Avril Lavigne too sexy for us?

Avril Lavigne too sexy for us?

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 19 — Malaysia today cancelled a concert by Canadian rock singer Avril Lavigne, saying it may taint the Muslim-majority country’s Independence day celebrations after the Islamic opposition slammed her show as being “too sexy.”

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At last Singapore’s PM recognized the power of Internet Media

lee hsien loong and malaysiakini new internet media forum 190808At last Singapore’s PM recognized

the power of Internet Media

Malaysiakini news

In a move acknowledging the power of new media, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong plans to loosen the island state’s ham-fisted control over the Internet.

Taking a leaf from a number of countries including neighbouring Malaysia, Lee said politics had shifted online and politicians themselves now operated blogs and websites to reach out to their voters.

“Everyone is plugged in and connected,” he said in his annual National Day Rally speech. “We used to talk about grassroots, now we have to talk about ‘netroots’.”

Describing the Internet as a global trend that his government needs to keep up with, he pointed to Malaysia, the island’s closest neighbour, as an example where cyberspace has become an “active space for information and engagement”.
“There is lively debate and serious contributions, together with the more doubtful stuff,” he said in a speech telecast live nationwide last night, accompanied by a slide presentation.

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Al Jazeera Receives First International Emmy Nominations because of Myanmar reports

Al Jazeera Receives First International Emmy Nominations

because of Myanmar reports

Al Jazeera’s English-language coverage of the Myanmar crackdown and a current affairs program have earned the network its first International Emmy news nominations.

Besides Al Jazeera English, nominated networks include the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., TV Globo in Brazil, Pro TV News in Romania, ITV News in the United Kingdom and SBS Broadcasting in the Netherlands.

Source: Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, August 14, 2008

Posted at: 2008-08-15

Meritocracy is the way to go

Meritocracy is the way to go

Christopher K Birch letter in Malaysiakini | Aug 19, 08


I am writing in response to the issue of changing the UiTM enrolment policy. As an English expatriate, I have to say the current policy is considered rigid and out-of-date. You may disagree all you like, but I have another reason why I am voicing my opinion regarding this issue. 

A few days ago, my Malaysian colleague lamented the fact that he and his wife have to send their children to study overseas after they complete their secondary school education. At first I did not understand until he explained to me that it is all no thanks to a policy called the discriminative policy. 

Recollections of history lessons suddenly came back to me: the ancient times when a person was chosen for a particular role or occupation according to his ethnicity, social status and religion rather than merit and ability. My colleague is not the only one in this situation and my heart goes out to others like him. 

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Internal vs external discipline

Internal vs external discipline

Antares letter to the Malaysiakini | Aug 19, 08 

I am determined that differences in beliefs and ethnic origins must not be allowed to result in the disintegration of our beloved nation. 

From a personal perspective, I have no fear of PAS and their Islamic agenda – at least they are completely open about it. Ironically, I am aligned with many of their ‘Islamic values’. For example, I detest gambling and generally shun alcohol, to live in a community free of these vices would suit me fine. 

However, I’m also a hardcore libertarian democrat in that I would defend the right of those addicted to gambling and alcohol to indulge their chosen vices. To my mind, what each of us chooses to do for pleasure is nobody’s business – unless, of course, these activities come with deleterious side effects that negatively impact on others. And here we enter a fuzzy area where there are no simple formulas and pat answers.

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Why do we go to university?

Why do we go to university?

Oon Yeoh’s letter to Malaysiakini | Aug 19, 08  

University life seems like an eternity ago and I barely remember any of my professors or the subjects they taught me. There was, however, one memorable lesson given by a guest lecturer whose name I cannot recall but whose message still resonates with me until today.


In light of the controversy that followed Selangor MB Khalid Ibrahim’s suggestion that UiTM open itself to some non-Malays, I would like to share what I learned from that guest lecturer who was invited to give a talk in the sports journalism class I was taking.

