July 19, 2008

0 Anwar + Wolfowitz + Shaha Riza Allied

Rubin, Anwar & Wolfowitz

Cucu Tok Selampit: I don't want to comment further. Please read the news from The Nation dated 04/07/2007 to know your true leader:

At the start of the scandal triggered by the revelation that World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz had helped arrange generous pay boosts for his girlfriend Shaha Riza, Wolfowitz declared, "I made a mistake, for which I am sorry."

Two and a half weeks later, Wolfowitz had readjusted his rhetoric. "The ethics charges are unwarranted" and "bogus," he said.

On Friday, the Bank's board of directors was working to complete its report on the Wolfowitz affair and pondering whether to reprimand or even remove Wolfowitz. But regardless of the outcome of the official deliberations--which have been affected by behind the scenes maneuvering and the individual agendas of member nations--the Wolfowitz and Riza tale is one of Washington insiderism, a story in which a powerful player was able to guarantee that his companion would make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year and be entitled to a lucrative pension while working at a fledgling foundation with a friend of his. This is not how most public servants in Washington live.

After Wolfowitz, a former deputy defense secretary who was a prime architect of the Iraq war, assumed the Bank's presidency, he was faced with what he has called "a potential conflict of interest." He would be the boss (albeit not the direct boss) of his girlfriend, who was a communications officer in the Middle East section. He subsequently worked out a deal under which Riza would remain a Bank employee but be reassigned out of the Bank. What has caused the fuss is that this arrangement included a 36 percent pay hike--which raised her annual salary from $132,660 to $180,000--and guaranteed yearly pay increases of 8 percent. (She is now pulling in $193,000 a year.)

Wolfowitz has justified the initial compensation boost by arguing that when he arrived at the Bank Riza was short-listed for a promotion to communications adviser to the vice president of the Middle East region. Such a promotion would entail a jump in pay grade. The office of the vice president of the region had placed Riza's name on a short list of nine candidates, but, according to an official familiar with the deliberations of the human resources committee overseeing this job opening, Riza's position on the short list was not initially approved by the committee--a necessary step for her to receive the job. That did not end the matter. "It became clear the board was under strong pressure from upstairs to keep her on the short list," this official says.
Whether or not she made it to the final short list--Bank officials have different recollections--she was no shoe-in for the promotion. Two years earlier, Jean-Louis Sarbib, then the vice president for the Middle East region, had proposed Riza for a similar position, and the human resources board had rejected her. The board noted, according to a report made available to The Nation, that Sarbib should have sought other applicants for the position, that Riza "needs to establish herself as a communications professional," and that she should not receive a "promotion through the backdoor." Riza did not meet the minimum job qualifications: an advanced degree in communications and 15 years of experience. She was a gender specialist at the Bank--a well-known Arab feminist-- who had done communications work for only a few years.

In statements to the Bank's board, Wolfowitz has pointed to Riza's candidacy for the communications adviser post as a reason for awarding her a $47,340 compensation increase. "This raise is about double what you'd be allowed to get if you got that promotion," the official familiar with these deliberations said. "For Wolfowitz to use the argument that she was short-listed goes against what the committee said about her two years before. It does not justify the salary increase."

The Riza deal included more than that first big pay hike and annual increases. It also essentially guaranteed Riza subsequent promotions to higher pay grades. And the deal would provide her the yearly pay increases for up to ten years, if Wolfowitz remained at the Bank for a second term. By the end of a second Wolfowitz term, Riza, were she to stay a Bank employee, would make close to $400,000, possibly more.

These pay increases would lead to an outsized pension. According to a Bank source familiar with the institution's pension rules and formulas, pensions for Bank retirees are based on the average salary of an employee's last three years at the Bank. Under the Wolfowitz deal, Riza could expect an annual pension of about $110,000, if she retired in 2015 (assuming Wolfowitz served two terms). If Wolfowitz had not awarded her that initial salary hike of nearly $50,000 and she instead received steady annual raises of 4 percent over this ten-year period, her pension would be about $56,000. With the Wolfowitz deal, Riza could look forward to a rather comfortable pension.

And she could retire after working with a close friend of her boyfriend.

In September 2005, the Riza deal was finalized, and the World Bank and State Department agreed she would be seconded to the department's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. She was given the task of developing a foundation that would focus on reform in the Middle East and North Africa. It would eventually be called the Foundation for the Future. (At the time, Elizabeth Cheney, the daughter of the vice president, was a principal deputy assistant secretary in the bureau, coordinating Middle East initiatives.) But there aparently was some question about her status at the State Department. The next month, J. Scott Carpenter, a deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, faxed a note to the World Bank saying that "we do not view Ms. Riza as detailed or seconded to the U.S. Government." He offered to "further refine this arrangement." Documents released by the World Bank do not indicate what subsequently transpired between the State Department and the Bank regarding Riza's employment status.

