Wednesday, July 31, 2013

#ServeSomethingNice: Feeding the Homeless of Kuala Lumpur for 17 Days

I would like to share the story of a group who dedicates their time to help the poor and the homeless. Kechara Soup Kitchen is a non-profit charitable body that feeds the poor and homeless of Kuala Lumpur. They are located in Jalan Imbi. Their soup kitchen is open for the poor and homeless every day and every Saturday the Kechara team and their volunteers roam the streets of Kuala Lumpur at night to give food for the homeless. I find Kechara Soup Kitchen’s selfless service to the poor heartwarming and compassionate.  They forego their Saturday night fun just to see the homeless receive a bit of food and basic supplies. This is why I want more people to learn about what they are doing. Perhaps we can learn a thing or two from their generous act and take it to do it ourselves in the future.

As a part of our #SaySomethingNice projects, we at zubedy are looking for donation for Kechara Soup Kitchen. As the campaign is 17 days long, we feel that it’s best if we are able to find our friends who want to fund food and supplies for Kechara Soup Kitchen during this period. Your donation will go a long way to help the homeless of Kuala Lumpur who are elderlies, dying patients, victims of natural disasters, children, as well as cast members of society.

There are two ways which you can help. You can sponsor a slot of your choosing. Your donation will be used to buy vegetarian food and basic necessities such as toiletries, vitamins, and ointment for the poor and homeless. You can also participate as a volunteer on a Saturday night with the Kechara team.

Here is the step by step:

1.      Choose your package, depending on how much you want to donate. Please note that the slot you choose correspond to the amount of donation needed. For example, if you choose to donate for 2nd September 2013 which is a Monday, you will be donating RM1600 according to Package A. If you choose one of the Saturday slots, you are donating RM2000 according to Package B.

2.      Choose a slot of your preference. You can either choose one slot during a weekday or one of the 4 slots of each Saturday. We at Zubedy have already booked our slot on the 31st where we will be donating RM2000 and volunteering to distribute food for the needy as well. This means there are three open slots on that day to be filled.

As shown below, there are 14 slots of week days, while the Saturday slots are divided into 4 smaller ones making the total of 26 slots. Staff at zubedy has taken the first slot on the 31st August. As such we are looking for another 25 sponsors to give food to the homeless during the 17 days.

3.      Book your slot with us by dropping a line at Nazrin 03-7727 0758/019-244 0429 or email him at You can also call him for further inquiries.

So let us lend a helping hand to the homeless and make their lives a little bit better. With our donation, an elderly on the streets is able to sleep with a full tummy and a homeless mother of two can see her children eat. During these 17 days, we should put aside our differences and help those who are in need, because hunger knows no boundaries.

To know more about Kechara Soup Kitchen and its organization, click here.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Fast for a day to show unity - The STAR

In solidarity: (From left) Uthaya Sankar, Marina and Cheong launching the #Fast4Malaysia initiative.
In solidarity: (From left) Uthaya Sankar, Marina and Cheong launching the #Fast4Malaysia initiative.
PETALING JAYA: Organisers of #Fast4Malaysia are calling on Malaysians, regardless of race and religion, to fast for a day on July 31 to show unity and peace.
Social activist Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, blogger Niki Cheong and Uthaya Sankar SB of Projek Dialog, who are organising the initiative, called on non-Muslims to join their Muslim friends in fasting and breaking fast together for a day.
“There seems to have been so many incidents lately that are pulling the people apart. We wanted to do something to bring people together,” said Marina, citing the controversialSelamat Berbuka Puasa posting by sex bloggers Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee on their Facebook page as well as the recent uproar over pupils eating in a shower room at SK Seri Pristana in Sungai Buloh.
Marina said a similar initiative – “Fast for the Nation, Peace for Malaysia” – was organised in 2009 at a time when racial sentiments were running high.
“I felt it was time to do something like that again to promote unity and bring the people together,” she said, adding that the initiative was non-political and non-partisan.
Participants in the initiative can organise sahur (the pre-fasting meal) or buka puasa (the breaking of fast) with their friends and colleagues wherever they are.
They are also asked to post a photo or video of the gathering and say something about their experience on social media using the #Fast4Malaysia hashtag, which will be picked up by the organisers and compiled on another website at
Cheong said it was their way of promoting peace, unity and understanding.
“So far, more than 200 Malaysians have pledged to join us,” he said.
Uthaya Sankar said the initiative was in response to “the many recent examples of hate and insensitivity to each other”.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

If u r taking cholesterol lowering drugs, must watch!

