Archive for the ‘mothers’ Category


Work must go on. Life must go on. This then is life.

The world celebrate woman’s day today, Happy Mother’s Day!


Hear this….I picked this up from Agence France-Presse

Three women have been caned under Islamic law for having extramarital sex, and this is the first case in Malaysia.

Officials said the three women were caned on February 9 at a women’s prison outside the capital Kuala Lumpur after being convicted of “khalwat” or “close proximity” between an unmarried couple.

“I hope this will not be misunderstood until it defiles the purity of Islam,” Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said according to state media.

“The punishment is to teach and give a chance to those who have fallen off the path to return and build a better life in future,” he said, adding that none of the three sustained any injuries.

Hishammuddin said the three women and four men were caned following a December decision in the religious courts — which operate in parallel to the civil system in Malaysia.

He said one woman was released from prison last Sunday while another will be freed in several days and the third will be released in June.

Malaysian Islamic authorities triggered uproar last year when they sentenced mother-of-two Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno to six strokes of the cane for drinking beer.

Her case, which was to have been the first time a woman was caned under Islamic law in Malaysia, is under review and human rights groups have urged religious authorities to reverse the sentence.

Kartika’s case has been given wide media coverage but the case of the three women convicted of extramarital sex came as a surprise.

Bar Council president Ragunath Kesavan said it was worrying that the punishment had gone ahead even as the caning issue was being hotly debated by Muslim scholars, religious groups and human rights activists.

“The impression was that Kartika’s case would be the first so I’ve got no idea what has happened,” he told AFP.

“It’s not as if this is the Middle East… it’s not a good signal that they’re sending out.”

“We are against any form of corporal punishment, for men or women,” he added. “The fact is that any form of whipping is barbaric.”

By the way, my friend Antares wants to know if these 3 girls in the picture below are the ones who got caned? Antares is willing to give the mobile number of these girls if anyone care to find out straight from the horse’s mouth. Anyone care?


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.

HAPPY DEEPAVALI AND GOD BLESS!



Well done Guan Eng and The Penang State Government for contributing RM30,000 to help seek justice for the Penan teenage girls raped by loggers in the interiors of Sarawak.

What better way to observe Malaysia Day by this small contribution. This contribution was pledged by the Penang Chief Minister Guan Eng during a special congregation of civil servants at the Dome, Komtar, yesterday. Among the observers were Kota Sentosa state assemblyman and MP for Bandar Kuching, YB Chong Chien Jen (DAP) and state assemblyman for Ngemah, YB Gabriel Adit (PKR).

This is the way forward Guan Eng! Good move!

Here is the text of the speech delivered by Guan Eng for the occasion.

TEKS UCAPAN YAB KETUA MENTERI SEMPENA SAMBUTAN HARI MALAYSIA TAHUN 2009 16 SEPTEMBER 2009 (SELASA)

JAM 8.15 PAGI DI DEWAN TUNKU (GEODESIC DOME)
Integrasi Nasional, Perpaduan Negara Dan Satu Malaysia Hanya Tercapai Sekiranya Semua Rakyat Malaysia Dibenarkan Berkongsi Kuasa, Menikmati Hasil Bumi Mereka Dan Kemajuan Setara Dalam Sebuah Kerajaan Berjiwa Rakyat.

Salam Sejahtera, Selamat Berpuasa Dan Selamat Menyambut Hari Malaysia

Saya berasa amat gembira kerana dapat berhimpun pada pagi yang mulia ini bagi meraikan Sambutan Hari Malaysia yang ke 46. Pada kesempatan ini, saya ingin merakamkan penghargaan kepada semua pihak yang terlibat dalam menjayakan Sambutan Hari Malaysia pada pagi ini. Sambutan ini memberi pengertian yang sangat bermakna kepada semua anggota Perkhidmatan Awam dan kita sebagai rakyat Malaysia. Hari Malaysia disambut pada 16 September setiap tahun untuk memperingati penubuhan persekutuan Malaysia di tarikh yang sama pada tahun 1963 dan dijadikan sebagai satu sambutan untuk seluruh negara memandangkan tarikh ini merupakan sejarah penggabungan negeri Sabah dan Sarawak dengan Tanah Melayu.

Read the rest here



Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu asked to step down “for his incompetence” in dealing with sexual violence committed against indigenous girls and women

Following the release of a Malaysian government report that confirmed systematic sexual abuse of indigenous girls and women by loggers in the East Malaysian state of Sarawak, the state’s political leadership is increasingly being criticized over its failure to handle the sensitive issue in an appropriate way.

