Korean-Canadian pop singer G.NA in recent issue of 1st Look Magazine [Kr]. She’s expected to release a new album this month, but it’s postponed amidst the ferry disaster; most Korean entertainment activities have been halted in this period.
The intense global scrutiny brought upon Malaysia’s government over the fate of flight MH370 has tossed a wild card into its controversial efforts to send opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim back to jail.
Sentenced to five years in jail, Anwar, free on appeal, would be expelled from parliament if the conviction holds — a severe blow for a fractious opposition that has enjoyed unprecedented success by uniting around his star power.
But Anwar feels the negative global attention due to MH370 could force the government to think twice.
“(MH370) certainly will have a bearing,” said Anwar, 66, when asked by AFP whether concern over international reaction to his jailing could make his political foes pause.
“The entire radar is on Malaysia — that it is opaque, semi-authoritarian, no transparency, no accountability.”
Unaccustomed to answering for itself at home, Malaysia’s government has faced a barrage of international criticism for the unexplained loss of the plane with 239 people aboard, and a stumbling response.
Anwar’s opposition says the saga has exposed institutional decay and incompetence in a government dominated since 1957 by the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), which is widely accused of rampant cronyism and corruption.
A former deputy premier with UMNO, Anwar has cultivated strong friendships in Washington, where he is lauded for his calls for reform, and the US State Department has questioned the March 7 ruling against him.
However, President Barack Obama does not plan to see Anwar when he is in Kuala Lumpur next week, though US officials have not ruled out a lower-level meeting. It was not clear whether Obama would raise Anwar’s case with Malaysia’s government.
“Jailing Anwar will be a big mistake, as it will galvanise people around his struggle. The last time they did that we saw the biggest protests ever,” said Wan Saiful Wan Jan, head of Malaysian public policy think-tank IDEAS.
Anwar was sensationally ousted from the government in 1998 after losing a power struggle, and his subsequent jailing for six years on sodomy and corruption charges was widely considered politically motivated.
The biggest protests in Malaysia’s history resulted, and Anwar emerged as a formidable opposition campaigner after the sodomy conviction was overturned in 2004.
Jailing Anwar would heap further pressure on the government and make it “a laughing stock”, Wan Saiful said.
Current Prime Minister Najib Razak, a relative moderate, has consistently sought international favour, but is constrained by UMNO conservatives who deeply fear Anwar and the political threat he poses.
In elections last year, the opposition won a majority of Malaysia’s popular vote for the first time, though UMNO’s coalition clung to control of parliament.
The March ruling came just two weeks before Anwar was to stand for an assembly seat in Selangor, Malaysia’s richest state.
The seat was seen as a springboard to becoming the state’s chief minister — a powerful soapbox ahead of the next general election due by 2018 — but the ruling disqualified Anwar.
Influential conservatives may gamble that the long-term gains from jailing Anwar are worth any overseas backlash, said Bridget Welsh, a Malaysia politics researcher at Singapore Management University.
“There clearly are people in that party who want Anwar in jail,” she said.
“The focus is the domestic arena and what they feel they can get away with.”
UMNO is widely believed to influence the courts in sensitive cases, though Najib’s government denies this.
No date for an appeal has yet been set.
Anwar, who brought tens of thousands to the streets after last year’s disputed elections, warned of a “major battle” if he is jailed.
“You can take me, beat me up — you can shoot me if you want to — but I’m not going to take this lying down,” he said, hinting demonstrations may be called.
Multi-ethnic Malaysia enjoyed rapid economic growth and rising living standards over recent decades while a controversial UMNO formula reserves political supremacy for majority Muslim Malays.
But voters have increasingly rebelled over endemic corruption, slowing growth, and impatience with UMNO’s authoritarian tactics and divisive racial politics.
Since last year’s elections, Najib’s government has shelved reform promises and brought sedition charges or other pressure against opposition figures and reform advocates.
Press Statement By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng In Komtar, George Town On 21.4.2014.
The Penang state government wishes to thank the 25,000 Malaysians and Penangites who turned up to pay their last respects during the public funeral of DAP National Chairman and MP for Bukit Glugor Karpal Singh organized by the state government at Dewan Sri Pinang yesterday. The mammoth crowd was unexpected. We wish to apologise to all who came from far and near but did not have the opportunity to pay their last respects to Karpal Singh at Dewan Sri Pinang.
We hope that the public can forgive and overlook any shortcomings during the public funeral. The police did not turn up as planned to conduct crowd control outside Dewan Sri Pinang. The state government would conduct a post-mortem to determine the reasons behind the police not turning up as planned and work towards overcoming the weaknesses that may have caused any inconvenience to the public.
We also wish to thank the 3,000 motorcyclists who came on their own accord without any prior arrangement to accompany the hearse to the crematorium in Batu Gantong. This spontaneous send-off by the 3,000 motorcyclists, mostly from the working class, would be most meaningful to Karpal as it showed the affection for Karpal that ordinary Malaysians held in their hearts.