Do you know someone who would benefit from watching Statin Nation? 

Until 30 July, the full 63 minute documentary can be viewed for FREE by a selected audience (selected by you!) - please forward the link below to a friend or colleague who you think should see this film:

You are receiving this email because you have either previously purchased a copy of Statin Nation: The Great Cholesterol Cover-Up, or you have supported this project in some way.

If you are a health practitioner and you would like to make the documentary available to your clients for a limited period of time, please email

Why am I doing this?

Large commercial film productions, of course, have a budget of millions of dollars to create awareness, however, as an independent production,  it is very difficult to get the word out to people. Therefore, I am trying to strike a balance between making the film freely available and generating enough revenue to keep the project going. 

Best wishes, Justin

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Would you like to pledge/sponsor the t-shirts?

The 3 winning designs: (L-R) Tunku, Tanahairku, and Multiplayer. 

What is #teesomethingnice?

The above designs has been created by 3 local designers for the #teesomethingnice initiative. The project came about from the #SaySomethingNice campaign. The nationwide campaign encourages truce and wishes to showcase the best side of our nation during the 17-day period between Hari Merdeka and Hari Malaysia.   

As part of the campaign, Hasnul Hadi Samsudin (Malaysian animator for the Academy Award-winning movie Life of Pi) and Shamsul Jafni Shafie (co-founder of WatchTower & Friends) started the #teesomethingnice initiative. The idea behind the project is to crowd-source awesome and cool designs from local designers based on the theme 'being Malaysians and Malaysia'. The t-shirt designs will then be printed, where Malaysians can then wear the t-shirts not only during the #SaySomethingNice campaign period, but all year round.

Why are the t-shirts unique?

#teesomethingnice is about using aspects of Malaysia and the Malaysian way of life, interpreting them into designs that Malaysians or for that matter, anyone who loves Malaysia would love to wear. Be it on a lazy Sunday or on your way to have that roti canai at your favourite hangout or any other day - you just cannot go wrong wearing and carrying the messages implied in the t-shirts.

Based on those criteria, the #teesomethingnice team received 43 t-shirt designs from many local designers. The designs were presented and judged by a panel of 3 judges, namely, writer and activist, Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, Media Prima's CEO of Television Networks, Ahmad Izham Omar, and tv personality and head of Kakiseni, Low Ngai Yuen.

The panel of judges: (L-R) Ahmad Izham Omar, Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, and Low Ngai Yuen.

After a deliberation session at Solaris Mont Kiara, the panel of judges selected 3 designs (as shown earlier on) for the project. The selected designs are the brainchild of Tintoy Chua, Faros Amzas, and Arif Rafhan respectively. Each designs carry with it a specific and personal message that the designers wish to convey to fellow Malaysians. 
The winning designs up-close: (L-R) Tunku, Tanahairku, and Multiplayer. 

The three designers: (L-R) Tintoy Chua, Faros Amzas, and Arif Rafhan.

The #teesomethingnice initiative is teaming up with t-shirt specialist, SaltyCustoms. The t-shirts will be printed on Gildan T-Shirt and printed by SaltyCustoms. Various sizes are available for both male and female cut.

Apart from the t-shirts, #teesomethingnice will also be offering other types of merchandise like oval stickers and posters, which will correspond to the t-shirt designs. On top of that, the team is also working on one-of-a-kind plaque to celebrate the project. The plaque will not be reproduced again. It will be great for corporate offices, but will suit home setting just as fine.

How can you be involved?

This is where you come in. The #teesomethingnice initiative is a crowd-sourcing project i.e. the funds are collected from the public. The project's team has set up a page with pitchIN in order to get help from as many people as possible for the #teesomethingnice t-shirts to be printed. The concept is simple:
  1. Visit the pitchIN website and select on the #teesomethingnice initiative. Or click here.
  2. Select your sponsor pledge, which ranges from $2 up to $2500. Each pledge promises different combination of merchandises.
  3. Proceed to pay. You can pay either via your PayPal account or with your debit/credit card.
  4. Voila! You've land yourselves awesome and cool merchandises.

Get involved with #teesomethingnice. Pitch in and pledge for the project!

zubedy invites all interested parties to pledge for the #teesomethingnice. Both group/organisational or individual sponsors are welcomed.