On Saturday, Sarawak’s Deputy Chief Minister, Alfred Jabu, has been asked to resign by the oppositional Democratic Action Party (DAP) “for his incompetence” to deal with the issue. Jabu, who is in charge of Penan affairs by virtue of his position as Minister of Rural Development, has repeatedly refused to acknowledge that Penan girls were sexually abused and raped by timber workers.

In a Borneo Post interview published on 12 September 2009, Alfred Jabu insinuated that the Federal government’s report was being manipulated by “negative NGOs” although he admitted to not having seen the report published three days earlier by a National Task Force under the leadership of the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development.

While the Malaysian Mirror commented that Jabu appeared to be “in self-denial” over the report and tagged him as “the odd man out on this serious issue”, Sarawak DAP State Assemblywoman, Violet Yong, asked Jabu to resign. “The State government must be answerable on the issue of Penans who were confirmed raped”, Yong said, according to Sarawak Update, a local news channel. “Jabu is not close to the ground and fails to see what is happening there.”

When the Bruno Manser Fund first reported the sexual abuse cases in September 2008, Jabu said it would be “a waste of time to investigate” the Penan’s allegations. Meanwhile, the Bangkok-based Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development has called on the Malaysian Government to immediately identify, arrest and bring to court rapists and sexual rights violators of Penan girls and women of Baram, Sarawak.

Bruno Manser Fund

Association for the Peoples of the Rainforest

Socinstrasse 37

4051 Basel, Switzerland

+41 61 261 94 74

http://www.bmf.ch, info@bmf.ch

See here and here and here


This video was recorded from Al-Arabiya TV Station an Arabic-language television news station. I pinched this video from Susan Loone’s Blog.


Nirmala Bonat

Please don’t judge all Malaysians as cruel, heartless and have tendencies to abuse their maids. There are so many blogs circulating the Internet saying that in Malaysia maid-abuse is rampant and we disregard to basic human rights. This is not true. Fact is that maid abuse happens everywhere in the world and happens that this particular case of Nirmala Bornat had lots of publicity and we were confronted with the horrible spectacle of the worst maid abuse case in our history.

Nirmala Bonat was abused and tortured every day of the five months until her breasts, nipples and back were covered with burns, and her face was swollen by the regular beatings by her former air stewardess employer. These pictures was repeatedly shown all over the world during the course of the trial. This is a real shame and I’m surprise how a former air stewardess can be so cruel and this has left my heart aching for the victim.

Typical Malaysian are actually very kind hearted, generous and gracious people and these have always been part of our hallmark.
 
Malaysians have been employing Indonesian and Filipino maids for years. And, yes, some employers are bad and they do not even give a day off to their maids because of their fear that their maid might run away after they have spent so much money getting one.Some don’t even pay their wages for months. And some employers sometimes have tendencies to even cage their maids and some don’t even feed them with proper food. And some employers even make their Muslim maids cook pork and force their maids to eat it. There are a small number of housewives who beat their maids with brooms and hard instruments and it is known that this type of employers have been found to be suffering from depression or are just plain sadistic. There was a case where a maid was even made sex-slave by her Malaysian employer who happens to be a government employee.

There are so many examples of maid abuse and tortures. Of course these are no excuse at all and its most unfortunate to have such humans who abuse and be so cruel to fellow humans and are human rights violation of the highest order.

There are also two sides to a coin. There was a case of a Indon maid who boiled her used sanitary towels and made tea for her employer with the water from it because her employer told her off for doing something wrong. There was a maid who had “Hepatitis B” and in her falsified medical records from Indonesia it was shown that she was clean but when checked by doctors here it was confirmed she was a carrier. She had worked for the family here for 2 years.There was another case where a maid was playing with a little boys private parts and this was recorded without her knowledge on hidden camera by her employer. Then there was a story where a maid kicked and abused a 2 months old baby and this was also taken on hidden camera and can be seen here http://youtube.com/user/oreomummi

This Nirmala’s case has aroused a sense of national shame for all Malaysians and even our Pak Lah had apologise to her publicly. The tough 18 years sentence is good and it would deter other employer from abusing their maids and will serve as a good deterrent in future

I know in many homes the maid is considered family. She eats what the family eats and enjoys all the amenities. I know children who are closer to their maids than their mothers. Moms or parents whose presence is desired but cannot attend their children’s school activities are often represented by the maid. They help run the daily life 24 hours, six times a week. They wash the clothes, keep the house clean and prepare food for the whole family.

There is a story about a close friend of mine, a planter with Sime Darby Plantations who, coming home after a heavy drinking session, tells his maid, who happens to be more than a maid to him sometimes: “From this day on, I promise to stop abusing you and to start treating you as a human being.” To which the maid replies, “Thank you Sir. From this day on, I shall stop spitting in your coffee.”


Mothers Beware!