This public funeral by the Penang state government is probably the largest in Penang’s history because the people of Penang and Malaysia made it so. Your presence yesterday has shown that there is a “tiger” like Karpal lurking in each and every one of us.
Let us fearlessly follow Karpal in fighting for justice and rule of law as the bedrock of prosperity of our nation and economy. Lest we forget, upholding the rule of law in Penang is one of the principal reasons that has gained foreign investor’s confidence, as evidenced by Penang recording the highest foreign direct investment in Malaysia from 2010 to August 2013.
Let us show the same courage as Karpal in not only doing the right thing but doing it right. Whether young or old, we best remember Karpal by moving forward to ensure that no one can steal our children’s future.
LIM GUAN ENG
—–Mandarin Version —
With five days to appeal against his conviction in the Sodomy II trial, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is yet to fill the gap left by the late veteran lawyer and ally, Karpal Singh.
“Not only am I about to go prison but I also have to look for the money to pay legal fees,” said Anwar jokingly, at the Reformasi 2.0 ceramah at the Lembah Pantai parliamentary constituency.
“But that is for me to worry. What I want from you here is to know the truth and judge accordingly,” he said.
Karpal was killed in a fatal accident last Thursday when the vehicle he was travelling in collided with a five-tonne lorry near Gua Tempurung in Gopeng, Perak. The accident also claimed the life of his long-time assistant, Michael Cornelius.
The former DAP chairman and Bukit Gelugor MP had been due to file the petition of appeal at the appellate court on April 24, a day prior to the expiry of the ten-day deadline on Friday.
Karpal had appeared as Anwar’s lead counsel since the former deputy prime minister’s first sodomy charge against him in 1998.
Karpal had taken up the case on a pro bono basis and fought relentlessly for the past 15 years, said the Anwar today.
Other speakers at the event last night alleged that the Court of Appeal’s ruling was politically motivated, accusing the judges of noting events irrelevant to the case.
PKR vice-president N. Surendran pointed to the pains the judges took to defend themselves against the accusation of having hurried the judgement.
“They were defending themselves as if they were politicians,” said the Padang Serai MP, after having studied the 85-page judgement.
PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli added that not content with the damage to Anwar’s reputation, the government was still appealing for a harsher sentence despite the victory.
“On normal circumstances it is the losing party that appeals but because this is Anwar they are after, the government is appealing,” he said.
Anwar was sentenced to a five-year jail term last month after the Court of Appeal overturned his second sodomy acquittal, ruling that the High Court judge erred in rejecting DNA evidence adduced.
On January 9, 2012, Anwar was acquitted of allegedly sodomising Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan at the Desa Damansara condominium on June 26, 2008.
The appellate court’s full judgement, which was delivered to Karpal’s law firm last Wednesday, among others, questioned Anwar’s decision to give his statement from the dock, which the bench found to be nothing more than a bare denial.
The bench led by Datuk Balia Yusof Wahi and assisted by Datuk Aziah Ali and Datuk Mohd Zawawi Salleh stated that Anwar’s statement of defence should have provided evidence with which to deflect the allegations made against him.
- See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/on-borrowed-time-anwar-struggles-with-karpals-replacement#sthash.gBnW31rj.dpuf
Model dan pelaksanaan hudud yang bakal diguna pakai oleh kerajaan negeri Kelantan perlu difahami terlebih dahulu sebelum Pakatan Rakyat (PR) mengambil keputusan bersama untuk mempersetujuinya, kata Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Ketua pembangkang itu berkata, kerajaan perlu membincangkan beberapa perkara asas dalam Islam terlebih dahulu seperti masalah ajaran sesat dan anti hadis sebelum membawa hudud ke satu peringkat yang lebih serius.
“Kita sebagai orang Islam, kita tidak boleh pertikai undang-undang Al-Quran. Saya bukan Mahathir. Kita kena terima. Hal ini harus difaham. Kalau tunggu fatwa, semua fatwa kena pada kita.
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad pada Jumaat menyelar tindakan pihak berkuasa agama menangkap dan membicarakan Kassim kerana tindakan tersebut mencalarkan identiti Malaysia sebagai negara Islam sederhana.
Bekas perdana menteri itu berkata, dalam keadaan Kassim yang bertongkat dan tidak sihat, pegawai agama Islam dan dibantu polis tergamak menahan aktivis berusia 80 tahun itu.
“Saya sedih. Saya sedih kerana Kassim umur 80 tahun, bertongkat dan sakit ditangkap dan akan dibicara. Kenapa Kassim? Kenapa tidak orang lain? Yang menghina agama Islam di Malaysia ramai,” tulisnya dalam artikel di blognya chedet.cc.
Anwar berkata, hudud hanya dapat dilaksanakan sekiranya pembaharuan dilakukan terhadap jabatan agama Islam dan kaedah penguatkuasaan.
Katanya, hudud perlu dilaksanakan secara telus menepati kehendak ajaran Islam sebenar dan tidak memberi kepentingan politik kepada pihak tertentu.
