Monday, 30 March 2009
Saturday, 28 March 2009
Although I feel that using the last remaining training frigate in the fleet for fleet operations is not suitable especially for such a long overseas deployment as I am sure the Navy's trainees will not be on board and thus are deprived of onboard training in the meantime, I guess that is the price to be paid by our Navy that is currently short on operational assets after their patrol craft an OPV squadrons has been transferred to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency. With the prior announced commissioning of two new Kedah class OPVs this month seems to be further postponed, the RMN may have to wait further to ease the shortage before they can send a more suitable vessel to undertake the operations in the Gulf and allow our training frigate to undertake her assigned role again. Until then we wish our men on board KD Hang Tuah in the Gulf good sailing! May they uphold the prestige their predecessors has gained in the short time our naval vessels has operated there.
Thursday, 26 March 2009
Wednesday, 25 March 2009
Inverted position of the RazakSat with panels folded to the side. Note the camera at one end
RazakSAT is equipped with a medium-sized aperture camera (MAC), a pushbroom camera with 5 linear detectors (1 panchromatic, 4 multi-spectral) to capture high resolution images of the Earth along the near equatorial orbit. The 2.5mm Medium Sized Aperture Camera on the satellite has a ground sampling distance of 2.5m (black and white or panchromatic) and 5m (colour or multi-spectral) and at the nominal altitude of 685 km, MAC has a swath width of 20 km. The size resolution is said to be similar in clarity as looking at a container truck from space. Thus RazakSAT is expected to provide high resolution images of Malaysia that can be applied to land management, resource development and conservation, forestry, fish migration and security. It is the last application that really interest me as now Malaysia can secure its own geospatial information security without relying on third parties. And although it has been reported that for less than RM2,000, you can now have a satellite image of your neighbourhood or a place of interest, Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency director general Darus Ahmad has said that a committee comprising government agencies such as the military and police would vet requests for “sensitive” images. Nonetheless just imagine for yourself the military applications RazakSAT can provide for the defence sector of our country. The availability of the Malaysian home grown high resolution satellite, the RazakSAT stands not only to benefit the country in terms of better management and utilisation of resources but also is something to watch over us.
Monday, 23 March 2009
Why Malaysian Government insists on using English for math and science?This is because the whole world uses the language as an information and/or technology language. How dangerous it will be if we try to use Bahasa, especially in school. See example below:-Hardware = barangkerasSoftware = baranglembutJoystick = batang gembiraPlug and Play = cucuk dan mainPort = lubangServer = pelayanClient = pelangganTry to translate this:ENGLISH:
That server gives a plug and play service to the client using either hardware or software joystick. The joystick goes into the port of the client.Now in BAHASA:
Pelayan itu memberi pelanggannya layanan cucuk dan main dengan menggunakan batang gembira jenis keras atau lembut. Batang gembira itu akan dimasukkan ke dalam lubang pelanggan.Now you know...WHY...
Thursday, 19 March 2009
Tuesday, 17 March 2009
I know people shudder when I say I am a Nuri pilot, especially when their full fathom of aviation experience and knowledge is from Malaysian Airlines and Air Asia. Some respond with, "Oh, the flying coffin?" When someone not form the fraternity starts a tirade on this lady, I bristle. You cannot, based on what our maligned press feeds you, make an attempt to come across as informed and knowldgeable on an aircraft that has saved lives many times over those whose she has taken through no fault of her very own. Do you actually intend to sermonise the clergy? Would you who live in danger no greater than the ones of your own making in the foundries of your luxury sports cars, make attempt to preach to us whose lives are on the line in using hardware sinless but for her age in the execution of duty? ..............I was having lunch in the navy wardroom in KD Sri Semporna last January as guests of the Commanding Officer when an ex-commander turned naval contractor asked me about the airworthiness of the Nuri, almost kindly and concerned was he. He contrasted this against the Nuri mishaps he had heard of over his own 30 years in service. I maintained as I do with all who ask, that it is not airworthiness that comes to question with the Nuri.A pilot has all the authority to snag an aircraft less than serviceable for a task if he examines it and finds it so. But with an operational and meteorological environment far changed from that which the Nuri found herself first flying in, greater demands are placed upon an airframe that was designed in the infancy of helicopter