PKR Election – What A Comical Situation

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National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest 2014

Photo and caption by Nicholas Roemmelt / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest --- The Wave after a heavy thunderstorm with a small pond granting a perfect mirror for the reflection of the hiker. A calm and solemn place at a perfect day.
Mirrow Wave. Photo and caption by Nicholas Roemmelt / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest — The Wave after a heavy thunderstorm with a small pond granting a perfect mirror for the reflection of the hiker. A calm and solemn place at a perfect day.

The  26th annual National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest is open until June 30, 2014.

The grand prize winner will receive a National Geographic Expedition to Alaska.

Submit you photos now!

Here are some submissions of the contest…

(Please click the photos for larger images)

 

Photos: Sidang Media & Majlis Kesyukuran Muslim UPRo

My photo before the program started.
My photo before the program started.

On March 27, 2014, I attended the Muslim UPRo press conference at the Hotel Putra in Kuala Lumpur.

The speakers were Azril Mohd Amin, Nasharudin Mat Isa and A. Karim Omar.

The Muslim UPRO committee members.
The Muslim UPRO committee members.

Before the program started, I spoke to Uncle Zul Noordin and I asked him a few political questions since he was one of Anwar Ibrahim’s lawyers before he left Anwar.

Uncle Zul answering some of my questions.
Uncle Zul answering some of my questions.

We also talked about current political issues, like PRK Kajang together with Uncle Nasha, Uncle Jinggo and Uncle Sheikh Karim.

The former Director of Criminal Investigation and Commissioner of Police for the Royal Malaysia Police, Tan Sri Zaman Khan was also there and he advised me to eat more vitamins after Uncle Zul told him that I am a blogger.

Discussing about the current political issues with politicians. From left is Uncle Nasharudin Mat Isa, Uncle Sheikh Karim, Uncle Zul Noordin and I
Discussing about the current political issues with politicians. From left is Uncle Nasharudin Mat Isa, Uncle Sheikh Karim, Uncle Zul Noordin and I
Listening to Uncle Azril's briefing on the UPR process that had taken place in Geneva recently.
Listening to Uncle Azril’s briefing on the UPR process that had taken place in Geneva recently.
Listening to the briefing by the Muslim UPRO committee members.
Listening to the briefing by the Muslim UPRO committee members.
Briefing by the Muslim UPRO secretary general.
Briefing by the Muslim UPRO secretary general.
Uncle Nasha briefs us about the UPR process and COMANGO.
Uncle Nasha briefs us about the UPR process and COMANGO.
Uncle Zul sharing ideas with the Muslim UPRO committee members.
Uncle Zul sharing ideas with the Muslim UPRO committee members.

Does ICCPR Protect Human Rights?

According to state media reports in Egypt, 529 of Morsi’s supporters were sentenced to death in a single hearing by the Minya Criminal Court.

This is a ‘mass capital punishment’.

A question crossed my mind as I heard the news, will United Nations and Human Rights Committee be taking any action as the sentence violated the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) that has been signed by Egypt?

Article 6(1) and 6(2) of ICCPR:

1. Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.morsi

2. In countries which have not abolished the death penalty, sentence of death may be imposed only for the most serious crimes in accordance with the law in force at the time of the commission of the crime and not contrary to the provisions of the present Covenant and to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. This penalty can only be carried out pursuant to a final judgement rendered by a competent court.

Article 14 of the ICCPR, which outlines a fair trial, mandates that anyone accused of a crime must have “adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defense” and “to be tried in his presence.”

Egypt signed the ICCPR on August 4, 1967 and ratified the treaty on January 14, 1982; but it did something worse than countries that have not sign the treaty.

So, what is the use of making countries sign and ratify ICCPR if a country that ratified ICCPR can pass a sentence of ‘mass capital punishment’ to 529 people?

Penyokong Wan Azizah Kecewakan Hannah Yeoh?

Opposition leaders call UMNO leaders and members racists and boasted that Pakatan leaders and supporters are open minded and against racism.

