Archive for February 24th, 2007

Arsenal training at Brickendonbury — Did Najib lie?

After chairing the meeting of the Cabinet Committee for Sports on February 8, 2007 Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced a RM68.7 million “refurbishment” of the Tun Abdul Razak Research Centre (TARRC) in Brickendonbury, London into a high-performance sports training centre to be fully operational in April.

Najib said agreement “in principle” had been reached with Arsenal to train the national under-16 football team, which will be the first to use the London centre.

The Weekend Mail, in its first issue after its suspension, carried a report raising the question whether Najib had lied.

This is the report, “TRAINING STINT FOR NATIONAL UNDER-16 FOOTBALL TEAM – Arsenal says it’s unaware of proposal” by Rizal Hashim:

THE proposed Malaysia-Arsenal joint-venture to equip the country’s young footballers with the necessary weaponry to raise their game has been thrown into doubt after it emerged that no formal discussion had been held between the two parties.

This was confirmed through an e-mail response from the communications department of Arsenal to Mailsport on Friday.

“I am afraid we are not able to provide you with answers to your questions or an official club comment, however, I can confirm that the club does not know about the proposed arrangement and furthermore, we have no involvement in any such project,” the statement said.

Upon further investigation, Mailsport discovered the only discussion on the subject was held at Arsenal’s state-of-the-art training centre in Hertfordshire, between a five-man recce team from Kuala Lumpur and the centre manager, Sean O’Connor, just before the Cabinet Committee on Sports Development’s announcement on the proposed stint on Feb 8. Read the rest of this entry »


A kink to login to the blog

A regular poster emailed the following complaint:

It seems impossible to login into your blog (for posting of comments) by reason of technical difficulties ie the recurrent appearance of message : ‘Your session has expired.ERROR: Invalid Username – Username: xxx'”

I also had this problem at first when the temporary blogsite, was switched back to two days ago.

I was advised to clean up the cache. If using Explorer browser, for instance, go to Tools, Internet Options, Delete Cookies, and Delete Files. The problem vanished.

I emailed back to the poster suggesting he try out the same method. This is his reply:

“Your suggestion to clean up the cache, via Tools, Internet Options, Delete Cookies, and Delete Files actually worked! I can’t believe or understand it.

“Now no more recurrent appearances of the message : ‘Your session has expired.ERROR: Invalid Username’ – Username, which paved the way for username and password to be log-in resulting in the ‘login’ window for postings for each thread to appear below it. Read the rest of this entry »


Why the difference of RM6.4 billion or RM9.85 billion in MITI and UNCTAD figures for 2006 FDIs

For the past two weeks, Malaysians had been fed with the news that good economic times are back, with the country drawing a record RM20.2 billion in foreign investment in manufacturing, a record 2006 trade volume breaching RM1 trillion, rocketing share prices, a strong ringgit and rising foreign reserves.

The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had denied that an imminent general election is on the cards because of the slew of good economic news to generate a “feed good euphoria” reminiscent of the period before the 2004 general election.

Although the next general election will not be held in the next few months, everyone would expect the holding of early general elections in the next eight to 14 months before April 2008, when Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim would regain his civil liberties including the right to stand for elections at the end of his five-year disqualification from the date of his prison release.

But are the good economic times back for the people of Malaysia? If so, a little-noticed announcement on Chinese New Year’s Day has sent out a very different message.

On February 18, 2007, Bernama reported that the government had scrapped its earlier plan to extend the textbook loan scheme to all school students, both at primary and secondary level, from next year. Deputy Education Minister, Datuk Noh Omar was quoted as saying that the move was scrapped as the ministry would incur an extra sum of over RM100 million yearly.

When the government has to cancel the textbook loan scheme for all students because it cannot afford the additional expenditure of RM100 million, it strains credibility to believe that the government and the country is aflush with funds.

Malaysians have been told in the past fortnight that the country is back on the global investment map, in reversal of the gloomy news in the past few months that Malaysia is in danger of dropping out from the radar of foreign investors because of increasing lack of international competitiveness, whether in efficiency of public service, quality of education, good governance, transparency and integrity. Read the rest of this entry »