To join us in this #teesomethingnice initiative or know more on the #SaySomethingNice campaign, please do not hesitate to contact Hidayah Mazlan. She is contactable at 03 7727 0758 / 019 233 0758 or you may email her at the following address:

Monday, July 22, 2013

The secrets of the most improved school in Malaysia - Business Circle

SK Lemoi students also enjoy some TV time at their hostel
SK Lemoi students also enjoy some TV time at their hostel
On a sunny day in June, the headmaster waited for me in full motocross gear: helmet, goggles, leather gloves, boots. He stood next to a Kawasaki KLX 150 scrambler. Right away, I felt nervous.
The headmaster’s name is Omardani Mohd. Noor, 47, a stocky man with a perpetual smile. He’s in charge of Sekolah Kebangsaan Lemoi, the most improved school in the country. The school, located in the deep jungles of Pahang, could possibly be the most rural school in Peninsular Malaysia.
Encik Omardani addressing the assembly
Encik Omardani addressing the assembly
Four years ago, when Omardani became headmaster of SK Lemoi, not one student passed the benchmark UPSR Year Six exam. This school for Orang Asli kids languished near the bottom of the country’s nearly 7,700 primary schools. But in three consecutive years, the pass rate soared: 8 percent (2010), 28 percent (2011) and 60 percent (2012). In less than three years, SK Lemoi became one of the best Orang Asli schools in the country.
What are the secrets for accelerating improvement in rural schools? And if we can unlock these secrets, can we use it to dramatically improve more schools in the country? These were the questions that drove me – along with my driver, and a video crew – to the town of Ringlet in Cameron Highlands. From here the journey would take another three hours in a four-wheel drive vehicle.
So I felt anxious when the headmaster stared at our vehicle: a black Toyota Fortuner 4WD with city tires. “I’ve never seen a car like yours make it to the school. But I promise you that I can get you at least halfway there,” Omardani said. On that reassuring note, he gunned his dirt bike. Away we went.
Within minutes, the tar road, which wound past vegetable farms, degraded into a rugged cement road. An hour later, the cement road vanished, leaving behind a narrow mud track with large rocks on the side and menacing holes in the middle.
When it rains, the road turns into a river of mud. The primary school teachers who go in and out every week on bikes have faced landslides, falling trees and swollen rivers. Once, a former principal fell off his bike, slid into a gorge and had to be rescued by villagers. It took us two hours to travel the final four kilometers.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

zubedy #Saysomethingnice Campaign MOU signing with Yayasan 1Malaysia newspapers coverage

By Sinar Harian Kempen 'Say Something Nice' suburkan keharmonian

PETALING JAYA - Dalam usaha menyuburkan keharmonian antara kaum di negara ini, kempen 'Say Something Nice' akan diperkenalkan sebuah syarikat swasta bersama Yayasan 1Malaysia.
Projek hasil idea Zubedy (M) Sdn Bhd itu bertujuan menggalakkan rakyat Malaysia hidup dalam keadaan penuh kasih sayang tanpa mengira kaum, agama, latar belakang mahupun perbezaan politik.
Pengarahnya, Anas Zubedy berkata kempen berkenaan dimulakan syarikatnya secara kecil-kecilan pada 2011.
"Namun, tahun ini kita mengambil inisiatif untuk melaksanakannya (kempen) secara lebih besar dengan mendapatkan kerjasama Yayasan 1Malaysia, orang ramai, badan korporat, sekolah dan universiti.
"Melalui kerjasama pelbagai pihak ini, kempen dapat dilaksanakan secara lebih meluas dan membantu kami merealisasikan hasrat melihat rakyat Malaysia terus menghormati antara satu sama lain," katanya selepas menandatangani memorandum persefahaman (MoU) antara Yayasan 1Malaysia dan Zubedy (M) Sdn Bhd di sini, hari ini.

By Guangming - 李霖泰:維護和平保障人權‧制訂和諧法令應先聽民意

    • 由一個馬來西亞基金會以及ZUBEDY(馬)有限公司舉辦的“說好話”活動舉辦簽署備忘錄儀式,並由李霖泰(中)見證;右二為拉菲力,左二為阿納斯。(圖:光明日報)

李霖泰週五出席一個馬來西亞基金會以及ZUBEDY(馬)有限公司舉辦的“說好話”(Say Something Nice)活動簽署備忘錄儀式後,對媒體如是指出。出席簽署備忘錄儀式的還包括有一個馬來西亞基金會行政總裁拉菲力以及ZUBEDY(馬)有限公司常務董事阿納斯等。
By New Straits Times - 'Be nice' campaign kicks off next month

PETALING JAYA: A campaign is to be launched next month to get one million people to say something nice to each other.