history, to operate from sea-going decks rather than where altitude performances would infringe when trying to climb above inclement weather, just for instance. These diversifications and others strain the initial design brief of both the aircraft and the aircrew who must now take on the workload at the point where his aircraft is rendered a mere platform for task execution without integral equipment to absorb the said workload. Eventually breakpoint will be reached and aircrew failure will ensue as human performances and reserves are overwhelmed. An aircraft sporting today's current hardware is better designed to surmount the limitations encountered by older aircraft, delaying the point of human failure, making for better mission accomplishment and flight safety.When the RMAF asked for the EC-725 helicopter to be bought so that the Nuri could be phased out, we asked for the full Combat Search and Rescue variant for this very purpose. So that we could be equipped to do what we do. To save lives in the face of hostility. To save lives, period. We were in fact on the brink of getting the EC-725 when it fell victim to politicking and blogger sabre-rattling, and hence the fleet replacement programme is now shelved due to the "uncertain global economic climate".This of course, is absolute hogwash. Wherever the mischief was sniffed, that was not the area where the remedy, no matter its suitability, was applied. Instead, we who work are punished with the indefinite delay of what we need to do our job safely within the demands of today's "uncertain" climate, be it the economics, environment or security which concerns and affects us. If we were anything like England where members of the executive and royal families served in the air force helicopter flying squadrons instead of being served by it, I wonder what this stirring of phantoms would have produced for us by way of the Nuri replacement programme. Thus do we fly the Nuri, without the luxury of choice but with pride of service currently unrivalled in this neighbourhood.
Saturday, 14 March 2009
I start by showing the house she stays in as below;
Nik Nur Madihah with her parents Nik Mohd. Kamal Hussien and Mariani Omar at their home in Kampung Parang Puting, Pengkalan Chepa, Kota Bharu. – UTUSAN/Hafiz Johari
and a literal translation of her life states that ;
When the results of the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examinations were announced yesterday a student, Nik Nur Madihah Nik Mohd. Kamal, 18, created a surprise when she obtained the excellent result of 19 A1 and satu A2.
The success of this student from Sekolah Menengah Agama Arab Maahad Muhammadi (Perempuan), Kota Bharu, Kelantan is made rather special as she is the daughter of a fisherman that leads a life of hardship when compared to previous top SPM students that come from more well off families. She was interviewed by Utusan Malaysia, at her family home in di Kampung Parang Puting, Pengkalan Chepa, Kota Bharu in order to reveal her secrets for success.
She who was once one of the best students for the Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) examinations at the national level 2006 has transformed into an instant celebrity because of her success.
In fact, journalists that has rushed to interview her has had to wait their turn to enter her father's depleted rented house at a cost of RM90 a month as it is so small and unsound.
The house really represents how difficult her life is with only a small room bordered by a cupboard serving as their rest area while the living room that can only fit four persons acts as her study.
When asked why she wanted to take 20 subjects for her exams, she responded that she wanted to prove that even a fisherman's daughter could excel like the previous best students that had come from better off families.
Thus she challenged herself to create history(or rather her story) by achieving 20A's although she only expected to score 18 A's. She had actually kept it a secret from her family that she was taking twenty subjects but finally broke the news when her trial results bore out her confidence, and when they knew about this the family was in full support of her ambition. This is from a girl living a family life that subsist on an inconsistent income of only RM500 to RM700 a month, who fasts on every Monday and Thursday to conserve food and who sometimes forgoes eating at school as her allowance is only enough to pay for her bus ride to school, eating only bread or a lunch box of fried rice when she can, when her family only eats rice and fried eggs when her father cannot go to sea to fish during the monsoon season.
Yet she does well despite her life's shortcomings of a small house, no scholarship despite her earlier achievements, no outside tuition and her decision not to go to boarding school as her family cannot afford it. Her recipe for this is simple; to strive and strategically study, and if a problem arise to quickly consult the teachers and the rest is to leave it to God's will or Tawakkal. She further elaborates that the strategy that she meants to give full attention when studying as she has no fixed study schedule like others, only studying when she wants to but consistently.
