Showing posts from March, 2015


Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye: Exempt welfare, charitable organisations from GST

By Chuah Bee Kim - 31 March 2015 @ 1:39 PM
JOHOR BARU: Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye today appeals to the Customs Department to exempt welfare and charitable foundations from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) which will be implemented tomorrow.

  Lee said the MCPF received a letter from the department last month stating that it would have to pay GST if the amount raised was more than half a million.

  Lee urged the government to consider giving charitable foundations an exemption as it would make it more challenging for all non-governmental organisations to raise money to help the underprivileged if they were subject to GST.

  Lee said this at a press conference after handing over 200 sets of desks and chairs to Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Cina) Foon Yew 1, here on behalf of the Eco World Foundation, where Lee is the chairman.

source: NST online

There Will Always Be Haters And Jokers

In the Straits Times

SINGAPORE - The 17-year-old teenager who last week posted a YouTube video in which he celebrated Mr Lee Kuan Yew's death and criticised his political career was arrested on Sunday. In the video, he challenged Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to sue him and also made insensitive remarks about Christianity. At least 20 police reports have been lodged against Amos Yee since Mar 27, when he was believed to have uploaded the eight-minute video. On Sunday, one reader alerted The Straits Times to yet another police report lodged against the teenager, but this time it was regarding his posting of obscene material on his blog. The video, which has been slammed by netizens, is no longer available on his YouTube channel. The blogpost has also been taken down.
and in the Malay Mail Online KUALA LUMPUR: Astro Awani’s live telecast of the state funeral for Lee Kuan Yew today drew anger from some Malaysians who questioned the satellite broadcast channel’s purpose in giving such pr…

Sayonara Saudari Annie

Woke up this Saturday morning and saw this post  sayonara.

Have a well-deserved break, Annie. Enjoy the cherry blossoms, and come back revitalized, ok?

Bye, for now ...


Praise for the Kiwis

source: Straits Times SINGAPORE - All New Zealand government departments and public buildings will be flying their flags at half-mast on Sunday to mark the funeral of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, said a Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson. On Tuesday, the New Zealand Parliament on Tuesday expressed sorrow at Mr Lee Kuan Yew's passing. Mr Lee, Singapore's founding Prime Minister, died on Monday at the age of 91. Deputy Prime Minister Bill English tabled the motion, and said: "Mr Lee was a long-time friend of New Zealand, and a supporter of New Zealand's role in South-east Asia." Speaking after him was Labour Party leader and MP Phil Goff, who remembers as a 12-year-old seeing Mr Lee on television speaking about separation from Malaysia and how it was the first political speech that had left an impression on him. He added, in a more lighthearted vein: "In 1977, as a student, having gone six years without a haircut, passing through Singapore, I was given my first haircut …

Kudos to India

source: Channel News AsiaNEW DELHI: India's government has declared a day of national mourning on Sunday (Mar 29) as a mark of respect for Singapore's founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.
According to a statement on India's Ministry of Home Affairs website, the national flag of India will be flown at half-mast throughout the country, and there will be no official entertainment. The state funeral of Mr Lee will be held in Singapore on Sunday, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be among the many world leader, past and present, in attendance. Prime Minister Modi earlier paid tribute to Mr Lee as "a lion among leaders". Some small villages in Tamil Nadu have also put up banners, mourning his passing.

What is LOVE?  Is LOVE a good or a bad thing?

What makes me ask this?

An elderly man once shared with me that whenever he asked his son to pray, the son would come up with some excuses that he's busy.

But the elderly man said everytime the girlfriend calls, within 5 minutes his son would be rushing out the door.

The power of love

If the love is uplifting and steering you in the right path, then I guess it is good.  If it causes you to lose sight of your own personal growth, brings you only misery and frustration, makes you forget your goals in life, and you neglect your responsibilities, then you need to bid that love adieu or try to repair the relationship by either consulting a therapist or have a heart-to-heart talk with your spouse.

But then, love is blind.  When you're in love, you become "stoopid", and lose all objectivity and direction.

A healthy relationship is one in which two people complement and encourage each other.  It should be built on mutual respect…

A Salute To Singapore

In my last post, I wrote that I was awed by the flood of messages and news coverage over the Internet and newspapers, as well as Facebook.

But what happened the next day was even more amazing.  The people queuing for more than 8 hours as of 5pm, until they were advised not to come anymore at that time.

And when the train and bus services were extended to run round the clock, the people were still streaming in to get into the Parliament House to pay their last respects to the late Prime Minister.  No one expected this to happen.