Yesterday, a memorandum of understanding was signed between Yayasan 1Malaysia and Zubedy (M) Sdn Bhd to jointly commit to the holding of the #SaySomethingNice campaign.
The campaign will kick off on Merdeka Day and will continue for 17 days, to end on Malaysia Day on Sept 16, to create a time of "positivity and peace."
They are also looking at making the campaign a yearly affair.
Zubedy (M) Sdn Bhd managing director Anas Zubedy said the first initiative of the campaign would be the distribution of 17 different types of postcards with 17 messages to various resident's associations in Malaysia.

By BERNAMA - Kempen 'Say Something Nice' Suburkan Keharmonian Rakyat

PETALING JAYA, 19 Julai (Bernama) -- Dalam usaha menyuburkan keharmonian antara kaum di negara ini, kempen 'Say Something Nice' akan diperkenalkan sebuah syarikat swasta bersama Yayasan 1Malaysia.

Projek hasil idea Zubedy (M) Sdn Bhd itu bertujuan menggalakkan rakyat Malaysia hidup dalam keadaan penuh kasih sayang tanpa mengira kaum, agama, latar belakang mahupun perbezaan politik.

Pengarahnya, Anas Zubedy berkata kempen berkenaan dimulakan syarikatnya secara kecil-kecilan pada 2011.

"Namun, tahun ini kita mengambil inisiatif untuk melaksanakannya (kempen) secara lebih besar dengan mendapatkan kerjasama Yayasan 1Malaysia, orang ramai, badan korporat, sekolah dan universiti.

"Melalui kerjasama pelbagai pihak ini, kempen dapat dilaksanakan secara lebih meluas dan membantu kami merealisasikan hasrat melihat rakyat Malaysia terus menghormati antara satu sama lain," katanya selepas menandatangani memorandum persefahaman (MoU) antara Yayasan 1Malaysia dan Zubedy (M) Sdn Bhd di sini, Jumaat.

Yayasan 1Malaysia diwakili Ketua Pegawai Eksekutifnya Raffly Nan.

By Sin Chew -  李霖泰:落實和諧法令前‧設遴選委會徵詢民意

  • 一馬基金會首席執行員拉菲里(右二)跟Zubedy董事經理阿納斯(左二)互相交換備忘錄。中為李霖泰。左是Zubedy首席營運員普拉卡斯,右是Zubedy董事阿茲里。(圖:星洲日報)

By China Press - 全民一起說好話 17款明信片透過居協派發
By The Sun Daily - #SaySomethingNice campaign launched
PETALING JAYA (July 19, 2013): Yayasan 1Malaysia and Zubedy (M) Sdn Bhd today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the #SaySomethingNice Campaign to promote a positive nation.
The campaign which is in its third year, aims to promote peace and goodwill among Malaysians.
The signing of the MoU at Yayasan 1Malaysia was witnessed by Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye who said the campaign would help to promote positive values in society.
"This is a meaningful partnership. The #SaySomethingNice in 17 days, hopes to encourage people to say something nice about Malaysia and Malaysians.
"The campaign, which was initiated by Zubedy, should be emulated by others to promote unity in the country," said Lee.
Zubedy managing director, Anas Zubedy explained that the campaign is aimed at the grass roots level and has no political affiliation.

Lessons we can learn from Japan

 Read this beautiful Information about Japan
1 - Did you know that Japanese children clean their schools every day for a quarter of an hour with teachers, which... led to the emergence of a Japanese generation who is modest and keen on cleanliness.

2 - Did you know that any Japanese citizen who has a dog must carry bag and special bags to pick up dog droppings. Hygiene and their eagerness to address cleanliness is part of Japanese ethics.

3 - Did you know that hygiene worker in Japan is called "health engineer" and can command salary of USD 5000 to 8000 per month, and a cleaner is subjected to written and oral tests!!

4 - Did you know that Japan does not have any natural resources, and they are exposed to hundreds of earthquakes a year but do not prevent her from becoming the second largest economy in the world? -

5 - Did you know that Hiroshima returned to what it was economically vibrant before the fall of the atomic bomb in just ten years?