Over a year later, on October 1, 2006, Anwar Ibrahim, chairman of the Foundation for the Future, wrote Robin Cleveland, a senior Wolfowitz aide at the Bank, and requested the transfer of Riza from the State Department to the Foundation for the Future. Two months later, after Cleveland instructed the Bank's vice president of human resources to approve the transfer, the Bank okayed the switch.

The Anwar letter and other Bank documents related to this transfer did not mention that Anwar is a longtime friend of Wolfowitz. One of Asia's most prominent Muslim politicians, Anwar was a former deputy prime minister of Malaysia. He and Wolfowitz met and developed a friendship in the mid-1980s, when Wolfowitz was U.S. ambassador to Indonesia, according to Aasil Ahmad, an adviser to Anwar. In 1998, after addressing a rally protesting the government, Anwar was arrested and subsequently jailed on corruption and sodomy charges. During his years in jail, Wolfowitz was an outspoken champion of Anwar. Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, Anwar, while still imprisoned, wrote an essay condemning the attacks and calling on the Muslim worked to address "the suffering inflicted on the Muslim masses in Iraq by its dictator."

When Anwar was released from prison in 2004, Wolfowitz flew to Germany to meet him. The next year, Anwar, a former finance minister for Malaysia, endorsed Wolfowitz's appointment to the Bank, though he noted that he didn't share Wolfowitz's view of the Iraq war. ("The best the Americans can do is to withdraw their forces from Iraq," Anwar said.) These days, Anwar is back in Malaysia, advising the PKR opposition party, which is led by his wife, and preparing to run for president.

While helping to establish the Foundation for the Future at the State Department, Riza had recruited Anwar to serve as its initial adviser, according to Ahmad. The two then went about selecting a board of directors and drawing up the mandate for the group, which calls on the foundation to "advance and strengthen freedom and democratic trends and practices" in Middle Eastern and North African nations by supporting reform, media, human rights, and women's groups in those countries. The foundation, which is not a US government entity, has received a $35 million funding commitment from the United States and about $20 million in pledges from other governments. The board includes prominent citizens of Muslim nations. Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is the only American on the board.

The foundation has not gotten off to a big start. It has yet to provide a single grant. Its first president, Bakhtiar Amin, an Iraqi who served as a minister in the first interim government set up following the invasion of Iraq, left the post after a short time in the job. "He was not up to the task," says a source who has worked with the foundation. No replacement has yet been selected. The group also does not have a chief financial officer or a chief operations officer at this time. Last year, it decided to open its main Middle East office in Beirut--right before the war in Lebanon. It has no permanent office in Washington. Email requests for information on its activities have gone unanswered. Its website lists no phone number. But Ahmad, the adviser to Anwar, says the foundation will soon begin awarding grants, perhaps in the beginning of June. Riza, he says, has continued to handle the day-to-day operations of the foundation. Riza, who is qualified for the job, has not been talking to the media.

Bloggers have raised conspiratorial questions about the foundation. (See here.) The available evidence is that the outfit is legitimate, though it has been beset with logistical problems. But until it gets around to handing out grants, its work and aims cannot be fully assessed.
In the Paul and Shaha saga, the work (or non-work) of the Foundation for the Future is not the main issue. Riza ended up there after a Wolfowitz friend (Anwar) wrote the Bank and asked for Riza to be detailed to the foundation--and a Wolfowitz crony (Cleveland) said yes. Whether such actions violate any Bank rules, this is incestuous. Consider the overall scenario: thanks to her boyfriend, Shaha Riza, after receiving a hefty pay raise, could serve as an adviser to a barely-functioning foundation she helped create, working with a friend of her romantic partner, and pull in $200,000 to $400,000 annually over the next ten years. And then she could retire with a $110,000 per year pension. This is quite a deal for the average foundation aide in Washington. In all that, is there nothing wrong? (Wolfowitz attorney Robert Bennett
told Newsweek that it was Riza who "worked up the numbers" and pressed Wolfowitz to craft such generous terms.)
After first admitting he committed an error, Wolfowitz now fiercely argues he is the victim of a smear campaign waged by Bank employees who opposed him from the get-go due to his role in the Iraq war. His detractors at the Bank may be out to bring him down as payback for Iraq and for his heavy-handed management ways at the Bank. But Wolfowitz, who entered the Bank a self-styled scourge of corruption, has handed them potent ammunition. Every recipient of World Bank money must now want deals with terms so sweet.

With reporting from Stephanie Condon.

0 Another drama? Who is the liar?

Saturday July 19, 2008 MYT 3:20:00 PM

Anwar not made to strip naked, says HKL director

KUALA LUMPUR: Hospital Kuala Lumpur director Datuk Dr Zaininah Mohd Zain said that PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was not made to strip naked.