Do you know that you are systematically poisoning your homes without even knowing you are doing so?

Hear this, 80 per cent of Malaysian households, particularly women and children, used at least one pesticide indoors, in 2005 according to one survey recently.

Also, the majority of the nearly 2000 pesticide products in the market, in fact all of them, may not be safe to be used at all. Yes, all of the pesticides sold in the market are not safe to be used in our homes.

We tend to believe, and in fact, its our present belief that pesticides will solve all our household problems whenever we have unwelcome guests like spiders, cockroaches, mosquitoes or any crawling creatures visiting our homes or entering our space. We use pesticides for purely aesthetic reasons.

We run to the supermarket or sundry shops and at the shelf just pickup an aerosol insecticide spray whenever mosquitoes or cockroaches invade our space and become irritants to us. Its so easy to kill them all, just like making graffiti on side walls using aerosol spray paints. But they keep coming back with a greater vengeance although we double, triple or multiple the dose thinking we had knock down all of them  by our miracle mist the aerosol insecticide spray.

This aerosol insecticide spray is dangerous stuff. Let me tell you readers why. Okay, take the aerosol insecticide spray canister and have a good look at its label. It will read for example,

Perawais Aftik ( active ingredient )  – prallethrin –     0.09% w/w

d- phenothrin – 0.05% w/w

Total   – 0.14 %

Perawis Lengai ( inert ingredient )          –                 99.96% w/w

Now see this properly. Although the pesticide contains only 0.14 % of active ingredient it nevertheless contain significantly more inert ingredients i.e 99.96 % of the total contents. This inert ingredient is not at all identified.

All inert ingredients are not at all identified in Malaysia. We are NEVER told what the inerts are made of. This is the case with all pesticides. So, what are inerts and why are they not identified in the labels?  Why the secrecy?

According to the Pesticide Act, active ingredients is the main ingredient in a pesticide which kills, repels or mitigate pests, while inert ingredients are chemicals which simply helps a pesticide to work better.

A strategically inserted inert can enhance a pesticides toxicity by facilitating absorption of the poison through the mouth parts of an insect or the body of the insect. In other words, the inert helps in the process of the poison to be absorbed into the body of the pest or whatever comes in contact with it, including humans.

We can safely say, inerts are actually, biologically, chemically and toxicological active chemicals which are more toxic than the active ingredients itself.

In the US, some chemicals which are regulated as hazardous waste are even used as inerts in some pesticides. Hence, we can safely say that the truth is most “inerts” are not inert.

The combined effect mixing inert and active ingredient is frequently what makes pesticide products so lethal. A study done in a herbicide “ROUNDUP” manufactured by US chemical giant MONSANTO CORPORATION indicates that the addition of the inert ingredient “POLYOXYETHYLENE” to the active ingredient “GLYPHOSATE” substantially increases its toxicity.

Another study done on xylene, a petroleum derived inert used mainly as a solvent in as many as 2000 pesticides shows that xylene may cause memory and hearing loss, liver and kidney damage, inflamed lungs and even foetal deaths.

According to Dr Mohd Isa Abdul Majid, from the Toxicology Laboratory University Sains Malaysia, the effects of xylene includes memory impairments, personality changes, depression, confusion and thought disorders. Even women exposed to xylene may have longer and heavier menstrual period.

So we ask the question, why is the pesticide manufacturer allowed to omit the chemical names of inert ingredients from pesticides labels when the question of safety have not been properly answered?

The answer is because of PROFITS.

Presently, the Pesticide Board of Malaysia which overseas all pesticide sales, distribution and manufacturing only require identification of inert ingredients if it believes that a chemical ingredient might pose a ” toxicological concern.” Inerts which are ” potentially toxic” are therefore allowed to be omitted from labels.

Surely the label on a pesticide should be as informative as the label on a box of washing powder or even a packet of cream crackers or even a pack of cigarette. But the pesticide manufacturers claim otherwise.

They the manufacturers, say inerts are trade secrets and therefore they do not have to release the names of inert ingredients.

Malaysians should have the information necessary to make a reasoned decision about whether to pick a particular can of insect spray or mosquitoes coil. But they dont have it. Malaysians surely will want to see every ingredient listed on every product, especially when so many chemical poison in the market remain untested.

The law currently maintains ” use until proven deadly” policy. So in this respect, awareness particularly for women and children on the use and handling of aerosol insecticide spray is necessary and a must. The Government should not hide the facts and cover for the pesticide manufactures to make the profits in the name of trade secrets. Tell us the truth and dont compromise on safety.

Public awareness and action are they key to the drive to prevent systematic poisoning in our homes.

Selvaraja somiah

This article can also be read in Daily Express Sabah http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/weekly_news.cfm