“Kalau dilaksana digunakan undang-undang, curi RM500 juta dari Tan Sri naik Tun. Kamu curi motor, tangan dipotong. Dalam Islam bukan begitu.
“Semua perubahan baru kita kena bincang undang-undang itu macam mana. Saya saman Saiful, empat tahun Mahkamah Syariah tak sidang pun,” katanya merujuk kepada bekas pembantunya Saiful Bukhari Azlan.
Anwar yang baru tiba selepas memberi penghormatan terakhir kepada mendiang Karpal Singh di Pulau Pinang berkata, pelaksanaan hudud di Kelantan akan diteliti dan Menteri Besar Kelantan, Datuk Ahmad Yakob akan memberikan penjelasan.
“Itu yang kita jemput menteri besar Kelantan untuk datang dalam mesyuarat kita mencari muafakat supaya (hudud) tidak digunakan untuk menekan sesiapa dan menjamin undang-undang itu difahami,” katanya.
Berhubung isu kehilangan pesawat Malaysia Airlines (MAS) MH370, Anwar mempertikaikan senarai kargo pesawat itu yang masih belum disiarkan kepada umum.
Katanya, ekoran daripada sikap kerajaan yang enggan memberikan lebih maklumat mengenai pesawat itu, Malaysia terus mendapat kecaman serata dunia.
“Mengapa cuba tutup maklumat itu? Apa barang yang dibawa? Saya tanya mana dia senarai kargo? Setiap kali ada penerbangan dikomputerkan. Bila tanya, sampai hari ini tak dapat jawab.
“Sekarang saya tuduh, kamu sengaja menyembunyikan bukti. Ada bukti, kamu padamkan. Dia kata ada manggis 4 tan tetapi tiada musim. Di Thailand pun bukan musim manggis,” katanya yang berpakaian serba hitam malam tadi.
Hujung bulan lalu, Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif MAS Ahmad Jauhari Yahya mengesahkan selain empat tan manggis yang dibawa di dalam pesawat itu, ia turut memuatkan bateri lithium-ion.
Katanya, bateri lithium-ion pada asasnya bukan barangan berbahaya tetapi ia diisytiharkan sebagai bahan berbahaya di bawah ICAO.
“Kami bawa beberapa bateri kecil lithium-ion, ia bukan bateri yang besar dan ia pada dasarnya diluluskan di bawah Pertubuhan Penerbangan Awam Antarabangsa (ICAO) di bawah barangan berbahaya,” katanya.
Day 2 of us in Abu Dhabi!
Woke up early to have breakfast at the coffee house in the hotel.
Everyone was excited to meet everyone and also was anticipating the activities for the day as we were going to be at the Nokia World keynote.
The asian tech bloggers. Jordan, India, The Philippines and Malaysia.
After breakfast, everyone gathered at the lobby to wait for the bus.
Myriam, who was the chief editor of Engadget, brought along her Google Glass so we got to try it.
After a long journey, we arrived at the Nokia World venue
Everyone was rushing to the auditorium hoping to get front row seats.
MORE NEXT!dtsv.dtse_post_7258_permalink = 'http://www.smashpop.net/breakfast-google-glass-the-nokia-keynote'; dtsv.dtse_post_7258_title = 'Breakfast, Google Glass & The Nokia Keynote';
KCLau is the best selling author of Top Money Tips for Malaysians. His popular personal finance blog is one of the most visited websites in the financial blogosphere with more than 14,000 email subscribers. He also hosts regular and free financial training online featuring different financial experts. You can follow his latest updates by visiting www.KCLau.com.
Isn’t it great to make money online and have all the freedom and mobility to enjoy your life? At least this is the dream every online marketing guru is selling to newbies.
In fact, it is definitely possible to make money entirely online. I’ve been doing it for several years. I believe anybody can. It is just that some people give up too early. Some just think that they lack the talent to make it.
Well, one thing for sure is that nothing is “easy” if you want to build a long term online business that’s going to provide you 5-figure monthly income consistently. Hard work, persistence, never-quit-mindset is a must.
After years of getting involved in online marketing, here are some ways to make money online, especially if you want to make your first dollar now.
Nothing beats this. You can make your first dollar online immediately if you can take up some jobs that can be delivered online. There are a lot of sites to start with. Try odesk.com, freelancer.com and many other sites that provide the similar service – letting freelancer to bid for jobs.
The pay might not make you a wealthy person. But it does let you work remotely, and make extra income. As long as you are computer-literate and have certain skills, you can bid for jobs ranging from article-writing, graphic design, to software programming.
The best part is that you are being paid to improve your skills that are needed to make your own online business a success.
The largest online shopping site that pays for referrals is Amazon.com. Even when you are not living in USA, you can still refer shoppers to purchase on Amazon and get paid a referral fee.
I did that by having a list of US based email subscribers. Or you can build your list on Facebook fan page. As long as you have a list, it is easy to send an affiliate link for your subscribers to buy the relevant products.
Although we don’t have an “Amazon.my” yet, we have other sites that are targetting Malaysian shoppers. You can try Lazada.com.my affiliate program. It is just as easy as sharing some affiliate links on your Facebook status. Any purchase made through your link will grant you a commission.