In a statement here Saturday, she said that prior to the examination, two specialists explained in detail the examination procedures to Anwar in the presence of his lawyer.
"Only after having obtained his written consent did they proceed with the examination.
"He was then examined by the two specialists who adhered to proper clinical procedures during the whole course of the examination. At no time throughout the examination was his decency violated," she said.

Police took Anwar, 61, to HKL on Wednesday night after he was detained earlier in the day for medical tests following a sodomy allegation.

After he was released the next day, Anwar said he was stripped naked and had his private parts examined and measured at the hospital. He also refused to give his blood sample for DNA test and have photographs taken. - Bernama

Cucu Tok Selampit: Dear Datuk Seri, please stop the accusition to HKL. Do you want to make enemy with every body or try to provoke your supporters. I don't think that Datuk Dr Zaininah dare to lie.

10 Life of Rich & Famous

This is Datin Ezurin, wife of Tunku Ya'acob, owner of MAA Insurance. He is also a son of Tunku Abdullah, big boss for Melewar Group. As a malay and Islamic lady, she is proud with alchohol in hand and her social life.

July 18, 2008

0 About Green Potatoes

Green = vegetables = good. Right? Nope when it comes to potatoes. Green in potatoes indicates the present of a rather a harmful toxin. When you see patches of green in your potatoes as you peel them, cut out the green parts entirely and discard them.

What is green? Actually it is chlorophyll. Not bad for you at all. But the chlorophyll indicates that the potatoes has been exposed to sun light, and where the potatoes have been exposed to light is where a natural toxin in the potatoes (solanine) becomes concentrated at harmful levels. So never store your potatoes on the counter. Always keep them in a cool, preferably in the refrigerator and comletely in the dark.

According to Winkepidia, deep frying potatoes at a high tempreture (306 F) effectively lowers the level of toxins. But boiling them (212 F) has no effect. Best to stay on the safe side and just cut away the green parts. The NIH Website mention that the potato sprouts can also have concentrates solanine, so those too should never be eaten.


0 Rencana Mengenai Kes Lama DSAI

Cucu Tok Selampit: Diambil daripada satu dari ratusan pendapat yang dikemukakan di dalam blog Tun Dr Mahathir, www.chedet.com. Rencana ini adalah dalam bentuk teknikal ilmiah tetapi menarik bagi orang yang mahu berfikir:

Salam Sejahtera Tun DM dan sekalian pembaca di blog ini.

Di sini saya sekadar hendak menyatakan apa yang telah Mahkamah Tinggi [2001] 3 Malayan Law Journal, 193 m/s 250 dan Mahkamah Persekutuan [2004] 3 MLJ 405 m/s 424 nyatakan dalam penghakiman mereka seperti dilaporkan.

Dalam kes jenayah Dato Seri Anwar Bin Ibrahim (OKT) v PP, Mahkamah Persekutuan tidak bersetuju dengan kesimpulan fakta (finding of fact) Yang Arif Hakim bicara Mahkamah Tinggi yang berpendapat bahawa Azizan bukan orang yang bersubahat dengan OKT akan tetapi adalah mangsa liwat OKT. Kesimpulan fakta bahawa Azizan bukan orang bersubahat tetapi mangsa juga dipersetujui oleh Yang Arif-Arif Hakim-Hakim Mahkamah Rayuan (Court of Appeal). Sebab atau alasan Yang Arif Hakim bicara Mahkamah Tinggi mengatakan bahawa Azizan adalah mangsa liwat bukan orang bersubahat dengan OKT adalah kerana, Azizan dijemput ke Tivoli Villa oleh Sukma (OKT yang Kedua dalam kes ini) untuk melawat dan melihat apartmen baru Sukma (OKT kedua) dan bukan kerana Azizan mempunyai niat melakukan liwat dengan OKT1 dan OKT2. Maka semata-mata perbuatan liwat saja (actus reus) pada pendapat Yang Arif Hakim bicara Mahkamah Tinggi, tidak memadai untuk menjadikan Azizan seorang yang bersubahat dengan perbuatan liwat kerana Azizan juga perlu ada niat melakukan liwat. Bermaksud, Mahkamah Tinggi berpendapat bahawa Azizan adalah mangsa OKT1 dan OKT2. Mahkamah Rayuan pula tidak menambah apa-apa dalam menyetujui kesimpulan fakta ini bahawa Azizan bukan orang bersubahat dengan perbuatan liwat dengan OKT1 dan OKT2 tetapi mangsa liwat.