6 - Did you know that Japan prevents the use of mobile in trains, restaurants and indoor
7 - Did you know that in Japan students from the first to sixth primary year must learn ethics in dealing with people -

8 - Did you know that the Japanese even though one of the richest people in the world but they do not have servants. The parents are responsible for the house and children -

9 - Did you know that there is no examination from the first to the third primary level; because the goal of education is to instill concepts and character building, not just examination and indoctrination. -

10 - Did you know that if you go to a buffet restaurant in Japan you will notice people only eat as much as they need without any waste. No wasteful food.

11 - Did you know that the rate of delayed trains in Japan is about 7 seconds per year!! They appreciate the value of time, very punctual to minutes and seconds

12 -. Did you know that children in schools brush their teeth (sterile) and clean their teeth after a meal at school; They maintain their health from an early age -

13 - Did you know that students take half an hour to finish their meals to ensure right digestion When asked about this concern, they said: These students are the future of Japan

Friday, July 19, 2013

Generation who refuse to grow up: No mortgage. No marriage. No children. No career plan. Like so many 30-somethings, Marianne Power admits she's one of them...

The other day I had lunch with my father, who was in London on business. He took me to his favourite pub and somewhere between the tomato soup and the mains he started a conversation that he has, until now — miraculously — avoided.

He glanced nervously at the waiter and sank his glass of wine before launching in, asking me what my plans are for life: Did I see myself settling down and starting a family? Am I saving up to buy a house? What is going to be the next step in my career?

There was a pause as I looked at him blankly and shrugged, before muttering that immortal phrase, loved by teenagers across the land: ‘I dunno.’

Except I’m not a teenager. I am 34.

Refusing to grow up: Those adults who do not acknowledge responsibilities like marriage, children and their career have been dubbed 'the Peter Pan generation'
Refusing to grow up: Those adults who do not acknowledge responsibilities like marriage, children and their career have been dubbed 'the Peter Pan generation'
When he was my age, my father was putting my six-year-old sister and eight-year-old me through prep school, and had another three-year-old daughter at home. He had been running a business for ten years, owned a house and had a pension.

In short, all the usual trappings and responsibilities of a middle-class man of that generation.

I, on the other hand, live in a rented flat with my youngest sister and have few savings to speak of. I certainly don’t have a pension.

As for the idea of marriage and children, well, it’s exactly that: just an idea — it’s no closer to being a reality than it was when I was 23.

    My ‘life plan’ as my father so sweetly called it, goes as far as this weekend.

    ‘Don’t you think you should start thinking about these things?’ he asked. ‘You do know you’re not 20 any more, don’t you?’

    I’m not sure that I do.

    While I am a fully paid up member of adult society in many ways — I pay taxes, cast my vote and give money to charity — in other ways, I am in hopeless denial about my age.

    click here to read more on this article


    Dear Friend,


    Please see below the latest media statement from Dr. Chandra Muzaffar:-

    Media Statement:

    10 days after a series of blasts at the famous Bodhgaya temple complex in Bihar, India, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has yet to come up with any lead on who was responsible for the dastardly deed. All that it has produced so far is a sketch of a person moving suspiciously in the area before the 7th July incident.
    Indian authorities should expedite investigations and nail down the culprit or culprits in the shortest possible time.  As long as their identity is not known and the motives for the heinous act are not established clearly, rumours and suspicions will continue to gain currency. They will poison relations between Buddhists and people of other faiths not only in India but also in other parts of the world.
    All places of worship should be protected and respected.  This is why in 2002 the International Movement for a Just World (JUST) launched a worldwide campaign to protect all places of worship. A Convention was drafted for this purpose. Though a number of prominent personalities such as Nobel Peace Laureates, Desmond Tutu and Mairead Maguire, and renowned faith based organisations from all major traditions, endorsed the Convention its impact was limited.
    As a place of worship and sacred site, the Bodhgaya temple that houses the holy bodhi tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment, and the massive Mahabodhi statue of the Buddha, has an exalted status in Buddhism. It is highly revered by Buddhists all over the world. UNESCO had named it as a World Heritage site in 2002.
    It is a shame that whenever the sanctity of a place of worship or a sacred site is violated, not many organisations or personalities from other religious backgrounds openly condemn the sacrilege. Most of the time, we appear to be concerned with only our own community and its symbols and institutions.  This is an attitude that should change.
    To paraphrase the illustrious 13th century Muslim poet-philosopher, Shaikh Saadi, it is only when we feel for the suffering of the other that we can call ourselves human.