I did a lot of content publishing with Squidoo.com years ago. Squidoo is a content publishing site which allowed their members, called Lensmaster to create web pages (known as Lenses).
The beauty of it is that you don’t have to learn any html language. They have the templates for you to start with. Inserting a link or image, embedding a video, and creating a full page of content is as easy as “point, click and drag”.
One of the lucky lense I made many years ago had produced more than US$500 income for me up to date.
Fiverr is a very popular site nowadays, offering every gig for only five US dollars. As a gig provider, you can post whatever thing you can do for gig purchasers.
As a purchaser, I’ve ordered logo designs and also some very creative photographs made. One of it is a real photo of my website URL at The Great Pyramid of Giza. I also have another real picture of a pretty lady showing off my company hand-drawn logo.
Be creative. If you can come up with some useful service, I am sure there will be someone out there ordering your gig, for $5.
It doesn’t have to be hard or technically-taxing at all to have a blog set up. The easiest way is to register a blog at www.blogger.com, which is own by Google. In fact, Google encourage that so they can have more “online real estate” to put up their customers’ advertisement.
This is where AdSense program comes in. You can easily sign up an AdSense account and put the code on your blog. Some random visitors visit your blog and click on the ads, you’ll get paid.
I don’t focus on AdSense site, yet I’m getting a few thousand ringgit every year paid via Western Union. You can definitely do this too.
There are many ways to do that. If you are already selling something on a retail space, it makes it even easier for you, since you don’t have to source for products.
The largest hosting company in Malaysia, Exabytes provide a service on Easy.my where you can set up your shop in minutes. The service include a full blown system for you to list your product, calculate shipping costs, managing your customers, and taking payment too.
I first involved in eBay, online auction site back in 2001 in the US. I relocated there with my wife for more than a year. One easy way for me to make money at that time is to sell the Japanese VCD I brought there. After finish watching a series, it will be sold on eBay. I never failed to get a buyer though, during that period.
Sometimes, I also get cheap products by bidding smartly, and later sold it back on the market with a higher price.
Back to Malaysia, now you have eBay, Lelong, Mudah….and many other websites that I just can’t list down all of it here. Find some stuff that you no longer need. Sell it online on these sites and make your first dollar!
I’ve made money on the music clips I listed on sites like AudioMicro.com and Audiojungle.com. These are marketplaces that let composers to put up their royalty-free music clips. Buyers who need music clips for their video production or some other products, purchase audio loops and music clips on these sites. I then get paid for the music clips sold, in the form of royalties.
It is also the similar arrangement for photo. iStockPhoto is one of such marketplace. If you are good with photography, why not give this a try?
This is a recent trend. Crowdfunding allow project owner to get funding from a diverse group of investors. Many documentary producers post their project on sites like Kickstarter and ask for the public funding.
When you get the fund to move your project forward, you only pay back the investor with your final products or collectible items. Crowdfunding is especially popular for those who want to publish books, comics, music album, video documentary, and some niche or futuristic products.
If you’ve got some brilliant ideas, by doing crowdfunding, you might be able to secure your first group of customers even before your product is completed.
Above are nine easy ways to make your first dollar online. So what are you waiting for? Just do it!
Guests: Eng Kok Tiong, Bang Kuang, Jagung, Bo Miaⁿ, Karipap, Lesen, Hau Tiauⁿ A Long, Seng Kak, Si Tseng Lau, Namsai, Tau Ge·, Iau Bin, A Ge, A Tsiu, San Tsa Piaⁿ, Ang Mo· Kio.
We share our experience with trishaws, taxi, and illegal private taxi (sapu teksi). From funny to scary, you cannot miss!
While doing my recently concluded Lombok travelogue, i realized that I did not do a write up on my Penang trip back in December. Well, here goes, before I forget all the small little details.
It all began when I was planning a surprise Christmas holiday for the missus. At first i was thinking somewhere nearby, possibly Serendah or Janda Baik. But the hotel situation didn’t favour me, due to the super peak season during Christmas. I was discussing this with my colleague, and she said why not go Penang? Penang! Yes, why not? I got the hotel recommendations from Boone, and managed to get a cheap rate at short notice. And I was set.
Here’s a little bit about me and Penang. While it is obviously Peninsular Malaysia’s top tourist destination, i have only been there, well let’s see, 4 times?
My parent took me there when i was 5 years old. My only recollection of that trip were from a photo they took of me and my siblings standing in front of the old funicular train going up Penang Hill. My mom always reminded me that i was sick on that trip.
The second time i went was in the mid 90′s, with Boone and Peter for a treasure hunt. We spent most of the time in the hotel and one dinner in Gurney Drive, didn’t get to see Penang at all.
The third time was a short trip a few years later when Alyssa was small, but with her being a toddler we didn’t go out much either. But i remember going up Penang Hill and staying at The Gurney. And the last time was with the cell group back in 2007. But being in a huge group meant we didn’t go around much either.