Saya cuba pendekkan cerita. Adalah menjadi tabiat dan amalan Mahkamah dalam bidangkuasa rayuannya untuk tidak mengusik/ menggangu-gugat (interfere) kesimpulan fakta (finding of fact) Mahkamah bicara yang mempunyai kelebihan melihat dan mendengar (dan mencatat keterangan) saksi-saksi serta berpeluang menilai gerak-geri (demeanour) saksi-saksi berbanding Mahkamah dalam bidangkuasanya mendengar rayuan yang hanya berdasarkan kepada apa yang tertulis pada nota keterangan semata-mata. Namun, Mahkamah Persekutuan dalam kes ini mengatakan bahawa itu tidak bermakna Mahkamah Persekutuan yang mendengar Rayuan tidak boleh campurtangan jika kesimpulan fakta dan keterangan tidak selari/ngam (not tally). Walaubagaimanapun, kerana terpaksa, Mahkamah Persekutuan mengusik juga kesimpulan fakta Yang Arif Hakim Mahkamah bicara (yang telah dipersetujui juga oleh Mahkamah Rayuan [Court of Appeal[) yang juga menyimpulkan bahawa Azizan adalah mangsa liwat. Mahkamah Persekutuan mendapati bahawa adanya keterangan yang Azizan bukan mangsa liwat sebaliknya adalah orang yang bersubahat dalam perbuatan liwat dengan OKT1 dan OKT2. Yang Amat Arif Abdul Hamid Mohamad, Hakim Mahkamah Persekutuan massa itu mengatakan di [2004] 3 MLJ 405 m/s 424;

“The Court of Appeal added nothing to it in agreeing with the finding of the learned trial judge.In our view, if the learned trial judge was looking for mens rea he should look at the surrounding circumstances. This is where evidence of similar facts becomes relevant. This is not a case of a person who was merely present at the time of the commission of the offence or participated in it only once. By his own evidence, he was sodomised 10 to 15 times at various places, including in the house of the first appellant over a number of years. He never lodged any police report. He never complained about it until he met Ummi in 1997. He did not leave the job immediately after he was sodomised the first time, we do not know when. Even after he left the job, he went back again to work for the first appellant's wife. Even after he left the second time, he continued to visit the appellant's house. He even went to the first appellant's office. When invited by the second appellant to go to Tivoli Villa, he went. He said he was surprised to see the first appellant there. Yet he stayed on. Signalled to go into the bedroom, he went in. There is no evidence of any protest. He followed whatever 'instructions' given to him.He said he submitted under fear and was scared of both the appellants. A person may allow himself to be sodomised under fear once or twice but certainly not 10 to 15 times over a number of years. He is not a child nor an infirm. Even on this occasion, when he saw the first appellant there, he would have known of the possibility of the first appellant wanting to sodomise him again. Why did he not just go away? Instead, by a mere signal, he went into the bedroom, as if he knew what was expected of him. He did nothing to resist, in fact co-operated in the act. And, after the first appellant had finished and went to the bathroom, he remained in that 'menungging' position. What was he waiting for in that position? Indeed the whole episode, by his own account, appears like a repetition of a familiar act in which each actor knows his part. And, after that he went back to the place again, twice and talked about the incident as 'the first time' he was sodomised there, giving the impression that there was a second or third time. Are all these consistent with a person who had submitted under fear? We do not think so. Therefore, in our judgment Azizan is an accomplice, though he may be a reluctant one.”

Ramai yang mengalami kesukaran (termasuk pensyarah undang-undang juga) untuk memahami keputusan ini kerana OKT1 sebenarnya dibebaskan atas teknikal keterangan. Untuk seseorang mengikuti dan memahami kes ini, seorang itu hendaklah menguasai Akta Keterangan 1950 (Evidence Act 1950) dan Tatacara Jenayah (Criminal Procedure Code) selain seksyen liwat dalam Kanun Keseksaan.

Maka, jika bukan kerana tiada liwat, atas sebab apa OKT dibebaskan? Biar saya jelaskan - dalam kes sivil mahupun jenayah, keterangan seorang saksi boleh dikatakan credible (adil) setelah saksi itu mengangkat sumpah, dia memberikan keterangan (dan besar kemungkinan disoal balas) dan keterangannya tidak tergugat. Keterangan saksi tidak seharusnya ditolak kesemuanya hanya kerana ada satu dua percanggahan. Mahkamah perlu memilih yang elok dari yang tidak dan bukan menolak kesemua keterangannya (impeachment) hanya kerana ada diantara keterangannya tidak elok disana sini. Abdul Hamid Mohamad FCJ mengatakan, Dato Seri Awar Bin Ibrahim v PP [2004] 3 MLJ 405, at pg 415 (Mahkamah Federal);

“For the purpose of the case, in a criminal trial, it is not necessary for the defence to show or for the court to arrive at a conclusion that Azizan is a liar before his evidence may be regarded as unreliable. Azizan may not be a liar but his evidence may or may not be reliable. Further, some parts on his evidence may be reliable and some may not be.”