    Dr. Chandra Muzaffar,
    International Movement for a Just World (JUST).
    17 July 2013.

    Edward Snowden speaks

    What I Have Done Is Costly, But It Was The Right Thing To Do
    By Edward Snowden
    13 July, 2013
    NSA Whistleblower asks for support from international community and human rights campaigners
    Edward Snowden along with Sarah Harrison of WikiLeaks (left) at a meeting with human rights campaigners in Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow today where he released the following statement. (Photograph: Tanya Lokshina/Human Rights Watch)
    Hello. My name is Ed Snowden. A little over one month ago, I had family, a home in paradise, and I lived in great comfort. I also had the capability without any warrant to search for, seize, and read your communications. Anyone’s communications at any time. That is the power to change people’s fates.
    It is also a serious violation of the law. The 4th and 5th Amendments to the Constitution of my country, Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and numerous statutes and treaties forbid such systems of massive, pervasive surveillance. While the US Constitution marks these programs as illegal, my government argues that secret court rulings, which the world is not permitted to see, somehow legitimize an illegal affair. These rulings simply corrupt the most basic notion of justice – that it must be seen to be done. The immoral cannot be made moral through the use of secret law.
    I believe in the principle declared at Nuremberg in 1945: "Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring."
    Accordingly, I did what I believed right and began a campaign to correct this wrongdoing. I did not seek to enrich myself. I did not seek to sell US secrets. I did not partner with any foreign government to guarantee my safety. Instead, I took what I knew to the public, so what affects all of us can be discussed by all of us in the light of day, and I asked the world for justice.
    That moral decision to tell the public about spying that affects all of us has been costly, but it was the right thing to do and I have no regrets.
    Since that time, the government and intelligence services of the United States of America have attempted to make an example of me, a warning to all others who might speak out as I have. I have been made stateless and hounded for my act of political expression. The United States Government has placed me on no-fly lists. It demanded Hong Kong return me outside of the framework of its laws, in direct violation of the principle of non-refoulement – the Law of Nations. It has threatened with sanctions countries who would stand up for my human rights and the UN asylum system. It has even taken the unprecedented step of ordering military allies to ground a Latin American president’s plane in search for a political refugee. These dangerous escalations represent a threat not just to the dignity of Latin America, but to the basic rights shared by every person, every nation, to live free from persecution, and to seek and enjoy asylum.
    Yet even in the face of this historically disproportionate aggression, countries around the world have offered support and asylum. These nations, including Russia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Ecuador have my gratitude and respect for being the first to stand against human rights violations carried out by the powerful rather than the powerless. By refusing to compromise their principles in the face of intimidation, they have earned the respect of the world. It is my intention to travel to each of these countries to extend my personal thanks to their people and leaders.
    I announce today my formal acceptance of all offers of support or asylum I have been extended and all others that may be offered in the future. With, for example, the grant of asylum provided by Venezuela’s President Maduro, my asylee status is now formal, and no state has a basis by which to limit or interfere with my right to enjoy that asylum. As we have seen, however, some governments in Western European and North American states have demonstrated a willingness to act outside the law, and this behavior persists today. This unlawful threat makes it impossible for me to travel to Latin America and enjoy the asylum granted there in accordance with our shared rights.
    This willingness by powerful states to act extra-legally represents a threat to all of us, and must not be allowed to succeed. Accordingly, I ask for your assistance in requesting guarantees of safe passage from the relevant nations in securing my travel to Latin America, as well as requesting asylum in Russia until such time as these states accede to law and my legal travel is permitted. I will be submitting my request to Russia today, and hope it will be accepted favorably.
    If you have any questions, I will answer what I can.
    Thank you.

    Whistleblower Edward Joseph Snowden is a US former technical contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee who leaked details of top-secret US and British government mass surveillance programs to the press.