And for those who are now politicising the teaching of Mathematics and Science In English by implying the so-called less fortunate and rural students will be at a disadvantage with such a syllabus, please take note of what Madihah has to say about this.
"Adakah saudari menjawab semua soalan mata pelajaran Sains dan Matematik seperti Fizik dan Kimia dalam bahasa Inggeris?
Ya, sebab lagi mudah dan ditekan oleh guru sejak awal lagi.
(Have you answered all the Science and Mathematics subjects like physics and chemistry in English?
Yes, as it is simpler and emphasised by teachers from the beginning.)
So now, she hopes to be a physicist and is hoping for a place at any foreign university. I hope the government takes note and ensure her ambitions are fulfilled, by ensuring that she will further her studies at any first class or ivy league university of her choice. That is the very least she and her family deserves.
Wednesday, 11 March 2009
Sunday March 8, 2009
Kugan’s blood on our hands?
WIDE ANGLEBy HUZIR SULAIMAN
In light of recent revelations, the memory of a decade-old conversation returns to haunt our columnist.
ROUND about 1999 (give or take a year) I was invited by the creative director of an advertising agency in KL to come and talk to his creative team about scriptwriting. A couple of weeks before my talk, he asked me if I wanted to drop by and watch that week’s guest speaker to get a sense of who my audience would be and to get some ideas of what to talk about.The guest speaker that day was a successful advertising person from another agency. I sat in for that lady’s lecture, and a handful of us went for tea afterwards. I don’t remember a whole lot from the conversation at the coffee shop. In fact, I remember only one thing, which was so traumatic that it has wiped out all the other memories.
It was an off-hand remark from the famous advertising lady. She announced that her BMW had been stolen, and the police had caught the guy who did it, so she gave the policemen RM50 to beat the thief up in the lockup.
Now, I like to think I’m pretty cynical – even 10 years ago I was pretty cynical – but when I heard this, I was genuinely shocked.“How could you do this?” I demanded, while our hosts politely tried to ignore the tension at the table. “Doesn’t the guy have rights?
She shrugged, completely unrepentant. “He stole my car. I can’t be bothered to go to court – there’s probably not enough evidence anyway – but this guy definitely did it. Can’t just let him get away with it.”“You don’t think it’s unfair to try and bribe a bunch of policemen to assault someone who is unable to defend himself, and who in any case is supposed to be innocent until proven guilty in a court?”
“No. He stole my car. You have to teach him a lesson.”
We may have exchanged a few more words, but that was the essence of the conversation. I was disgusted, and I still am. I have never spoken to this person again, and in the intervening years I have been unable to form an objective opinion of her many professional achievements because of the callousness and cowardliness of what she announced so airily that day.
But before I go any further I should acknowledge a couple of things, in the interest of fairness. First, she could have been lying. She might have made up the whole story. I cannot, however, imagine why someone would want to make up a story about herself that demonstrated an utter contempt for human rights and the rule of law, and indeed for basic human decency. In theory, however, it’s possible she made up the story in order to indirectly cast aspersions on the character and conduct of the police.
Second, even if she wasn’t making it up, we have no way of knowing if the police actually acted on her illegal request. They might not actually have beaten up the suspect. They might have behaved with perfect propriety and kindness.
For all I know – and for all the advertising lady knew – they might have donated the RM50 to an orphanage, then bought the alleged car thief a nice lunch, and released him unharmed, with a gift bag containing spa vouchers and a selection of herbal teas.
So I don’t claim to know what actually happened, and I refuse to make the mistake that she did, which was to presume the guilt of those involved.
But I do want to ask a few questions, based solely on the fact that she brought up this story, whether or not it was true.
My first set of questions is directed at her, in the hope that she might be a reader of this publication. Do you see any moral relationship at all, dear advertising lady, between bribing policemen to beat up the man who supposedly stole your BMW 10 years ago, and the death in police custody on Jan 20 this year of alleged luxury car thief Kugan Ananthan, who an independent post-mortem claims was repeatedly burned with a hot iron and beaten to death?
Do you still think it was justified for you to have wanted to teach him a lesson? Would you have liked it to have been as severe a lesson as Kugan’s appears to have been? Or is death by renal failure caused by severe beating just a bit too severe for you?