Dato Seri Anwar Bin Ibrahim v PP [2004] 3 MLJ 405, at pg 422 & 423 (Mahkamah Federal)“In the circumstances, even though, for the reasons that we have given, we do not interfere with the finding of the trial judge in the impeachment proceeding, when we consider Azizan's evidence as a whole, we are unable to agree with the 'firm finding' of the learned trial judge and the Court of Appeal that Azizan 'is a wholly reliable, credible and truthful witness'. Evidence does not support such a finding. He was most uncertain, in particular about the 'date' of the offence, not just the day or the week or even the months but the year. We do not say he is an 'outright liar' as Mr Christopher Fernando was trying to convince us. But, considering the whole of his evidence, he is certainly not the kind of witness described by the learned trial judge.”

Secara umumnya, keterangan seorang saksi credible (yang dipercayai – adil) mencukupi bagi tujuan sabitan. Ini adalah kerana keterangan saksi dinilai/timbang bukan dikira banyak mana jumlah mereka (seksyen 134 Akta Keterangan 1950). Namun, walaupun tidak salah sesuatu sabitan hanya kerana saksi tersebut adalah seorang yang bersubahat dengan OKT (seksyen 113 Akta Keterangan), telah menjadi amalan yang seteguh undang-undang (rule of practice that had hardened into a rule of law) bahawa tidak selamat sabitan tersebut jika tiadanya muhasabah/amaran. Hakim dikehendaki mengingatkan dirinya akan bahaya mengguna-pakai dan mempercayai keterangan seorang yang bersubahat terhadap rakan sejenayahnya yang menjadi OKT. Perlu ada catitan/ nota keterangan bahawa Hakim bicara memberikan dirinya amaran bahawa dia peka kepada bahaya mempercayai keterangan seorang yang bersubahat terhadap rakan sejenayah. Justeru, adalah teratur jika Yang Arif Hakim bicara sediakan sebab-sebab beliau mempercayai keterangan orang yang bersubahat dalam mensabitkan rakan jenayah orang bersubahat terhadap tuduhan yang dikenakan pada OKT.

Dalam kes ini, oleh kerana Yang Arif Hakim Bicara Mahkamah Tinggi tidak berpendapat bahawa Azizan adalah seorang bersubahat (accomplice) tetapi seorang mangsa liwat, maka semula jadinya, YA Hakim bicara juga tidak perlu membuat amaran sedemikian pada dirinya. Perlu faham juga, saksi seorang mangsa seks juga memerlukan amaran iaitu `adalah mudah untuk menuduh pelaku dalam kes seksual namun amat sukar untuk siPelaku yang dituduh itu menyangkal – contoh lihat kes Nabi Yusuf). Pendekkan cerita, oleh kerana YA Hakim bicara tiada memberikan peringatan/amaran pada dirinya akan bahaya mempercayai keterangan saksi yang juga orang bersubahat, maka sabitan Dato Seri Anwar walaupun tidak salah, ianya tidak selamat. Dengan teknikal sedemikian, Mahkamah Persekutuan dengan majoriti dua lawan satu membebaskan Dato Seri Anwar. Namun, YAA Dato Siti Norma Yaakob tidak bersependapat kerana walaupun YA Hakim bicara Mahkamah Tinggi berpendapat Azizan adalah mangsa seksual bukan liwat dan telahpun memberikan peringatan/amaran pada dirinya akan perkara tersebut bila saksi itu mangsa liwat, YA Hakim bicara Mahkamah Tinggi juga pada perhitungan YAA Dato Siti Norma, telah juga memberikan peringatan/amaran pada dirinya sendiri seperti yang perlukan untuk saksi yang bersubahat juga. Maka YAA Dato Siti Norma nampak bahawa sabitan Dato Seri Anwar bukan sahaja tidak salah, bahkan selamat juga.Dengan demikian, saya bersependapat dengan kesimpulan awal Tun DM di www.chedet.com tajuk “Anwar” yang mana Tun DM mengatakan “Jika dihitung kita akan dapati kesemua 10 hakim yang mendengar kes Anwar meliwat Azizan bersetuju perbuatan liwat oleh Anwar memang benar, walaupun dua di antara mereka memberi alasan teknikal untuk tidak menjatuhkan hukuman salah keatasnya. Dakwaan oleh orang tertentu bahawa pembebasan Anwar adalah kerana dia tidak melakukan jenayah liwat adalah tidak benar.”