    Wednesday, July 17, 2013

    An administration riddled with failings by Karim Raslan - The STAR

    Morsi bungled badly: Egypt’s economy stagnated, the trading volume of its stock market fell in the first five months of 2013. Its budget deficit currently stands at about US$29.2bil while unemployment is at 12.5%.
    OVERTHROWING a legitimately elected government is acoup d’etat – however you cut it. Being a democrat means taking the rough with the smooth.
    The ouster of Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi and the ongoing crackdown on the Muslim Brother-hood will only lead to greater tragedies.
    Certainly, the secular liberals cheering on the sidelines will regret their initial glee at Morsi’s reversal as truth, public trust and law and order become the biggest casualties of the sequence of events unfolding in Cairo.
    Those who feel that “political Islam” should be halted by whatever means, legal or illegal, are wrong.
    Once you subscribe to the ballot box you cannot turn back.
    Political expedience brings short-term and unsustainable “solutions” that will in turn lead to greater injustices.
    Indeed the Algerian experience back in 1990 when the army denied a clear electoral mandate, imprisoning and slaughtering thousands is a stark warning of what could lie in store for Egypt.
    At the same, many Islamist parties across the globe – the spiritual heirs to Egypt’s Ikhwanul Muslimin – will feel that democracy, (one-man, one-vote) is not meant for them even though they often have the raw “numbers” to win elections.
    Instead they will become increasingly convinced that a shadowy network of Americans, Europeans, liberals, financiers and “global Jewish forces” will intervene to seize power.
    In short, whatever they do, they’ll always be victims of a determined conspiracy to deny them their legitimate place in the world.
    This will mean, in turn that they don’t need to address their own failings in terms of corruption, poor administration and hard-headed ex-clusiveness.
    Morsi’s administration was riddled with failings.
    Many had great hopes for him when he took office back in June, 2012.
    It seemed as if he would be able to project a moderate face after decades of former President Hosni Mubarak’s authoritarian rule.
    Unfortunately, this was not to be.
    Morsi bungled and badly: Egypt’s economy stagnated, the trading volume of its stock market fell 31.2% in the first five months of 2013.
    Its budget deficit currently stands at about US$29.2bil (RM91.8bil), while official figures rather conservatively put unemployment at 12.5%.
    At the same time, Morsi alienated both secular and liberal communities.
    Moderates and Coptic Christians were upset enough to boycott the drafting of the December 2012 Constitution – which was criticised for lacking sufficient safeguards for freedom of religion and the rights of women – due to the administration’s perceived lack of consultation.

    Tuesday, July 16, 2013

    Letter To The Editor - Preventive Detention: Not A Remedy by Dr. Chandra Muzaffar

    The Malaysian public has been told that the first draft of a new special preventive law, similar to the Emergency Ordinance (EO) has been sent to the Attorney General’s Chambers for consideration.

    Since ‘preventive detention’ appears to be at the crux of the proposed law, a number of concerned citizens have expressed their reservations--- and rightly so. To provide another avenue for preventive detention (it is still in our statute books) through this or any other law is a serious matter.

    The public has to be convinced that the 2000 criminals released after the repeal of the EO in 2011 are responsible for the violent crimes that have occurred in the last two years. There is no hard evidence to show this. The USM study led by criminologist, Dr. P. Sundramoorthy --- as reported in the media--- which has become the basis for the shift in the Government’s position on the EO does not provide the statistical data nor the empirical analysis to support such a contention. Perhaps the entire study should be made available to the public.

    In the absence of incontrovertible evidence, I am more inclined to believe psychologist and criminologist, Dr. Geshina Ayu Mat Saat, who says that “there is a very tenuous link between the abolition of the Emergency Ordinance (EO) and the recent spate of violent crime.” In fact, long-term observers of Malaysian society would argue that violent crimes have taken place for many, many years. We forget that the increasing crime rate --- dramatized by some violent ones --- was one of the major issues in the 2008 General Election, a good three years before the repeal of the EO.

    What criminologists, the police and Malaysian society as a whole should focus upon are new and more innovative ways of dealing with some of the underlying causes of crime. Drug addiction which we have not been able to curb after more than four decades seems to be a recurring reason for thefts, robberies and burglaries. Widening social disparities, an oft cited explanation for crime, is yet another challenge that demands our collective attention.

    At the same time, meticulous intelligence gathering, effective police surveillance, thorough investigations, capable prosecution and appropriate penalties would go a long way to reducing crime. A significant police presence in public places and housing areas would also have a deterrent effect upon the would-be criminal. In other words, the repeal of the EO is an opportunity for the police to enhance their competence and their professionalism.

    Re-introducing preventive detention through the EO is not an option even if there are safeguards against abuse. It is a blemish upon the concept and practise of the rule of law--- one of the cardinal principles of the Rukunegara --- for the simple reason that the right to a fair trial is essential to the rule of law. And giving meaning and substance to the rule of law is the hallmark of a society that is committed to just governance.