The oil paradox

   The oil paradox 

FEB 17 – Crude Oil prices have fallen so much and so fast that it is almost beyond belief. It was pushing US$150 eight months ago and quoted at US$38.01 yesterday.

This is partly because of the decrease in demand as world economy slows and partly because of decreased speculative activities, itself a consequence of the drop in demand.

Most people would think it is a good thing to have oil prices that low.

My friends in the oil and gas business told me that the cost of production is in fact about US$60 per barrel, especially for those offshore fields.

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Confusion over new halal certificates

Confusion over new halal certificates

Some exporters with new halal certification from the Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) are facing problems exporting their goods to Indonesia. The new halal certificates are not always accepted by the authorities there.

Halal certificates are important for Muslims to distinguish between permissible (halal) and prohibited(haram) food, drink, medicine and cosmetics.

To people of other faiths, the certificates signify that a product meets high safety, nutrition and quality standards.


The second round of halal reforms in 2006 again raised eyebrows because Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s family is involved in the halal industry as well.

khairy jamaluddin and nori abdullahAbdullah’s son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin is the former chairman of the World Halal Forum.

And according to a profile on the Asean 100 Leadership Forum website, Abdullah’s daughter Nori is a co-founder of KasehDia Sdn Bhd, a leading halal business consultancy that organises the World Halal Forum every year. Continue reading

Mizzima:Zargana’s prison term reduced by 24 years

By:Than Htike Oo

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Famous comedian and film director Zargana’s prison term was commuted by 24 years by the Rangoon Division court on February 13.

Now Zargana, who is serving time in Myitkyina prison, Kachin State will have to serve the remaining 35 years.

“His lawyers came home on their way back from the court and said that some of his prison term has been commuted on February 13,” his mother Kyi Oo told Mizzima.

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