Uh-oh, Selayang Municipal Council, what are you doing?!

My first circus experience was at the age of 15. Right after our PMR examinations, my mother treated me and a couple of my friends to go attend a big-tent circus performance in Muar. That was about the time when I heard the rumours that whenever the circus is in town, stray dogs and cats would ‘magically’ disappear off the streets. Lions need (cheap) feeding too.

And now it looks like the circus is smack in the middle of Selayang. A couple of Monsterblog readers highlighted the need to address this issue, and I agree. However please understand that by not blogging about it at the same time you thought I should, does not make me less ‘humane’. Frankly speaking it is rather insulting because… well that’s very presumptuous to make uncalled-for assumptions about someone whom you don’t really know. While I appreciate every comments on this blog and always encourage readers to put in their two cents worth, those remarks that a couple of you made were rather unjustified, IMHO.

Council’s dog move ‘ridiculous
by Mazlinda Mahmood

PETALING JAYA: The Selayang Municipal Council is in the dog house.

Voices chanting “save the strays” and “stop the hunt” filled Central Park 1 Utama yesterday as animal lovers protested its controversial dog-catching competition.

Their concern goes out not only to the dogs but also to the untrained people who risk injury trying to catch them.

An animal rights advocate, lawyer N. Surendran, said the competition would not solve the problem of stray dogs.

“The only proven way to solve the problem is a comprehensive spaying campaign, coupled with a public education programme to teach owners to neuter their pets and not to abandon them,” he said, suggesting a discount on the licence fee to dog owners who neuter their pets.

He said stray dogs must be caught by trained professional dog catchers under the supervision of veterinarians.

Background: Apparently there is a running contest organised by the Selayang Municipal Council for people to catch and hand in stray dogs in the area. The prizes for the winners of the contest seem lucrative — first prize winner gets RM 15,000, second prize is RM 13,000 and third prize is RM 11,000. Last I checked the details of the contest is available from the Selayang Municipal Council’s website here.

Incidentally, I chanced upon a blog post highlighting contents of an e-mail written by a Dr. Mohd Dzulhamka Kamaluddin of Universiti Putra Malaysia. Apparently an e-mail has been circulating around showing photos of a Muslim vet student handling ‘haram’ animals such as pigs and dogs, and it has incurred the wrath of various people. In the e-mail written in Bahasa Malaysia, Dr. Mohd Dzulhamka explained that handling pigs and dogs are actually not ‘haram’, as stated by some overzealous people. In summary, it is ‘haram’ to consume the flesh of the stated animals, but to care for them especially when they are brought to you, is not.

You can read the full content of the e-mail from a blogger who published it on her blog. If the link was not obvious enough, please click here to read the full blog post in Bahasa Malaysia ;) Two reasons why you should read it:

1) Hopefully you will be enlightened about the what is and what is not proper when it comes to Muslims and animals such as dogs and pigs.

2) I went through quite a fair bit of trouble to verify the authenticity of the e-mail, and finally managed to get Prof. Dr. Rasedee Abdullah, a lecturer with the Veterinarian faculty of UPM to confirm that yes, he read, consented to and signed his name with the letter that Dr. Mohd Dzulhamka wrote.


Prudent spending within the government… NOT

Actually this has been going on for donkey years. Astounding price hikes when it comes to government projects is not unusual, or unknown, or unheard of. So why the ruckus only now? My guess is as good as yours, and it probably is related to the reason why you see roads in the country getting a new shiny coat of tar.

Auditor-General’s report: Same old story year in, year out

There were “no” surprises in the Auditor-General’s Report for last year — most of the irregularities noted in 2005 re-appeared.
Despite reminders by Tan Sri Ambrin Buang, earlier weaknesses made their presence felt.

This included corruption, over-spending, poor management of funds, incomplete and outdated data and lack of enforcement and manpower.

His calls for closer monitoring by all agencies went mostly unheeded.

The most obvious involved five government agencies that were paid between 42 per cent and 74 per cent more to acquire land for various projects.

Ambrin wanted to know why the Education Ministry, Housing and Local Government ministry, Johor Menteri Besar’s office and the Health Ministry paid more than the value of land to be purchased.

Meanwhile, have a read at a blogger’s take on overcharging the government. Totally fictional, though inspired by real events, written mostly in colloquial Bahasa Malaysia:

Kisah supply “ding-dong”, bahagian I
Gemilang Jasabakti Sdn. Bhd. (Kisah supply “ding-dong”, bahagian II)


7.9 Quake rocks Southern Sumatra

Did anyone felt anything yesterday?

A 7.9 magnitude earthquake rocked Southern Sumatra at 6:10pm today at a depth of 30km, reports the US Geological Society (USGS). The epicentre was located at 130 km SW of Bengkulu, Sumatra, Indonesia, 410 km SW of Jambi, Sumatra, Indonesia and 695 km SSW of Singapore.

The Malaysian Meteorological Department, Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation has issued a tsunami warning at 8.40 pm.

Residents of Perlis, Kedah, Perak and Penang have been advised to stay from the beaches as a precaution. ( Story link )


Malaysia’s new record & jailtime for raping your wife

Local begonia herb declared extinct

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has the dubious distinction of being the country with the only species to be declared extinct on a global conservation list this year.

The woolly-stalked begonia (Begonia eiromischa) is a herb found only on Pulau Betong in Penang.

According to the report released by the World Conservation Union (IUCN), the plant has has not been sighted in the last 100 years, despite extensive searches in its known habitat.

It is only known from collections that were made in 1886 and 1898 on Pulau Betong.

I wonder when would parliament monkeys go extinct? ;)*****************

It’s jail, rotan now for raping your wife

KUALA LUMPUR: Beating one’s wife into having sex can now land a man in serious trouble.
The punishment is a jail sentence of up to 20 years and whipping. This penalty is provided in an amendment on rape in the Penal Code which came into effect last Friday.