(Image credit to helenang.wordpress.com)
(Image credit to helenang.wordpress.com)

As we drove around Kajang on the election day of the N25 Kajang, we saw lots of party supporters by the roadside waving their parties’ flags, especially around the voting centers.

The Muslim PKR supporters shouted to my parents that they must vote for PKR’s Wan Azizah because she is a Malay Muslim and must not vote for BN because BN’s candidate is a non-Muslim and a Chinese.

After we put on the BN T-shirts that were given to us by the BN’s team, a lot of PKR supporters shouted bad and foul words because they said that we are supporting a non-Muslim.

Some old men even stuck their tongues out at me, which is very rude.

Will Hannah Yeoh call them racist and tweet about it?

But of course Hannah Yeoh won’t call them racist because they are Pakatan members and supporters!

Photos: Breathtaking World Heritage Sites

Iguacu Falls

Iguacu Falls. (Photo Credit: Dmitry V. Petrenko/Shutterstock)
Iguacu Falls. (Photo Credit: Dmitry V. Petrenko/Shutterstock)

At 490 feet wide and nearly 3000 feet long, Iguaçu Falls is filled with falls of every size and intensity, most notably Devil’s Throat, where water drops from a height of 270 feet. With the highest flow of water on record, Iguaçu easily topples its equally famous sisters, Victoria and Niagara Falls. Ample viewing opportunities are available: Argentina offers close-up action shots with walkways that lead visitors into the action—feeling the power of the water is unforgettable. Brazil features all-encompassing panoramas and sweeping vistas of the falls’ network, allowing you to appreciate their sheer size.

Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Islands. (Photo credit: sunsinger/Shutterstock)
Galapagos Islands,off the coast of Ecuador.  (Photo credit: sunsinger/Shutterstock)

A utopian universe of 19 volcanic islands comprises the Galápagos archipelago, roughly 1,000 kilometers off the coast of Ecuador, in the Pacific Ocean. Watch your step on islands Isabela and Fernandina, where endemic marine iguanas are protected and thriving, each reaching up to five and a half feet long. Swim with sea lions, sharks, and giant turtles—all playful and curious, having never faced threats from humans. 

Rock Islands Southern Lagoon

Rock Islands Southern Lagoon. (Photo Credit: howamo/Shutterstock)
Rock Islands Southern Lagoon, Republic of Palau. (Photo Credit: howamo/Shutterstock)

The term “picturesque” must have been coined with Palau in mind. The 200-kilometer chain of islands forms the archipelago, geographically part of Micronesia. Out of eight islands and 250 islets, Palau’s limestone Rock Islands jut out as if positioned on pedestals. Erosion has transformed them into towering umbrella shapes, bases fringed by fronds, reefs, coral walls, caves, and planes and ships—remnants of World War II. With pristine waters, visibility reaches almost 200 feet below the surface. Inhabited for over 4,000 years, the islands are home to ancient burial grounds and drawings.

Halong Bay

Halong Bay. (Photo Credit: John Bill/Shutterstock)
Halong Bay, Vietnam. (Photo Credit: John Bill/Shutterstock)

This iconic group of evolving stone islands casts different shapes and colors, depending on the light and time of day, onto the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. The oldest is 280 million years old. Around half of the 2,000-odd limestone and schist islands are named after the shapes they project, such as Hon Rong (“Dragon Islet”). Halong Bay comprises the southwest islands, where eagles soar around forested peaks. Natural grottoes and caves punctuate the intricate and elaborate mesh of islands.

Meteora

Meteora. (Photo Credit: Gabriela Insuratelu/Shutterstock)
Meteora, Greece.  (Photo Credit: Gabriela Insuratelu/Shutterstock)

Precariously perched atop pinnacles of sandstone, 1300 feet high, Meteora’s six Greek Orthodox monasteries tower over the city of Kalambaka in central Greece. They’re centuries old—dating to the 9th century—from a time when Byzantine hermit monks, who lived in Meteora’s caves, were forced to move to safety at these heights.

Borobudur Temple Compounds

Borobudur Temple Compounds. (Photo Credit: Luciano Mortula/Shutterstock).
Borobudur Temple Compounds, East Java, Indonesia. (Photo Credit: Luciano Mortula/Shutterstock).