Di atas saya sudah terangkan alasan teknikal (corroboration) YAA Hakim Mahkamah Persekutuan. Adalah elok juga kita renungkan apa yang dkatakan oleh Lord Diplock dalam kes DPP v Hester House of Lords [1973] AC 296 at 324 – 326; sila juga baca kes R v Kilbourne;

“..common sense, the mother of common law, suggests that there are certain categories of witnesses whose testimony as to particular matters may well be unreliable either because they may have some interest of their own to serve by telling a false story, or through defect of intellect or understanding or, as in the case of those alleging sexual acts committed on them by others, because experience shows the danger that fantasy may supplant or supplement genuine recollection. For brevity I will hereafter refer to evidence of this kind as `suspect’ evidence and the witnesses who give it as `suspect’ witnesses.”


Prof Madya Dr Abdul Rani Bin Kamarudin
Pensyarah Undang-Undang (Akta Keterangan & Tatacara Jenayah)
Kulliyah Undang2 Ahmad Ibrahim

0 Datukship Awarded to Stupid Flight Participant!!

The Star, Friday July 18, 2008

Angkasawan to be conferred Datukship

SEREMBAN: The country's first man in space, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Al-Masrie will be bestowed the Darjah Setia Negeri Sembilan (DSNS) award which carries the title "Datuk" by the Yang Di-Pertuan Besar Negri Sembilan Tuanku Ja'afar in conjunction with the state ruler's 86th birthday celebration on Saturday.

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar, who made history when he blasted into space with Russian flight engineer Yuri Malenchenko and commander Peggy Wilson from the United States in the Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft on Oct 10 last year, will receive his award from Tuanku Ja'afar at the Istana Besar, Seri Menanti, on Saturday.

The 36-year-old orthopaedic surgeon returned to Earth after spending 11 days at the International Space Station.

The Mentri Besar's office released the first list of recipients on Friday morning and the second and third instalments were expected to be out in stages.

Cucu Tok Selampit: What a stupid idea to give this flight participant a Datukship. What is his contribution to the country??? His experiment? Bullshit!! Show to us what are his contributions. He used the people money to go honeymoon to the space. Back on earth, he is a hero, "Tokoh Maal Hijrah" and awarded Datukship. What a stupid idea!!!! Wast of time and money.

0 Motivational Posters Of The Day

0 Ronaldo A Slave?

Sir Alex Ferguson, who is understood to have thought hard about breaking his silence on the subject lately, may find it difficult to keep his counsel on Sepp Blatter's intervention in which the Fifa president claimed players were being subjected to "modern day slavery." It remains unclear whether Ferguson has had a chance to talk to Ronaldo, who, judging by the fact he does not expect to train with a ball for two months, is almost certain to miss United's difficult early trips to Liverpool and Chelsea – if he is still on the club's payroll by then.

David Beckham, a player Ferguson was more content to see depart for Real Madrid, gave out mixed messages on the subject of whether Ronaldo should leave. "When I left Manchester United the only other club I wanted to play for was Real Madrid," Beckham said. "Living in Madrid and playing for Madrid – there's not many better clubs than that apart from Manchester United, which is equal. But to have those two choices is good for him."

Steve Bruce, the Wigan manager and ex United, gave short shrift to the slavery comments. "I don't agree with Sepp Blatter's comments on them being slaves because I believe they have the best job in the world," Bruce said. "If they are slaves what the hell are the rest of us? They have got a good job."

Ronaldo a slave? Well he is to his...

* £150,000 silver Bentley. With its red leather interior and remote control soft-top. But he will occasionally drag himself away to his newer, black Porsche. Or else the BMW he bought as a Manchester runaround for his sisters, who kept scraping his Jeep. There are other vehicles, of course. "Last year I bought a car on my birthday for myself. If I have that opportunity I should take it," he said.

* £4m mansion in Alderley Edge, Cheshire. It is equipped with its own built-in cinema, including reclining scarlet red seats, the only possible refuge from fans who recognise him in public ones in Manchester. "My belly is full and its warm," he tells a Portuguese television crew as he settles back for a film in a revealing snap-shot of life as a "modern-day slave". Watch it and weep: (www.youtube.com/ watch?v=b1uNXFvPFxE &feature=related)

*Diamond stud earrings. Which he has recently been filmed wearing while driving the Bentley around south Manchester at speed singing along to the romantic music he says is obligatory.

*Bathroom mirror. "I don't know what I was thinking when I had my hair in braids," he told a recent interviewer while examining an image of himself. "It's shameful but I have to change looks from time to time."

*Bank manager who does not keep him in the picture. "To tell you the truth I don't know [how much money I have] but it's better that way," Ronaldo said recently, sitting beneath a chandelier at his "CR7" veneered dining table in his lavish Cheshire home. "Money is not what motivates me."

*Sensitive side. "There's a lot of bad people in the world who try to put me down and say vulgar things," he said, some months before coming clean on his plight as a slave.