He was a baseball expert but when he took to the podium, he told us that he was not going to talk about America’s favourite pastime.
Instead, he had a question for all of us: “Why are you all in college?”

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Re-strategising democracy promotion in China

James Gomez | Aug 19, 08 11:27am


The different China-related democracy issues need to be integrated through a broad overarching theme and coordinated from closer in Asia. This was the latent international strategy that emerged from the 3rd International Conference on Global Support for Democratisation in China and Asia (GSDCA) which was held on Aug 4 and 5, 2008 in Japan.

The GSDCA brought together some 100 China pro-democracy activists from across the world, literally on the eve of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, for a two day meeting in Tokyo. The conference, the third in a series, hosted participants from Asian autocratic nations, as well as dignitaries, experts, and scholars from all over the globe, including Europe, North America, and Asia-Pacific.

Internationalised China-related democracy issues

Presently internationalised China-related democracy issues are a range of disparate elements that fall into three broad categories. The first address issues of territorial sovereignty, autonomy and self-determination. They include chief-executive elections in Hong Kong, autonomy for Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang (Eastern Turkestan), self-government for Tibet and independence for Taiwan.

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Singapore to take softer stance on political films ,material

From the Business Times, Singapore

SINGAPORE, Aug 19 — New media is influencing politics in a big way around the world. And recognising this, the government will liberalise rules on political films and online election material to broaden political participation in Singapore.

Outdoor demonstrations will also be allowed — but with restrictions. And even with the changes, safeguards will remain to preserve the quality of political discourse.

“The overall thrust of all these changes is to liberalise our society, to widen the space for expression and participation,” Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in his English speech at Sunday’s National Day Rally, which was televised last night.

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Talking With the Dalai Lama

by Lingxi Kong

Posted July 30, 2008 


Ten students are gathered round a table in a seminar room at Columbia University discussing whether greeting scarves should be presented with one hand or two. Six of the students in the group, including me, are Chinese. We are getting a crash course in basic Tibetan etiquette from four Tibetan students because the next day all of us are going to meet privately with the Dalai Lama at a hotel in New York.

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Human rights not coined in heaven

By Dr Wan Azhar Wan Ahmad
Senior Fellow/Director, Centre for
Syariah, Law & Political Science, Ikim

Islam was the first universal religion guaranteeing human rights. This fact is reflected in the Medina Charter, written and ratified 1,400 years

IN THE middle of July, I attended a dialogue on human civil and political rights at the office of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam). I have some observations to share.

It is no exaggeration to say it would appear that the current discourse on human rights has been regarded by certain quarters as the most sacred thing, to the extent that should it come into conflict with any other human interest – be it religious, ethical or legal – the former must always prevail.

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Gambari Arrives in Burma


Monday,August 18,2008

The United Nations Special Envoy to Burma Ibrahim Gambari arrived in Rangoon on Monday for a five-day trip to Burma.

Aye Win, an information officer at the UN Information Center in Rangoon, told The Irrawaddy that UN officials in Burma picked Gambari up in the morning at the international airport, and he was accompanied with another UN official.

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Six Die and Thousands Flee Torrential Rain in Burma


Monday , August 18,2008

photo:Mogok Mddia

A landslide in the village of Bawbadan in Mogok Township killed six people on Saturday, while flooding forced thousands of residents of Pegu Divison to flee their homes, as torrential downpours hit a wide swathe of Burma over the weekend.

Six people—three men, two women and a child—were killed in Bawbadan, located about 5 miles from Mogok, on August 16, after their home was swept away by a landslide, according to Mogok resident Hla Oo.


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Former Immigration DG charged with bribery


KUALA LUMPUR: Former Immigration Department director-general Datuk Abdul Wahid Md Don was charged with bribery at the KL sessions court on Tuesday.

He arrived at the court here at 9.20am.

Wahid was to be charged on Aug 8, but it was deferred after he was admitted to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital for chest pain hours before he was to appear in the KL Sessions Court.

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