Archive for October 11th, 2008

World crude oil below US$78 a barrel – Najib should “burn midnight oil” to present lowered pricing for petrol on Monday

For the past month, two questions have obsessed Malaysians.

The first has been answered, viz: whether Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will bow down to pressures from inside Umno for a quick exit as Prime Minister by announcing that he would not defend the post of Umno President in the forthcoming Umno General Assembly.

The second question, still awaiting answer, is whether the government could respond nimbly to the rapid fall in world crude prices to undo its unconscionable 41% hike in fuel prices in June which had kicked off a relentless inflationary spiral hitting a 27-year high.

When the price of petrol in Malaysia was hiked by 41% by 78 sen from RM1.92 to RM2.70 a litre, the price of world crude oil was around US$140 per barrel.

World oil prices have plummeted to a one-year low below US$78 a barrel, but the price of petrol is RM2.45 or reduced by a mere 25 sen in two reductions.

This is clearly unacceptable and the situation is not made any more palatable with the statement yesterday by the Minister for Domestic Trade and Consumers Affairs Datuk Seri Shahrir Samad of the possibility that the price of petrol reverting to the old price of RM1.92 a litre if world crude oil price continues to dip below US$72 per barrel. Read the rest of this entry »


Sean Connery, Catherine Zeta, Chow Yun-Fat, Ang Lee and Aaron Kwok also to be honoured for filming in Malaysia?

A reporter just phoned up, asking for my comments on popular Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan as one of the 77 new Malacca Datuks on the occasion of the 70th birthday of the Malacca Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob.

I was astounded and I said so. Are there no Malaysian film stars, artists or sports-people who have greater title to be honoured and encouraged as compared to Shahrukh?

I don’t think the reason that has been given for making Shahrukh Khan a Malacca Datuk would impress or convince many – that the Bollywood actor-dancer had “contributed to our tourism industry when he acted in a movie filmed in Malaysia”.

On this basis, shouldn’t Hollywood stars Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta Jones be honoured for their 1999 film “Entrapment” which first promoted the Twin Towers to the world shortly after they were completed when the Twin Towers was used as the film location – although the film was subsequently accused of “distortion” when images of Malacca slums were spliced with shots of the 1,482ft-high skyscrapers.

Or the 2000 Academy Award-nominee film “Anna and the King” (a remake of “The King and I”) starring Jodie Foster and Chow Yun-Fat (and our Patrick Teoh) which was mostly shot in Ipoh?

Or are Taiwan Gold Horse Award 2005/6 Best Leading Actor Aaron Kwok to be similarly awarded for his 2006 film “After This Our Exile” and world-famous director Ang Lee for his 2007 film “Lust, Caution”. starring Tony Leung & Tang Wei, as both promoted Malaysia as having been filmed or used footages from Perak?

What about other foreign stars in films which had used Malaysia for their location?


The cries of Sabahans (2)

Don’t neglect Sabah, please

by Another Doctor

I refer to the Malaysiakini article Kota Marudu needs more than wireless Internet.

I read Dr Hams letter and cannot help but agree with many of his observations. I worked in Sabah for over seven years as a house officer and medical officer.

After my housemanship, I was sent to Ranau to serve in the district hospital. What Dr Hams described in Kota Marudu is not something isolated to that district alone in Sabah. It is an often repeated story in the whole of Sabah.

My first introduction to the poverty in Sabah came during my first months there, when a sweet 70- year-old lady from Kota Marudu was sent to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital with deep jaundice. She lived alone in a small village off Kota Marudu and noticed the jaundice about a month before.

She had no money for the taxi fare and so waited a month to sell off her chickens to have enough money to pay RM50 for the transport to Kota Marudu Hospital. She had to walk two miles to get to the road to get to the taxi. Read the rest of this entry »