Mysticism shrouds dawn in Borobudur. Giant faded pink bell structures cap a giant stupa, representing the micro cosmos, and shimmer through a misty golden sunrise. It’s an ethereal scene that radiates ancient spirituality. The world’s largest Buddhist monument, dated to the 9th century, can be found here. One million tourists pour into Borobudur’s grounds annually to marvel at the balustrades, relief panels, and Buddha statues. The stonework features an interlocking design—an architectural feat for its time.

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre. (Photo Credit: Dudarev Mikhail/Shutterstock).
Cinque Terre,  Italy. (Photo Credit: Dudarev Mikhail/Shutterstock).

Serrated mountains host olive groves and lush terraced vineyards, nestling five vivid villages that are carved into the coastline. Each is crammed with a distinctive ambiance, connected by wildflowers and butterflies, steeples, and a confectionary of colorful buildings. The cliffs of Cinque Terre seemingly slip into the sea—a protected marine area. Villages are reached solely by train, through a series of tunnels along sheer cliffs.

New Stonehenge 

New Stonehenge visitor centre set to open.
New Stonehenge visitor centre set to open.

The English Heritage chief executive, Simon Thurley, says Stonehenge has now got “the exhibition and the museum that it deserves”, as part of the ongoing £27m project to improve facilities at the site.

Malindo Air Plane Catches Fire

Malindo Air's ATR 72-600 plane’s turboprop engine caught fire.
Malindo Air’s ATR 72-600 plane’s turboprop engine caught fire, Wednesday 26, 2014. Image credit to The Star).

A Malindo Air flight to Kuala Terengganu had to turn back to Subang Airport because the ATR 72-600 plane’s turboprop engine caught fire.

Terengganu midfielder Faiz Subri who was in the flight with the rest of the Terengganu FA team posted a picture of the burning engine.

Everyone on board the 7.30am flight was safe.

The Star reported that according to a statement on the Terengganu FA’s website, the team took a replacement flight back to Kuala Terengganu at 10am.

Washington Landslide And Mudslide Killed 14

The hillside which collapsed and produced a March 22, 2014 mudslide near Oso, Washington, is seen in this March 23, 2014 handout photo from Governor Jay Inslee's office.  REUTERS/Gov. Jay Inslee's Office/Handout
The hillside which collapsed and produced a March 22, 2014 mudslide near Oso, Washington, is seen in this March 23, 2014 handout photo from Governor Jay Inslee’s office.
REUTERS/Gov. Jay Inslee’s Office/Handout

By Tuesday, at least 14 people were killed, eight people were injured while 176 others are still missing  since a rain-soaked hillside collapsed on Saturday along State Route 530 near Oso, Washington.

The landslide heaved houses off their foundations, toppled trees and left a gaping cavity on what had been a tree-covered hillside.

More than 100 properties were hit by the mudslide. 

Seattle Times newspaper reported that many warnings had been issued about the area where the disaster.

In 1999, a report was filed to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers highlighting “the potential for a large catastrophic failure”.

Search crew workers were forced again to briefly retreat on Monday from the western edge of the slide area after movement was detected along a 1,500-foot (460-meter) stretch of earth.

There is fear of flooding as water levels rose behind a crude dam of mud and rubble that had been dumped into the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River by the slide in an area along State Route 530, about 55 miles northeast of Seattle, in the Pacific Northwest state.

Please click the photos for larger images:

Tuesday, March 25, 12:30 PM MYT +0800 Malaysia Airlines MH370 Flight Incident – Media Statement 25

By: Tan Sri Md Nor Md Yusof, Chairman of Malaysia Airlines

As you will be aware, last night the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najjib Razak, announced new evidence regarding the disappearance of MH370 on 8th March.

Based on this evidence, the Prime Minister’s message was that we must accept the painful reality that the aircraft is now lost and that none of the passengers or crew on board survived.