So basically, I have never done the full touristy stuff, so this trip was the best opportunity to do it all.
On Christmas morning, i surprised the wife with the news. And the bigger surprise was… We are going TOMORROW!
Anyway compared to our other trips, this was a cinch to prepare for, with not much packing. We set off early on Boxing Day, stopping in the post office in Batu Gajah to renew WY’s driver’s licence. We set off before office opening hours, and this particular office was en route and rural enough to be deserted. Second stop was in the famous Foh San for authentic dim sum, it was packed with tourists as expected.
No more pitstops, and we reached the ferry terminal. Taking the bridge would have been faster, but this was more for nostalgia. Even with relatively few cars, it was a long wait.
And then we are on the island! First impression was that traffic was good! My previous trips here left me with the memory of jams and reckless motorbikes.
This trip, we had Waze so navigating the city was so easy especially with the newly implemented one way traffic. We headed straight for Royal Hotel.
The place was alright, a little run down, shaky wifi but the location was perfect.
View from our room.
Nice mansion turned into KFC. Stop the madness.
After my first lunch of char kuey teow in Georgetown, we decided to walk to E&O Hotel, taking pictures along the way.
The Han Jiang Ancestral Temple was really impressive, I was glad to see it renovated into world class tourist level, with the signs and displays.
More sights as we walked on.
Next was Khoo Kongsi, but it was closed when we got there.
The camera museum looked interesting but there was a steep entrance fee.
Now THIS is my kind of shop.
The interesting looking Jap restaurant opposite the Khoo kongsi.
We dropped by this place to look around plus iced coffee. Bit of a tourist trap, really.
Made it to E & O Hotel on the seafront. I’ve read about the rich Armenian history, the food at Sarkies and high tea, but we were here just for photos. I suppose back in the colonial times this was grand, but now it looks small compared to modern hotels and pushed to the edge by development. But it is a beautiful hotel, nonetheless.
We walked all the way back to the hotel for a swim. The pool is Royal Hotel is quite small. They should really refurbish this place.
We didn’t plan for anything for dinner, so I googled some food blogs for recommendations. One of them mentioned this place for tai chow in Pulau Tikus, so we drove all the way. Unfortunately, it was closed, so on the recommendation of some locals, we drove up near the flats to find a coffeeshop. We found one to have some char kuey teow, but it was kinda disappointing. The old cook thought a good idea to have sotong in his char kuey teow.
Not satisfied, we drove back to Gurney Drive for supper. I know people say its commercialized and all, but at least I knew we’d find good food here.
We were not disappointed.
Next – Georgetown Heritage Trail.
Cover image for May 2014 issue of Japanese Popeye Magazine [Jp] which I find amusing. Not sure how to explain it, everything seems to click in this photo.
UCAPAN SEMPENA MAJLIS PENGHORMATAN NEGERI BAGI MENDIANG KARPAL SINGH A/L RAM SINGH PADA 20 APRIL 2014 (AHAD), DI DEWAN SRI PULAU PINANG
Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang dan seluruh rakyat Negeri Pulau Pinang dengan penuh takzim menzahirkan rasa dukacita dan menyampaikan ucapan takziah kepada YBhg. Puan Gurmit Kaur dan keluarga atas pemergian mendiang YB Karpal Singh pada 17 April 2014 yang lalu.
Mendiang Karpal adalah Ahli Parlimen Bukit Gelugor dan Jelutong selama lapan (8) penggal serta pernah menjadi Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri di Kedah dan Pulau Pinang untuk empat (4) penggal, bermula pada tahun 1974.
Karpal amat terkenal dengan ngaumannya yang garang dalam menegakkan keadilan dan memperjuangkan nasib golongan yang kurang berkemampuan sehingga ada kalanya sanggup mengorbankan dirinya untuk orang lain. Keunikan dan karismatik yang dimiliki oleh beliau, sukar dicari ganti dan kami akan menjadikannya sebagai inspirasi.
Pemergian beliau walaupun sukar untuk diterima dan meninggalkan titik pedih dalam hati kita semua, tetapi jasa dan bakti beliau akan kekal terpahat di sanubari kita semua.
Buat keluarga mendiang Karpal, takziah diucapkan. Kerajaan Negeri dan rakyat Negeri Pulau Pinang turut bersama-sama berkongsi kesedihan anda semua.
Saya ingin ucapkan terima kasih yang tidak terhingga atas kehadiran Tun dan Toh Puan pada pagi yang mulia ini. Penghargaan juga kepada Jawatankuasa Pengkebumian Jenazah di bawah pimpinan Ahli EXCO YB Chow Kon Yeow dan juga daripada pihak pentadbiran di bawah Pegawai Kewangan Negeri Dato Mokhtar bin Jait. Saya ingin minta keizinan Tuan Yang Terutama Tun untuk benarkan saya teruskan ucapan dalam Bahasa Inggeris.
State Eulogy By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng During The Public Funeral Conducted By The Penang State Government For Karpal Singh At Dewan Sri Pinang On 10.15 am 20.4.2017.
