the case of Sri Lanka, it would be unrealistic to suggest that there have been human rights violations just because there had to be a decision to end the terrorism (waged by the Tamil Tigers for three decades).

“You had a group of people who had completely captured a portion of that country through violent means. That is anarchy. That is terrorism.

“What do you expect the Sri Lankan Government to do? What would any nation faced with this situation be expected to do? Sit and negotiate?

“That is similar to what we heard about, for example, in the Falklands (when Argentina temporarily seized the island in the early 1980s).

“Why would Britain then go to the extent of trying to protect the Falklands which is so far away. It can’t be terrorism if you are protecting your nation or your people,” said the former Tanzanian Minister.

Shija also said it was ironic to even attempt to suggest that Sri Lanka had violated human rights when actually there are more serious human rights violations taking place even right now in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq (by the western troops).

“Those are examples that need to be examined in the proper perspective,” he said, obviously referring to the countless civilians killed by US, UK and Nato forces in these Muslim countries. Thousands of innocent civilians have been killed by US drone attacks in Afghanistan alone.

Shija added that there were also plenty of human rights violations during colonialism and during times of slavery. “If people want to talk about human rights violations we might as well go into history,” he said.

He said looking at the situation today, “you can’t have countries or even the Commonwealth dictate to Sri Lanka what to do.

“Who are you coming from the Commonwealth or otherwise to tell these guys what to do.

In fact, there are even smaller countries within the (53-member) Commonwealth who flex their muscles when it comes to their own country’s decisions.

“The world has moved on and no longer do you have an unipolar system where one member can dictate to another. So the best way to keep the family together is to be flexible and accommodate the variances and rather contribute on what should be done.”

Malaysia has confirmed participating in CHOGM despite calls by Barisan Nasional component MIC and the opposition DAP to boycott the event. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib would lead a delegation and Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said that Malaysia’s participation was “relevant and significant”.

Critics of Lanka have alleged that its government was responsible for the deaths of up to 40,000 civilians in the civil war there that ended in 2009 with the killing of the entire Tiger leadership. There have been no more killings since.

It made Sri Lanka, reportedly albeit with Chinese help in logistics, the first and only nation in the world to have successfully defeated terrorism.

The Tamil Tigers have also been accused of drafting child soldiers and killing innocent thousands, including its own people that did not side with it during their campaign for a separate state in the island’s north.

There is evidence that in the last stages of the war their besieged leaders tried to use fellow Tamil civilians as human shields and killed those who abandoned them.

The Tigers also became infamous for introducing suicide bombings that has seen been adopted by other reactionary groups as a means to achieve their objectives, especially assassinating key people.

Their most high profile victim was Indian Premier Rajiv Gandhi when they sent a woman strapped with a bomb inside her sari to greet him when he visited Lanka during the early stages of the bloody conflict.

James Sarda is the Editor-in-Chief of Daily Express an Independent National Newspaper of East Malaysia

Happy Deepavali!

Posted: November 2, 2013 in Deepavali
Tags: , ,

Wishing all my visitors, readers, blog followers and my blogger “kakis” a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous Deepavali.

May this auspicious day bring the glorious light of happiness, eternal peace and harmony to all of us.