Damn. I hate this boy - Cucu Tok Selampit.

0 Brendan Fraser Latest Movies

On dual adventures - Actor Brendan Fraser is getting double exposure as the hero in two major special effects releases this summer
by Angela Dawson

Get ready for a double dose of Brendan Fraser this summer. First up, the square-jawed leading man will explore the wonders of inner-space in Journey to the Centre of the Earth, based on the classic Jules Verne novel about a scientist who, uh, journeys to the centre of the Earth.

Then, on Aug 1, he’ll reprise the role of archaeologist Rick O’Connell in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, the long-awaited third instalment of the popular adventure franchise, which takes the mummy hunt to China.

Long considered Hollywood’s go-to guy for heroes in special effects movies, Fraser ventures a step further with Journey, helmed by Academy Award-winning visual effects veteran Eric Brevig in his directorial debut.

Journey is the first live-action motion picture to be shot entirely in digital 3-D. The film will be showing on regular movie screens and in theatres outfitted with 3-D projection equipment.

Speaking by phone from New York, Fraser (right) makes it clear that Journey fascinates his inner geek. An amateur photographer, the 3-D aspect of the project appealed to him when he was offered the script a few years ago.

"I own a stereoscopic camera from the 1950s, so I had to know more about what they were planning," he says.

Unaware of how far the technology has advanced since he saw Jaws 3-D in 1983, Fraser admits he was a bit reluctant to sign on, though. "I remember sitting through (Jaws 3-D), waiting for the shark to show up. Then it floated in near the end of the movie and was gone. I was like, ‘That’s it?’"

Fraser had a completely different reaction when he saw clips of The Polar Express and the first 10 minutes of Star Wars converted into 3-D. "It blew everything out of the water as I had imagined or recollected it."

Sold on 3-D, his next concern was the script, which had gone through various rewrites. He found the relationships in it "all wrong", with the characters constantly at loggerheads and describes the scientist character he was supposed to play as "a real lech".

"No disrespect to anyone who worked on writing this, but there were too many cooks in the kitchen. It was like a smörgåsbord that had been sitting out too long. You’re going to get indigestion."

After reading Verne’s book, Fraser made notes on the script and offered his suggestions to Brevig. He also asked the studio for a producing credit and got it.

Though the action-adventure is family-oriented, it is played much straighter than the 1959 version, which featured Pat Boone with a ukulele and a goose.

Of course, there remains the fantasy element, including a T-Rex, deadly flying fish and man-eating plants.

"The task was to make it relevant today," Fraser insists. "What we were able to do together was solve some of the challenges and put the puzzle pieces together."

Fraser worked closely with his co-stars, Josh Hutcherson and Iceland native Anita Briem.

Hutcherson, who was 13 at the time he shot the movie two years ago, describes Fraser as fun.

"We were practical joking the entire time," he recalls. "I had a squirt bottle that I started squirting on his pants while we were talking ... Apparently, there is a big wide shot that you can totally see it in the movie."

Briem calls Fraser "a sweetheart and a gentleman", whose experience in the action-adventure genre helped out his co-stars.

"In a lot of ways we were all learning at the same time because it really is a new visual medium," she says. "We were all kind of discovering this world together. It was wonderful."

As for his second film of the summer, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Fraser says returning to The Mummy franchise was a no-brainer.

"I missed doing this guy," he says of the period since 2001’s The Mummy Returns. "I missed playing Rick, just like Rick missed being in the game.

"It was a long seven years for me," he continues. "I was biting my fingernails and making other movies, but I was jonesing in some way to do Rick again."

This time, Fraser is paired with Maria Bello (taking over the role from Rachel Weisz, who declined to return after having a baby). Their son, Alex (Luke Ford), is now 20 years old and has joined his parents in the search for mummies. Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh co-star.

Shooting in and around Beijing and Shanghai was exciting, Fraser reports.

"Jet Li is a cool cat," he says, laughing. "I didn’t get anything broken on me, and we pounded on each other a lot. He knows his job, but his stunt double went down."

Fraser, who has also wrapped the family-friendly fantasy, Inkheart, is looking forward to spending some quality time with his three boys this summer.

Though most of his films are family-oriented, Fraser says his sons – all under the age of six – are still too young to appreciate them. "They’re more about SpongeBob right now," he says. – VNU

0 Pictures of the World

Singapore, 17 July 2008 : A dancer from Italian company Studio Festi performs in the air while hanging from a hot air balloon in front of the facade of the National Museum during a media preview of the first Night Festival in Singapore, 16 July 2008. Organised by the National Musuem, the Night Festival brings together an extravaganza of theatre, music, dance and visual arts in the heart of the city-state's arts and heritage district for two weekends starting 18 July. EPA.

