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.


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:

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.

Girl in gym bag identified as Nurin Jazlin Jazimin

1 p.m.

My condolences to the grieving family :(

Eight year old Nurul Jazlin Jazimin went missing on August 20, 2007 after going to a night market near her house in the Wangsa Maju. She was last seen being dragged into a white van, and the police are enhancing footage caught on cctv installed nearby.

On the morning of September 17, 2007, a gym bag was left in front of a shop lot in PJS 1/48. It contained an unidentified child’s naked body stuffed in a foetal position.

At that time, Nurul Jazlin’s parents denied that the child was their own missing one.

My source is from crime reporters on the beat (or at the forensic labs, to be specific). More updates as soon as various news agencies and papers publish them.

Update: 1.54 p.m.

BERNAMA just ran short news:

Test Confirmed Body In Bag Is Of Nurin

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 (Bernama) — DNA test confirmed that body stuffed in a sports bag on Monday at a shophouse at Jalan PJS1, Petaling Jaya Utama as that of Nurin Jazlin Jazimin, 8, who had gone missing a month ago, said Petaling Jaya OCPD ACP Arjunaidi Mohamed. — BERNAMA

And also at The Star.

Update: 2.40 p.m.

News update on NST here. According to the report, Nurin’s parents were already informed of the DNA findings.

Our heartfelt condolences to Nurin Jazlin’s loved ones

To tell the truth, I am in two minds over blogging more about Nurin Jazlin. On one hand, I am aware of the public scrutiny on this high profile case, which is undoubtedly taking its toll on Nurin’s family. I wouldn’t want to be in a quarter of their shoes at these trying times. I am not a journalist nor am I in the print media business, but I can understand how easy certain situations can turn out to be a media circus.

On the other hand, it is difficult not to feel affected by Nurin’s case. We are fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, grandfathers, grandmothers, uncles and aunties to our loved ones. The entire nation is shocked and outraged over the psychotic brutality dealt to Nurin Jazlin (and the couple other kids who were attacked in the same manner, though escaped with their lives intact), and are naturally concerned with the development of this tragic case. We want our streets to be safer for us and our kids. We want the perpetrator(s) to be traced, caught and be punished accordingly. We are reminded to always be vigilant against shifty and shady characters around us, even if they are part of our families, or they are our neighbours, or just a random stranger across the street. We cherish those whom we love and try our best to protect them, and we grieve alongside those who were robbed of the opportunity to do the same.

A side note: according to a blog set up by Nurin’s uncle as part of their efforts to search for Nurin Jazlin, Nurin’s parents; Jazimin and Norazian were asked to identify the body for a second time yesterday. To quote:

In the inspection, all family members were positively sure that the body did not resemble Nurin.

We left the Mortuary at around 4 pm. Not once had the police told us that they think the body was Nurin nor asked the the family to bring back the body for burial. ( Blog post link )

The press conference issued by the Selangor police chief was held at 2.30 p.m. yesterday. Nurin’s family found out the results of the DNA tests via the TV3 8 p.m. news.

What was more horrified was the statement saying that the parents had refused to accept the DNA results given to them in the afternoon, when in actual fact, the parents were not told of anything of that sort.

More horrified was the statement that the parents might have a hidden agenda for not agreeing to the DNA results and the whole tragedy could be related to problems with “loan sharks”.

At 10 p.m. that night, Jazimin and his brothers went to meet with the PJ OCPD, who then confirmed the results with the family.

I think that unless police investigations call for suspicions to be cast on Nurin’s family, they should be spared from unfounded and hurtful allegations.

Meanwhile, Nurin’s uncle wrote on the blog that the body would be claimed this morning, and the burial would most probably be held after Friday prayers today.

Negligence charge ‘legal’

When I was much, much younger, my parents got us a bicycle. You know, the old school one with a small basket in front. Growing up in a single-storey terrace house meant that there was very limited space to utilise the bicycle. It was not something I was willing to give up; so proud I was of my ability to ride the bicycle well. So one day defying my parents’ wishes that I should never go out by myself, I took the bicycle out for a good, long ride. When I got home, I was faced with a worried, anxious, angry mother, and an extra long rotan.

If I had gone missing and found dead and stuffed in a bag a month later, would my parents be charged with negligence?

Parents (generally) do the best they can. Not everyone has the privilege of hiring maids and nannies to care for their children, keeping an eye on them 24/7 while they go earn their bread and butter.

Of course, in the case of Madeleine McCann, I have much sympathy, but also much anger towards the parents. There is a vast difference between ditching your three young children while the two of you have dinner at a restaurant (I don’t care how nearby it is), and thinking that your daughter went to the night market with her sister because that was what she usually did (and was told to do).

So I hope Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri keeps all that in mind before emphatically exclaiming, “Law is law… we need to take action, nobody can slip away.”

KUALA KANGSAR: The possibility of the police charging the parents of murder victim Nurin Jazlin Jazimin for alleged negligence is in accordance with provisions in the Child Protection Act 2001.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said: “Law is law …we need to take action, nobody can slip away.”

The minister, who is in charge of law and legal matters, was asked to comment on the statement by Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan on the possibility of the police charging Jazimin Abdul Jalil, 33, and his wife, Norazian Bistaman, 35, for negligence.

On Friday, Musa said Jazimin and Norazian were being investigated for possible negligence. He had said they may face charges under the act if investigations showed their negligence had contributed to Nurin’s death. ( Story link )

Tuesday open thread

It is not easy being a parent these days. Especially those who live in cities and big towns, and both parents hold full time jobs to support their families. How can you ensure that your kid is getting the best education, now and in the future? How do you plan your family meals so that your children consume nutritious foods and not just some fast-food junk as per their natural desires? What about the stuff that they pick up in school, as well as over-information/ easy access to the Internet and various media? If you molly coddle your kids too much, they might turn out too rebellious come their teen years. If you give them too much freedom, there is a possibility that they could end up playing network games in cyber cafes all day and night long.

I do not have kids, but I am rather involved in the upbringing of my nephew, as we live in the same house. Just the other day, my sister told me that we should begin teaching my 2-year old nephew the difference between ‘boy thing’ and ‘girl thing’. A friend of hers, a homosexual had opened up and told my sister of his childhood — that part of the reason he is effeminate and a homosexual was because he grew up under the care of his single mother, and had used to play with his mother’s dresses and cosmetics and such, without his mother’s restrictions. My sister is not a single mother, but her husband works long hours, and I am a female living in the house, and my mother is staying with us for long periods of time helping to take care of him… So my nephew picks up a lot of the things that we do — primping ourselves in the mirror, wearing high heels…

I personally do not believe that there is anything wrong with being a homosexual. But it is interesting to note how in some cases, homosexuality can be stemmed from young, not picked up by parents because they think it’s funny to see their young kid trying on their high heels, or picking up the brush to apply some blusher, just like mama. But I guess as a parent, it is always one’s hopes to see your kid have their own families in the traditional, conventional sense, especially in Asia. The same goes for other things — if your kid is fascinated with knives and spend hours reading about them (or play with them without your knowledge), he or she could end up being the best brain surgeon in the world, or Josef Mengele.

A rather grim note to end, but how are you, as a parent, coping with the responsibilities shouldered upon you, in this increasingly demanding world?