And along the way, there were little acts of kindness, like people distributing daisies and bottled water.

Mr Lee Kuan Yew wasn't perfect.  Who is?  There were numerous allegations.  And a Singaporean's life isn't a bed of roses either.  Whose is?

But right now,  I only see scores of people coming together to show their gratitude and love to the republic's founding father.  It is phenomenal.

Mark of a Leader

Since Mr Lee Kuan Yew passed away on March 23 at 3.18am, a tsunami of news reports and messages have swept across the Internet, Facebook as well as local and international newspapers.
How the people come together in unity to show their love, respect and support for Mr Lee is simply invaluable and priceless. And they do this not by decree, but because they want to. 
That's what leaders do. They inspire and motivate you to want to give your best because of the sacrifices they've made, the values they've instilled.
The messages in the Condolence Book clearly reflect the close ties between Johor and Singapore.
The public can sign the Condolence Book for Mr Lee at the Singapore Consulate-General office located at Level 35 of the Johor Baru City Square office tower from now to March 28.
Mr Lee's last visit to Malaysia was in 2009 where the republic's founding father had visited Kuala Lumpur, Perak, Penang, Kelantan and Pahang. He was also in Johor Baru for a day to pay his…


LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort Johor Baru model shop manager Stefan Bentivoglio was at the Galleria@Kotaraya shopping mall in Johor Baru yesterday.

Stefan and his team of model builders had made the crown and figurines of the royal family using Lego bricks to commemorate the coronation of the 5th Sultan of modern Johor.

The 36-year-old hails from Germany.

The day went well yesterday. Many people, including school children and some from childcare centers and kindergartens, were in the city as early as 6am.
They were there to cheer the Johor royal family motorcade which flew past the crowd at Jalan Trus at 10.46am.
Today I will be meeting the Penang governor in Kota Iskandar, and later hope I can make it to the Singapore-General Office in City Square to sign the Condolence Book for Singapore's founding father Mr Lee Kuan Yew, who passed away at age 91 at 3.18am March 23.
The public can sign the Condolence Book from 9am to 6pm from March 24 to March 27. On March 28, the time is 9am to 1pm.

Daulat Tuanku

The writer is president of the Council of the Royal Court, Datuk Abdul Rahim Ramli (source: NST online)
July 29, 1886, saw Johor creating history with the first-ever coronation of a Malay ruler witnessed in Malaya, that of Sultan Abu Bakar.

Since then, there have been two more coronation ceremonies for the Johor Sultanate.

Sultan Sir Ibrahim was crowned on Nov 2, 1895. Johor and the nation then waited 65 years for the coronation of Sultan Ismail on Feb 10, 1960.

The coronation of Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar will be held on Monday.

The 55-year gap is because the late Sultan Iskandar, who ascended the throne on May 10, 1981, and passed away on Jan 22, 2010, did not wish to be crowned.

His Royal Highness Sultan Ibrahim had chosen May 5 to reflect the fact that he was the fifth sultan of modern Johor.

A coronation is defined as an act of placing a crown on the head. Since Johor is the first Malay state to have a crown for its ruler, it is correct to assume the te…

Coming Or Not?

Updated: Just got confirmation, Sistars are in the line-up. State government confirmed this is a private matter.

Original post

Someone asked me today if I were keen to meet Sistar, the South Korean girl group that was on the list of performers lined up for the concert, jointly organised by the Johor Tourism Department and the Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd, to be held in conjunction with the Sultan of Johor's coronation ceremony.

The artistes were scheduled to perform from March 26 to March 29. But it was reported that Johor religious council executive committee chairman Abdul Mutalib Abdul Rahman said the Sultan had ordered several international artistes to be dropped.

The artistes reportedly axed were Taboo of the group Black Eyed Peas, Sistar and Taiwanese duo Fuying & Sam (which I was told are Malaysians and not Taiwanese).

So I asked: "Are you sure they are coming?"

The someone replied: "Of course they're coming. Arriving in JB anytime soon. The…

Stay-at-home Mom Meets Singleton

What a crazy day this has been. I didn't know going out with a stay-at-home Mom would be "so much fun".
Married life is hard work. Being single is no bed of roses either. Life's journey is never easy, even for the head that wears the crown.
The above picture is of me with 5-year-old JS and (below) his 18-month-old sister, JE.

Their mother is my friend, Gladys, who told me the last time she took her kids to out on her own to meet friends was 10 months ago.  Gladys said it's because her 18-month old would not sit still for long as she has just started walking and loves to explore.
In my opinion, Gladys' two kids are quite manageable. I have seen worse.
Ok, I said it was a crazy day because in the morning, Gladys had to turn the car back and go home after we had started our journey because she realised one of her ear-rings had dropped.  She had to find it because it was a Valentine's Day gift and secondly, she didn't want JE to stumble upon it first.