Haiti, 17 July 2008 : A Haitian climbs up rocks leading to a waterfall as voodoo believers attend an annual festival in the town of Saut D'Eau July 16, 2008. Hundreds of thousands gather every year for the three-day event, during which they bathe in the waterfall as they believe it cleanses their souls. REUTERS.

Scotland, 17 July 2008 : "Reborn Baby" artist Deborah King holds one of her dolls at her home in Fountainhall, near Edinburgh, Scotland June 16, 2008. "Reborn babies" are disconcertingly life-like baby dolls carefully crafted in vinyl, which have become swiftly popular mainly with collectors, but also with nostalgic grandparents and grieving parents. Made and collected by an online community of enthusiasts, they are painted several times to create the mottled colour of newborn skin, have mohair hair and eyelashes, and are weighted to make them feel as heavy as human babies. REUTERS.

July 17, 2008

0 Pictures of the Day

You naughty old man ...

Toilet signage in Mexico

Chain of food

Rush hour

Employee of the month

Toon of the day

Home Sweet Home

I definitely be lost!

Art of the day

I dare not!

0 6 Steps To Solve Rubic's Cube

Got It?

July 16, 2008

0 The Drama Begin

The Star, Wednesday July 16, 2008

Cops arrest Anwar

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim arrived at the city police headquarters here in a white Pajero at 1.15pm Wednesday after being arrested by the police.

He had been arrested in front of his house in Bukit Segambut.

His lawyer Sankara Nair said the police told Anwar that he was being arrested for investigations under Section 377C of the Penal Code for alleged "carnal intercourse against the order of nature."

On June 28, his 23-year-old former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan had lodged a police report alleging that Anwar had sodomised him.

Asked if Anwar was handcuffed, Sankara said he was not.

Anwar started giving his statement to the police at about 2.50pm, said another of his lawyers R. Sivarasa, also the Subang Member of Parliament (MP).

Anwar's wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said he had called her from the police car to say he had been arrested.

"He asked me to go home to look after the children," she said when met in Parliament lobby earlier Wednesday.

Wan Azizah was at the city police headquarters by 1.30pm, followed 25 minutes later by daughter Nurul Izzah and her husband Raja Ahmad Shahrir.

"It's a feeling of deja vu with what happened 10 years ago," Wan Azizah said, adding that she was unhappy over how the arrest had been conducted.

"We'd already given our assurance that he would be at the police headquarters at 2pm," she said.

Police said they arrested Anwar an hour earlier before the 2pm deadline because they feared he would not show up.

Federal CID director Comm Datuk Bakri Zinin said Anwar was supposed to have gone directly to the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters immediately after giving his statement to the ACA in Putrajaya.

"However, we were informed that after he left the ACA headquarters in Putrajaya, he had changed his route and was heading back to his house in (Bukit) Segambut," he said.

"He was arrested as we had reason to believe he was not going to show up," he claimed.

"We wish to point out that Anwar had initially agreed to meet us on Monday but he failed to keep his appointment," Comm Bakri added.

PKR members and about 200 supporters had gathered at the city police headquarters after news of the arrest went out.

"I don't believe this is happening. We will seek to get him released as soon as possible," said DAP chairman Karpal Singh.

DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang described the arrest as "highly provocative and shocking."

Balik Pulau MP Yusmadi Yusuf, who was there as Anwar's lawyer, said the matter would be brought up in Parliament.

The police had on Tuesday given Anwar a 2pm deadline to answer allegations of sodomy.

Anwar was at the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) headquarters in Putrajaya at 10am Wednesday over reports he had lodged against the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and the Attorney-General (A-G).

In his report lodged on July 1, Anwar had alleged that IGP Tan Sri Musa Hassan and A-G Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail had fabricated evidence in the “black eye” investigation in 1999.

Musa was the investigating officer and Abdul Gani led the prosecution in the case in which Anwar had been beaten up by the IGP then, Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Noor.

The two were questioned by the ACA on July 11.

Anwar left the ACA headquarters at 12.20pm.

He said the ACA had not completed its interview, but he had to cut it short to make his 2pm appointment with the police to answer questions over the sodomy allegation made against him.

"I have adduced all evidence to the ACA officers and I am satisfied with the line of questioning," he said, adding that everything he said had been recorded.

The interview was conducted by a few ACA officers, said Anwar, who arrived at the agency accompanied by lawyers Sankara, Sivarasa, Param Cumaraswamy and dozens of supporters.

"If I am arrested, I guess the ACA can do their follow-up interview at the lock-up," he joked.

Cucu Tok Selampit: This is what he want. He want the situation to be more dramatic. He should go to the police station on Monday and stop provoking the police. Now, he has to face the consequences. Good luck Datuk Seri.

0 Actors cum Singers

I have no idea that these actors have albums of their own. Can they really sing?


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