So exactly how much pain and torture would you have liked to have had inflicted on the person who stole your car? In your opinion, how much cruelty visited upon a naked, cowering human body is equivalent to the loss of a fine piece of German automotive engineering?
And now I want to ask this of the wider Malaysian public: Aren’t we all responsible for the death of Kugan? Do we care so much about our property – our things – that we can excuse or rationalise the physical torment and annihilation of people accused of stealing that property? Are we so frightened by the upsurge in crime rates that we will turn a blind eye to possible acts of sadism and murder?Can’t we see that condoning police abuse actually doesn’t make our country any safer?Shouldn’t we be encouraging the police to do things properly, to deploy all their skills and intelligence to investigate crimes and gather evidence lawfully, and build a case that can stand in court, instead of attempting to extract information or confessions by torture, or to impose their own punishment?
What happens if innocent people are tortured so badly that they confess to crimes they didn’t commit? How does that make our streets safer?
And does it make our streets safer if there is the chance that a guilty criminal goes free because a decent judge realises his confession has been obtained under duress – and that the prosecution’s case depends solely on that confession because a proper police investigation was never done?
Does it make our streets safer if a criminal gets the impression that he can bribe his way out of detention or indictment?
And shouldn’t Malaysians acknowledge that this system is of our creation – that we have made it what it is by condoning small acts of corruption?
When we try to bribe a traffic policeman at a roadblock in order to escape a summons, can’t we see that it begins a chain reaction of moral degradation that leads to a well-to-do person thinking that with RM50 she can transform professional law enforcers into a private band of torturers?
The media, civil society groups and political parties – including, it should be noted, Barisan Nasional components – have reacted swiftly to the independent pathologist’s report on Kugan’s death, strongly condemning the brutality that the report implies.This is right and noble, but shouldn’t we have made a similar fuss over each of the 85 deaths in police custody that occurred between 2003 and 2007?
Should I have waited 10 years to tell my story?
Did Kugan Ananthan die so horribly because when Malaysians had so many opportunities to speak out, we were so very silent?
Huzir Sulaiman writes for theatre, film, television, and newspapers. His book Eight Plays is published by Silverfish.Nonetheless this does not mean that if we are unhappy with our keepers of the law, we should then take the law into our own hands, should we?
Sunday, 8 March 2009
" And if things work according to plan, there will also be a Upin & Ipin theme park. Burhanuddin declined to give details except that the park would be located in Johor. "If you watch the movie closely, you will notice that some of the scenes resemble certain thrill rides."If Disney can do it (have a theme park with rides based on their films), why can't we?" I guess parents will now have to start saving money for their kids' "Upin & Ipin" fund! "
Saturday, 7 March 2009
Post Script : Announcement in Malay about Upin & Ipin The Movie appearing in Berita Harian Dated 18 March 2008
SEMENTARA itu, Mohd Anas berkata, populariti watak dua adik-beradik kembar yang comel, Upin dan Ipin dipergunakan sebaik-baiknya apabila diangkat ke layar perak secara khusus menggunakan judul Upin & Ipin...The Movie.Katanya, keputusan itu dibuat kerana menerima pandangan daripada orang ramai yang tertarik dengan karakter dua budak kembar itu. Malahan dengan garapan yang lebih kemas, pihaknya yakin filem animasi kedua mereka menjadi karya menarik dan cantik. Ketika ini, proses awal persiapan untuk pembikinan Upin & Ipin The Movie sedang giat dilakukan. Ia dijangka mengambil masa setahun untuk disiapkan dan mereka berharap dapat ditayangkan kepada orang ramai pada penghujung tahun 2010.“Kita mengambil kira pandangan orang ramai termasuk media yang membuat ulasan daripada filem Geng. Ramai yang menyatakan watak Upin dan Ipin dalam filem Geng: Pengembaraan Bermula... terlalu sedikit membuatkan penonton tidak puas menyaksikan telatah mereka. “Buat masa ini kita juga masih dalam peringkat perancangan awal untuk menghasilkan jalan cerita yang lebih menumpukan kepada watak Upin dan Ipin bersama rakannya di sekolah tadika. “Kita juga meramalkan filem animasi kedua ini lebih cepat daripada filem pertama lalu disebabkan segala kelengkapan bagi menghasilkan animasi dan beberapa karakter sudah ada. Cuma kita harus menghasilkan beberapa karakter lagi untuk menguatkan jalan ceritanya,” kata Mohd Anas ketika dihubungi Hip, baru-baru ini. Beliau berkata, pihaknya menjangkakan filem itu yang akan disiapkan dalam tempoh 12 bulan berbanding hampir 48 bulan untuk menyiapkan filem Geng: Pengembaraan Bermula. Selain itu, dengan kelengkapan yang sudah ada, kos penerbitannya juga dianggarkan lebih rendah.Sambutan yang hangat bagi filem Geng; Pengembaraan Bermula ini berikutan dua watak kembar Upin & Ipin menambat hati penonton yang pernah disiarkan menerusi di TV9 sepanjang Ramadan pada tahun 2007 dan 2008. Bagi menguatkan lagi strategi pemasaran filem Geng, Les' Copaque kini sudah memulakan siri Upin & Ipin musim ketiga yang sedang ditayangkan sejak Februari lalu.