Mourn Karpal Singh, But Honour Him By Celebrating His Accomplishments And Realising His Aspirations Of Justice, Integrity and Freedom.
We mourn the untimely and unexpected passing of DAP National Chairman and Member of Parliament for Bukit Gelugor, Sdr Karpal Singh. Sdr Karpal is a 8-term Member of Parliament of Bukit Gelugor and Jelutong, as well as a 3 term state assemblyman in Penang, first elected in 1978.
For 40-years, Sdr Karpal dedicated his life to the legal profession, fighting for justice, upholding our constitutional rights of freedom and human rights. His landmark cases are textbook references for lawyers.
A devoted father and husband to his wife Gurmit, both of them brought up 5 children who are all successful practicing lawyers except for the youngest who is an accountant. The eldest Jagdeep is presently a Penang State EXCO member whilst the second eldest Gobind is a Member of Parliament for Puchong.
With his life suddenly cut short at 74 years following a tragic accident on 17 April 2014, Penang has lost an upstanding and outstanding leader and lawyer. The rakyat lost a fearless “tiger” with an indomitable spirit who stood up for the poor, weak, defenceless and dispossesed.
But it his fighting spirit that stands out. You can detain Karpal physically but you can never detain his spirit. I saw this myself whilst we were both detained without trial under the now repealed Internal Security Act (ISA) in 1988 in Kamunting Detention Camp. He suffered from severe spinal back pains but refused to yield.
This refusal to yield was evident after Karpal suffered an unfortunate accident in 2005 which paralysed him waist-down. Not only did he overcome this paralysis but he continued his brilliant legal and political career. Sdr Karpal became the first disabled person in Malaysia to be elected twice to Parliament, both times with huge majorities.
In seeking both rule of law and a better Malaysia, Sdr Karpal practiced what he preached – refusing to charge for cases of gross injustices whether the famous VIPs like Parliamentary Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Sdr Lim Kit Siang or the poor Malay, Indian or Chinese.
His departure will leave an immense void not only in his family’s lives, but also in those of all Malaysians whose lives have been inspired by his principled cause.
To Sdr Karpal’s family, we share your grief in this time of bereavement with deepest sympathies and condolences. Thomas Jefferson said that when the government fears the people, there is liberty; when the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Throughout his life, Karpal showed us how not to fear the government.
Let us therefore mourn Karpal Singh, but at the same time honour him by celebrating his accomplishments and realising his aspirations of justice, integrity and freedom. Thank you Karpal – Rest In Peace.
LIM GUAN ENG
—–BM Version —-
Ucapan Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang Lim Guan Eng semasa Pengebumian Awam yang dikendalikan oleh Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang untuk Karpal Singh di Dewan Sri Pinan pada 10.15 pagi 20.4.2014
Berkabunglah untuk Karpal Singh, tetapi berilah penghormatan kepada beliau dengan meraikan segala pencapaiannya serta merealisasikan aspirasinya untuk keadilan, integriti dan kebebasan.
Kita berkabung atas pemergian Pengerusi Kebangsaan DAP dan Ahli Parlimen Bukit Gelugor, Sdr Karpal Singh, yang telah meninggalkan kita secara tidak dijangka dan sebelum masanya. Sdr Karpal adalah Ahli Parlimen 8 penggal bagi kawasan Bukit Gelugor dan Jelutong, serta Adun 3 penggal di Pulau Pinang, yang dipilih buat kali pertama pada tahun 1978.
Selama 40 tahun, Sdr Karpal mendedikasi hidupnya kepada profesion undang-undang, berjuang untuk keadilan, mendukung hak asasi dan kebebasan yang terkandung dalam Perlembagaan. Kes-kes penting beliau kini menjadi rujukan untuk para peguam.
Seorang ayah dan suami yang setia kepada isterinya Gurmit, mereka telah membesarkan 5 anak yang kesemuanya menjadi peguam yang berjaya kecuali anak bongsu yang menjadi akauntan. Anak sulung, Jagdeep, kini berkhidmat sebagai Ahli EXCO Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang sementara anak kedua Gobind merupakan Ahli Parlimen Puchong.
Dengan pemergian beliau sebelum waktunya pasa usia 74 tahun akibat kemalangan tragik pada 17 April 2014, Pulau Pinang telah kehilangan seorang pemimpin dan peguam yang terhormat dan terunggul. Rakyat telah kehilangan seorang “harimau” yang berani dan mempunyai semangat waja yang membela mereka yang miskin, lemah, tidak mampu mempertahankan diri dan ditindas.
Namun semangat perjuangannya paling menonjol. Meskipun Karpal ditahan secara fizikal, semangatnya tidak boleh ditahan. Saya telah menyaksikan ketabahannya dengan mata sendiri apabila kami ditahan tanpa bicara di bawah undang-undang yang sudah dimansuhkan iaitu Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA) pada tahun 1988 di Kem Tahanan Kamunting. Beliau mengalami kesengsaraan akibat kesakitan perit di tulang belakang tetapi tidak pernah menyerah kalah.