Stalking Shahrum

I'm sorry. I've been following Shahrum Sayuthi's coverage of Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's working visit to Japan for the United Nations World Conference.

I just love his writings so much. Lucky thing it's only a 4-day working visit.

I get a little "fanatical" at times.  Sorry.

My friend asked me why I had abandoned "Ardent Indulgence" --- my other blog --- to start a new blog..  I guess I just want to start life anew.

I want to continue living my life with passion and enthusiasm, but one thing I need to change is ... not to be over indulgent.  No more ardent indulgences. Stop spending money like there's no tomorrow, but also remember that you can't take it with you if tomorrow never comes.

So, "MODERATION" is the word.  Jalan jalan, explore, have fun... but there must be some self-discipline.  Maybe I can explore ways to save money and have fun at the same time.

I think it's time to re-adjust my lifestyle.  Ma…

UN World Congress - MOC

A wider cooperation in education between Malaysia and Japan on the card  By Shahrum Sayuthi - 16 March 2015 @ 4:51 PM

TOKYO: The quality of Malaysian kindergartens, schools and institute of higher learnings may soon benefit from some Japanese touch following an agreement for a wider cooperation in education between both countries.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the memorandum of cooperation on the matter, signed by Japan and Malaysia today here, will enable a more extensive exchanges of ideas and technical know-how in education between the countries.

‘It’s a continuation of existing cooperation between us and the Japanese, which now enable us to explore an even wider area, including pre-school education,” he said.

Muhyiddin, who is also the education minister said among the expertise in educational subject matters which could be gleaned from the Japanese education system include those in science, technology and mathematics.

Muhyiddin had also tod…

UN World Congress - Day 3

Malaysia to study Japanese model for its proposed disaster management council By Shahrum Sayuthi - 16 March 2015 @ 4:01 PM 

 source: NST online

TOKYO: The government will study the Japanese disaster management model as part of its plan to set up a council, specifically tasked with coordinating the handling of calamities in the country.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the Japanese government had agreed to lend its assistance whereby Malaysian officials will be sent here to carry out their studies.

Muhyiddin, who is also the national disaster management committee chairman said the matter had been finalised during his meetings with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe and minister of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism, Akihiro Ota.

The meetings were held on the sides of the United Nation World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai during the weekend.

He said Japan’s good track record in managing natural disasters could likely due to…

UN World Conference - Day 2

Malaysia, Japan held talks on proposed KL-Singapore high-speed train project: Muhyiddin

By Shahrum Sayuthi - 15 March 2015 @ 3:48 PM

SENDAI (Japan) : Japan became the first country to conduct high level talks with Malaysia over possible involvement in the proposed high speed train project between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
  Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had requested for the special meeting, held yesterday, to discuss possible involvement of the country’s rail companies in the project.
  The meeting was on the side of the United Nation World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction here which was opened by Abe on the same day of the meeting.
  “Prime Minister Abe had conveyed his country's wish to be involved in the proposed high speed train project mooted by Malaysia and Singapore,” Muhyiddin said after meeting Japanese land, infrastructure, transport and tourism minister Akihiro Ota today.
  The deputy prime mini…

UN World Conference - Day 1

Malaysia will have more robust disaster management agencies and better alert system 
SENDAI: Malaysia is reshaping its disaster management agencies to be more robust while integrating the country’s early warning systems in preparation for possible future major calamities.Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin told delegates at the United Nation (UN) World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction here that the effort will be part of explicit focus on strengthening disaster risk management of the country under the 11th Malaysia Plan to be presented during the current parliament session.“An effective early warning system can make the difference between life and death.“The December 2014 floods experienced by Malaysia serve to remind us that we still have more to do in building the nation’s resilience towards disasters.“We are now looking into and learning from the best practices of other countries with a view to adapt it where suitable,” he …

Flood Relief Efforts

UN Disaster Forum eyes our flood relief efforts

LESSONS: Delegates keen to know how we coped with disaster

by Shahrum Sayuthi in Tokyo

The handling of recent major floods, which caused extensive damage in several states late last year, will feature prominently in Malaysia's presentation at the Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, which started today (March 14).
  Presentation by the country's delegates will contribute to a new international framework of cooperation in the handling of future major disasters around the globe, which will be drafted in the five-day conference.
  Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who arrived at Haneda Airport in Tokyo at 11pm loal time, will attend several discussions on finding ways for nations to assist each other in mitigating risks of calamities and handling their aftermath, scheduled in conjunction with the event.
  Izlan said the country's delegation consisted of officials from the Nati…