Wednesday, 4 March 2009
In light of recent Malaysian headlines – some voyeuristic, some hypocritical - why some non-issues make the news and why other pressing matters like the recession, are relegated to the second rung.Obviously perversion sells. While for the most part you have to keep an open mind about it, it is difficult sometimes to accept that all reports – including those that have no relevance whatsoever to anyone else except the affected individual – are an exercise in press freedom.A fair and realistic definition of press freedom by Heribert Prantl who heads the national desk of the Sueddeutsche Zeitung (Germany’s largest broadsheet daily) who described it as “... a mighty river … in which not everything that floats in it is clean and not everything which drifts along it is precious.” He added that press freedom “carries valuable and worthless articles, decent and offensive photos, boring and provocative caricatures; and it must also put up with journalists who do not behave in the way one would like someone to behave who claims to be exercising a basic right”.The German media had vehemently opposed the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights’ (ECHR) on the invasion of privacy of public figures who ruled “The public had no legitimate interest in knowing where sic"a celebrity" goes on vacations or what she does in her private life.” In other words, “Don’t be so sibuk lah!” Yet, the press countered with an equally valid point. If their right to report on public figures were fettered, they would be unable to highlight how public figures behave, who their business contacts are or who pays for their holidays. (Random examples that come to mind include lawyers holidaying with judges or government officials photographed with shady people). I am all for this argument. For by being such kepoh, incredible scandals have been unearthed.Yet following the “mighty river” allegory, besides playing check and balance or speculating how some celebrities balance their cheques, there are also “driftwood stories". So, perhaps news is what we each make of it. For as a reader, I have the choice of skipping stories that might be offensive to me or I could read them to get an opposing perspective. I can follow-up on stories that could affect me as an individual, citizen or consumer and I can skim over pieces that either make me go “aww” or “eww”.But the potent combination of press freedom and the latent sibuk within most of us means there will always be news – good, bad and ugly. Although given this new voyeurism in Malaysia, it now also helps to do all you can to stay out of the news. But if, however, you are unfortunate enough to have come under the media spotlight simply by being at the wrong place at the wrong time with an absolutely wrong person, it might help to adopt Mrs Merkel’s, the German Chancellor's stance when facing such poppycock reporting.Ignore the drivel and get on with business. And create news.
Tuesday, 3 March 2009
Monday March 2, 2009
Army to get rocket launchers
By LESTER KONG
KUALA LUMPUR: The Royal Malaysian Army will receive 18 multiple rocket launchers – the Astros II – by the end of the year.
Artillery officers were undergoing operational training, said Army Chief Jen Tan Sri Muhammad Ismail Jamaluddin after launching the army’s 76th anniversary celebrations at Kem Perdana Sungai Besi yesterday.
The Astros II were purchased from Avibras Industria Aerospacial International Ltd of Brazil in 2006. The deal was signed by then Defence Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for about RM27mil.
Whatever it is, we should be able to do a more effective saturation firing with the receipt of the second Astros Regiment like shown above after this. So adversaries beware!