Keengganan beliau untuk mengalah lebih jelas apabila Karpal mengalami kemalangan pada tahun 2005 yang menyebabkan beliau menjadi lumpuh di bawah pinggang. Beliau bukan sahaja mengatasi kelumpuhan ini tetapi beliau berjaya meneruskan kerjaya politik dan undang-undangnya. Sdr Karpal adalah OKU pertama di Malaysia untuk dipilih dua kali ke Parlimen, kedua-duanya dengan majoriti besar.
Dalam usahanya untuk mencapai kedaulatan undang-undang dan Malaysia yang lebih baik, Sdr Karpal mengamalkan apa yang dikatakan – dengan tidak mengambil bayaran untuk kes-kes ketidakadilan sama ada melibatkan VIP seperti Ketua Pembangkang Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim dan Sdr Lim Kit Siang, ataupun Melayu, India dan Cina yang tua.
Pemergian beliau akan meninggalkan kekosongan bukan sahaja dalam kehidupan keluarganya, tetapi juga kepada semua rakyat Malaysia, khususnya mereka yang mendapat inspirasi daripada perjuangan yang berteraskan prinsip.
Kepada keluarga Sdr Karpal, kami berkongsi kesedihan pada waktu perkabungan ini dengan perasaan penuh simpati dan takziah. Thomas Jefferson pernah berkata bahawa apabila kerajaan takut kepada rakyat, namanya kebebasan; apabila rakyat takut kepada kerajaan, namanya kezaliman. Sepanjang hayatnya, Karpal mengajar kita supaya tidak takut kepada kerajaan.
Marilah kita berkabung untuk Karpal Singh, tetapi pada masa yang sama menghormatinya dengan meraikan semua pencapaiannya serta merealisasikan aspirasinya untuk keadilan, integriti dan kebebasan. Terima kasih Karpal – Moga disemadi dengan aman.
—–Mandarin Version —-
KARPAL SINGH, who died in a car accident in the early hours of April 17th at the age of 74, was a rarity in the venomous world of Malaysian politics: a man respected by many of his opponents as well as those on his own side.
That side, for all of a long career in politics, was the opposition to Malaysia’s ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, which has held power ever since independence in 1957. Yet on Facebook and on Twitter condolences to his family have poured in from across the political spectrum, including from the prime minister, Najib Razak, who paid tribute to a “formidable opponent”. Known as “the Tiger of Jelutong” after the constituency on the island of Penang he long represented, Mr Karpal was indeed formidable.
Anwar Ibrahim, leader of an opposition coalition, of which Mr Karpal’s Democratic Action Party (DAP) forms part, mourned the passing of “my brother-in-arms for freedom and democracy, an inspiring symbol for the struggle against oppression and injustice and a man of unimpeachable moral integrity.”
For most of Mr Karpal’s political career, opposition politics has been a mug’s game, offering virtually no chance of winning power, and endless trouble, from petty harassment to, in Mr Karpal’s case, imprisonment.
He was one of 106 critics of the BN government who were locked up in 1987 under Malaysia’s Internal Security Act by the government of Mahathir Mohamad, a long-serving prime minister. The act itself was repealed in 2012. Mr Karpal also campaigned long and hard against the death penalty in Malaysia, which still remains on the books.
But Mr Karpal was no mug. He was recognised as a fine lawyer, even if he often found himself on the losing side. In one of his recent defeats, in March, an acquittal that had been won for his client, Mr Anwar, was overturned; a charge of sodomy was reinstated against him. Mr Anwar was sentenced to five years in jail, though he is appealing against the verdict.
A few days later Mr Karpal himself was found guilty—of sedition. Mr Karpal escaped with a fine rather than a jail term, but the conviction caused outrage. His crime was a remark he made during a press conference in 2009, when he merely expressed his legal opinion on a political dispute in Perak, one of the states in the Malaysian federation.
The conviction meant Mr Karpal had to give up his chairmanship of the DAP, the ethnic-Chinese-dominated party that led the charge for the opposition in last year’s election. Their coalition actually won the popular vote. Gerrymandered constituencies mean it has something far short of a parliamentary majority, but death has taken Mr Karpal at a time when prospects for the Malaysian opposition look better than ever before in his long career.
It will be tested, however, by the loss of Mr Karpal, and perhaps of Mr Anwar, too, if he is again removed from the political fray and put behind bars.
Mr Karpal’s popularity was due to more than his tigerish courage and tenacity. His dignity, modesty, humour and courtesy, all played their parts. A BBC radio interview in 2011 demonstrated also the remarkable lack of rancour with which he accepted his life’s many travails—including an earlier road accident, in 2005, that left him in a wheelchair.
It was also a reminder that, though his death has been greeted with respect and regret (some nasty political jibes notwithstanding), that is not how Malaysia’s opposition politicians are treated when alive. Mr Karpal had described taunts about his disability and even death threats, in the form of bullets sent in the post. All this he dismissed as “professional hazards”. Many people, he said, wanted him dead. “I tell them ‘You have to join the queue’.”