The Sultan of Johor's Coronation

JOHOR BARU: Private companies are urged to grant a day off for the Sultan of Johor's coronation on March 23 although it is not a gazetted public holiday in Johor.
  Johor Council of Royal Court president Datuk Abdul Rahim Ramli, in a media briefing here yesterday, said it would be a "once in a lifetime" spectacle that has not taken place since the coronation of Sultan Ismail Sultan Ibrahim on February 10, 1960.
  "I am sure private companies would want their staff to witness this event, which has not taken place for 55 years," he said.
  Rahim said the state took four years to prepare the coronation of the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar.
  "Di mana bumi dipijak, di sana langit di junjung (where one treads, that is where the sky is)." He said private companies should not be overly concerned about profit-making on this day, and miss the historic occasion.
  Rahim said on this day, there will be stamps and first day cover, souvenirs an…

UN World Conference - Curtain Raiser

Muhyiddin to share Malaysia’s experience on disaster management at UN World Conference in Sendai

By Shahrum Sayuthi - 13 March 2015 @ 12:14 PM

TOKYO: Malaysian delegates at the Third United Nation's World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, which starts here tomorrow, will contribute to the country's input for a new international frame work of cooperation in the handling of major disasters.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who will arrive here later today for a three-day working visit, will attend the opening ceremony of the conference and several of its discussions.

Malaysian ambassador to Japan Datuk Ahmad Izlan Idris said Malaysia's handling of its recent major flood in the East Coast will feature prominently in its presentation to the conference in Sendai, about 380 km from here, which was to be attended by over 2,000 delegates from almost 30 countries.

"Our delegates will share our experience such as that during the major flood late last year w…

Hidden Jewel

A visit to the Johor Cultural and Sports Club (JCSC) at Jalan Tun Abdul Razak in Johor Bahru, always calms my mind.
Today I brought someone there. No matter how hard I tried to tell her about this very special place in the past, she seemed unconvinced. Today, any reservations she had evaporated the minute she laid eyes on the captivating lake.

To me this place is a hidden jewel in the city.  The natural setting certainly offers one a respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.
This is also my second visit to the JCSC, formerly known as Johor Civil Service Club. It was previously located at Jalan Sungai Chat.
The JCSC, built in 1920, is one of the oldest clubs in Johor. Its members were only senior British government officers until 1983 where membership was offered to the public.

And here I am at the JCSC with a copy of today's New Straits Times.  

Laundry Queen

Cat Teo, 52, and Joanne Teo, 47, are now business owners under the Laundry Queen licensing programme which operates on a coin-operated, round-the-clock self-service computerised system.
Joanne opened her outlet at No. 26, Jalan Sagu 36 in Taman Daya, Johor Bahru, today (March 8) while her elder sister Cat will open her outlet at No. 16, Jalan Rotan Utama, Taman Sri Jaya in Batu Pahat on Wednesday (March 11).
"We're both so excited to be business owners. It is the ideal retirement plan. We don't even need to be at the shop as it runs on a computerised system.
"We can monitor the business from our homes and anywhere where there's WiFi," said Joanne.
Both the outlets have six washers and four dryers. The detergent, softerner and sanitiser are offered free here. 
Since opening its first outlet at 55, Jalan Dewata, Susur Dewata 1, Larkin Perdana, Johor Bahru, in April last year, Laundry Queen is set to open another four outlets after Joanne and Cat's outlets by th…

Rally fails to produce 1998 effect

NO "REFORMASI": Police estimate crowd of 2,000 while organisers claim it's 10,000

by Shahrum Sayuthi and Syed Umar Ariff

KUALA LUMPUR: It was supposed to trigger mass protests similar to the Reformasi movement in the late 1990s, but it appeared to have not achieved its goal.

  The rally on March 7 to demand the release of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim from jail here attracted about 2,000 people, according to police estimates, a far cry from the mammoth crowd at rallies when the opposition leader was jailed in 1998 for abuse of power.  Leaders of protesters at the rally, however, insisted that there were more than 10,000 present.

  Anwar is serving a five-year jail sentence for committing sodomy, an offence he was also charged with in 1998.  Three groups of people had gathered at the Pas headquarters in Jalan Raja Laut, Masjid Jamek and Central market before marching about 3.30pm to the Sogo shopping complex in Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, where a crowd of similar strength had gathe…