An example would be when the husband refuses to take “no” for an answer and then proceeds to slap or punch his wife into submission.

The amendment has classified rape and aggravated rape and each category carries different penalties.

Aggravated rape will include having sex with a girl aged below 12 and those found guilty could be sentenced up to 30 years and whipped.

Good move.

To friends and readers of Monsterblog who are Muslims, I wish that you have a good Ramadhan. Remember the true purpose of the fasting month, and gorging yourselves at buffet spreads is not one of them ;)


Thai budget airliner crashes in Phuket: 88 dead, 42 injured

One-Two-Go is one of Thailand’s first budget airlines, and the plane involved in the crash was 25 years old.

PHUKET: A budget airliner crashed here yesterday, killing 88 people as it broke up and burst into flames while trying to land in driving rain, a senior official said.

Forty-two people were injured, Phuket deputy governor Vorapot Rajsima told a news conference, and a hospital official said at least five of the survivors were seriously hurt. ( Story link )

Check out this article from BBC News: High cost for cheap Asian flights? You can also view some photos of the crash, and the scene after here.


Harga barang naik (tapi gaji tak naik)

It is the same story every annual major festival, except that this time it is attributed to global price increase for… corn.

More dough for your cookies: Food prices on the up and up

KUALA LUMPUR: It’s going to cost more to place food on the table soon.

Housewives are already complaining that the prices of certain foodstuff — including daily essentials — have gone up in recent weeks.

For instance, some traders are said to be selling chicken above the ceiling price of RM6 per kg.

Now, there are indications that the prices of more food items — including potatoes, onions and wheat-based products — are set to rise.

It seems that the coming Raya festival will be an expensive affair. Has this already affected you? How are you coping with it?


Happy birthday, :-)

When I first started using the Internet back in 1996, one of the first Net lingos I learned was the use of emoticons. Back then they were known as smileys; the term ‘emoticon’ (as far as I am concerned) became widespread with the pimping by MSN Messenger as they update their instant messaging applications to garner younger users.

Today a regular Monsterblog commenter, Father of The World posted a link to the following article published on CNN, and I just have acknowledge it ;)

:-) turns 25

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (AP) — It was a serious contribution to the electronic lexicon.

Twenty-five years ago, Carnegie Mellon University professor Scott E. Fahlman says, he was the first to use three keystrokes — a colon followed by a hyphen and a parenthesis — as a horizontal “smiley face” in a computer message.

Variations, such as the “wink” that uses a semicolon, emerged later. And today people can hardly imagine using computer chat programs that don’t translate keystrokes into colorful graphics, said Ryan Stansifer, a computer science professor at the Florida Institute of Technology.

Even my ma uses emoticons! So happy birthday to you, O smiley :)


How could anyone do this? Is it the work of a serial molester?

I am sure you are suitably horrified and angered by the brutal torture and murder of an unknown young child.

THE GIRL IN THE GYM BAG

She was so young, between 8 and 10 years old. Other than the horrific circumstances of her murder, nothing is known about her. Who is she? Where did she come from? Where are her parents? Does she have a family? Had she been abandoned? Or kidnapped? What could have led to a child like this meeting such a horrendous fate? And why has no one come forward to claim her as their own? It is beyond human capacity to imagine that such a thing could happen. But so was the unspeakable crime that was done to her by a perpetrator, or perpetrators, still at large. We publish this picture for the outrage. Outrage at the child-preying monsters out there among us. Outrage that no parent has missed this child. Outrage that life in this country should still be seared by anguish like this.

I will not publish the said photo on Monsterblog. You can view it via the NST link above. While I am sure that these terrible crimes happen everywhere else in the world, and they could end up worse, it hits harder when it happens on home ground.

I can only pray for peace for the young victim, and fervently hope that the monster who did that to her be caught, or that he or she be given back their own doses by higher powers.


Phantom of the voters

Rocky Bru recently discovered that he is a registered voter.

It would have been no biggie, except that:

I, Phantom? I have never registered myself as a voter in my entire life.
So how did I get my name on the Election Commission’s voter roll?
Someone must have done it for me. Who?
I have never been to Rapat Setia, for heaven’s sake.
My address on my old ID and on my new MyKad is Puchong, Selangor.
I have never lived in Perak.
My kampong is in Melaka.
So who did I vote for in Gopeng? And in Simpang Pulai? ( Blog post link )

Curious indeed. Meanwhile, you can check your voting registration status via this link: http://daftarj.spr.gov.my/daftarbi.asp


Anwar releases clip of ‘judgments being fixed’

PETALING JAYA: Former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim yesterday alleged that a senior lawyer, discussed with a top member of the judiciary, how to “fix the judgments” of several cases.

He released an eight-minute video clip of the lawyer speaking to the senior judge on the phone, which purportedly took place in 2002.

Anwar alleged that the lawyer, who was embroiled in several controversies before, had liaison with several Chief Justices of the Federal Court since 1994.

“This, I believe, had reason to influence the outcome in a number of judicial proceedings,” Anwar said. ( Story link )

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim released a media statement on his blog, written in Bahasa Malaysia. You can read it here. As for the video itself, Malaysiakini published it on YouTube:

According to Jeff Ooi of Screenshots:

According to the video and the transcript published by Malaysiakini, the video shows senior lawyer VK Lingam in a phone conversation in 2002, purportedly with current Chief Justice Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim, allegedly fixing the appointment of ‘friendly’ senior judges “for the sake of the country”.

You can also read the transcript of the conversation, published on Screenshots here.

For the record, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohammad was the Prime Minister of Malaysia from 1981 until 2003. He was succeeded by Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who officially assumed office on October 31, 2003.