This is a sad and tragic day for all of us at Malaysia Airlines. While not entirely unexpected after an intensive multi-national search across a 2.24 million square mile area, this news is clearly devastating for the families of those on board. They have waited for over two weeks for even the smallest hope of positive news about their loved ones.

This has been an unprecedented event requiring an unprecedented response. The investigation still underway may yet prove to be even longer and more complex than it has been since March 8th. But we will continue to support the families – as we have done throughout. And to support the authorities as the search for definitive answers continues. I will now ask our Group Chief Executive¸ Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, to provide you will with fuller details of our support for the families.

By: Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, Group Chief Executive Officer, Malaysia Airlines

I stand before you today not only as the Group Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Airlines, but also as a parent, as a brother, as a son. My heart breaks to think of the unimaginable pain suffered by all the families. There are no words which can ease that pain. Everyone in the Malaysia Airlines family is praying for the 239 souls on MH370 and for their loved ones on this dark day. We extend our prayers and sincere condolences.

We all feel enormous sorrow and pain. Sorrow that all those who boarded Flight MH370 on Saturday 8th March, will not see their families again. And that those families will now have to live on without those they love.  It must be remembered too that 13 of our own colleagues and fellow Malaysians were also on board.

And let me be very clear on the events of yesterday evening. Our sole and only motivation last night was to ensure that in the incredibly short amount of time available to us, the families heard the tragic news before the world did. Wherever humanly possible, we did so in person with the families or by telephone, using SMS only as an additional means of ensuring fully that the nearly 1,000 family members heard the news from us and not from the media.

Ever since the disappearance of Flight MH370 Malaysia Airlines’ focus has been to comfort and support the families of those involved and support the multi-national search effort. We will continue to do this, while we also continue to support the work of the investigating authorities in the Southern Indian Ocean.

Like everyone else, we are waiting for news from those authorities. We know that while there have been an increasing number of apparent leads, definitive identification of any piece of debris is still missing. It is impossible to predict how long this will take. But after 17 days, the announcement made last night and shared with the families is the reality which we must now accept. When Malaysia Airlines receives approval from the investigating authorities, arrangements will be made to bring the families to the recovery areas if they so wish. Until that time, we will continue to support the ongoing investigation. And may I express my thanks to the Government and all of those involved in this truly global search effort.

In the meantime, Malaysia Airlines’ overwhelming focus will be the same as it has been from the outset – to provide the families with a comprehensive support programme. Through a network of over 700 dedicated caregivers, the loved ones of those on board have been provided with two dedicated caregivers for each family, providing care, support and counsel. We are now supporting over 900 people under this programme and in the last 72 hours, we have trained an additional 40 caregivers to ensure the families have access to round-the-clock support.

In addition, hotel accommodation for up to five family members per passenger, transportation, meals and others expenses have been provided since 8th March and that will continue.

Malaysia Airlines has already provided initial financial assistance of USD 5,000 per passenger to the next of kin. We recognize that financial support is not the onlyconsideration. But the prolonged search is naturally placing financial strain on the relatives. We are therefore preparing to offer additional payments as the search continues.

This unprecedented event in aviation history has made the past 18 days the greatest challenge to face our entire team at Malaysia Airlines. I have been humbled by the hard work, dedication, heartfelt messages of concern and offers of support from our remarkable team. We do not know why, and we do not know how this terrible tragedy happened. But as the Malaysia Airlines family, we are all praying for the passengers and crew of Flight MH370.

Malaysia Airlines’s 24th Media Statement On MH370 Flight Incident – Tuesday, March 25, 12:30 PM MYT +0800

It is with deep sadness that Malaysia Airlines earlier this evening had to confirm to the families of those on board Flight MH370 that it must now be assumed the flight had been lost. As the Prime Minister said, respect for the families is essential at this difficult time. And it is in that spirit that we informed the majority of the families in advance of the Prime Minister’s statement in person and by telephone. SMSs were used only as an additional means of communicating with the families. Those families have been at the heart of every action the company has taken since the flight disappeared on 8th March and they will continue to be so. When Malaysia Airlines receives approval from the investigating authorities, arrangements will be made to bring the families to the recovery area and until that time, we will continue to support the ongoing investigation.