Five weeks into the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, more than $30 million has been spent scouring great swatches of the southern Indian Ocean. Yet searchers have still not found a single piece of physical evidence such as wreckage or human remains. Last week, Australian authorities said they were confident that a series of acoustic pings detected 1,000 miles northwest of Perth had come from the aircraft’s black boxes, and that wreckage would soon be found. But repeated searches by a robotic submarine have so far failed to find the source of the pings, which experts say could have come from marine animals or even from the searching ships themselves. Prime Minister Tony Abbott admitted that if wreckage wasn’t located within a week or two “we stop, we regroup, we reconsider.”
There remains only one publically available piece of evidence linking the plane to the southern Indian Ocean: a report issued by the Malaysian government on March 25 that described a new analysis carried out by the U.K.-based satellite operator Inmarsat. The report said that Inmarsat had developed an “innovative technique” to establish that the plane had most likely taken a southerly heading after vanishing. Yet independent experts who have analyzed the report say that it is riddled with inconsistencies and that the data it presents to justify its conclusion appears to have been fudged.
Some background: For the first few days after MH370 disappeared, no one had any idea what might have happened to the plane after it left Malaysian radar coverage around 2:30 a.m., local time, on March 8, 2014. Then, a week later, Inmarsat reported that its engineers had noticed that in the hours after the plane’s disappearance, the plane had continued to exchange data-less electronic handshakes, or “pings,” with a geostationary satellite over the Indian Ocean. In all, a total of eight pings were exchanged.
Each ping conveyed only a tiny amount of data: the time it was received, the distance the airplane was from the satellite at that instant, and the relative velocity between the airplane and the satellite. Taken together, these tiny pieces of information made it possible to narrow down the range of possible routes that the plane might have taken. If the plane was presumed to have traveled to the south at a steady 450 knots, for instance, then Inmarsat could trace a curving route that wound up deep in the Indian Ocean southwest of Perth, Australia. Accordingly, ships and planes began to scour that part of the ocean, and when satellite imagery revealed a scattering of debris in the area, the Australian prime minister declared in front of parliament that it represented “new and credible information” about the fate of the airplane.
The problem with this kind of analysis is that, taken by themselves, the ping data are ambiguous. Given a presumed starting point, any reconstructed route could have headed off in either direction. A plane following the speed and heading to arrive at the southern search area could have also headed to the north and wound up in Kazakhstan. Why, then, were investigators scouring the south and not the north?
The March 25 report stated that Inmarsat had used a new kind of mathematical analysis to rule out a northern route. Without being very precise in its description, it implied that the analysis might have depended on a small but telling wobble of the Inmarsat satellite’s orbit. Accompanying the written report was an appendix, called Annex I, that consisted of three diagrams, the second of which was titled “MH370 measured data against predicted tracks” and appeared to sum up the case against the northern route in one compelling image. One line on the graph showed the predicted Doppler shift for a plane traveling along a northern route; another line showed the predicted Doppler shift for a plane flying along a southern route. A third line, showing the actual data received by Inmarsat, matched the southern route almost perfectly, and looked markedly different from the northern route. Case closed.
The report did not explicitly enumerate the three data points for each ping, but around the world, enthusiasts from a variety of disciplines threw themselves into reverse-engineering that original data out of the charts and diagrams in the report. With this information in hand, they believed, it would be possible to construct any number of possible routes and check the assertion that the plane must have flown to the south.
Unfortunately, it soon became clear that Inmarsat had presented its data in a way that made this goal impossible: “There simply isn’t enough information in the report to reconstruct the original data,” says Scott Morgan, the former commander of the US Air Force Rescue Coordination Center. “We don’t know what their assumptions are going into this.”
Another expert who tried to understand Inmarsat’s report was Mike Exner, CEO of the remote sensing company Radiometrics Inc. He mathematically processed the “Burst Frequency Offset” values on Page 2 of Annex 1 and was able to derive figures for relative velocity between the aircraft and the satellite. He found, however, that no matter how he tried, he could not get his values to match those implied by the possible routes shown on Page 3 of the annex. “They look like cartoons to me,” says Exner.
Even more significantly, I haven’t found anybody who has independently analyzed the Inmarsat report and has been able to figure out what kind of northern route could yield the values shown on Page 2 of the annex. According to the March 25 report, Inmarsat teased out the small differences predicted to exist between the Doppler shift values between the northern and southern routes. This difference, presumably caused by the slight wobble in the satellite’s orbit that I mentioned above, should be tiny—according to Exner’s analysis, no more than a few percent of the total velocity value. And yet Page 2 of the annex shows a radically different set of values between the northern and southern routes. “Neither the northern or southern predicted routes make any sense,” says Exner.
Given the discrepancies and inaccuracies, it has proven impossible for independent observers to validate Inmarsat’s assertion that it can rule out a northern route for the airplane. “It’s really impossible to reproduce what the Inmarsat folks claim,” says Hans Kruse, a professor of telecommunications systems at Ohio University.
This is not to say that Inmarsat’s conclusions are necessarily incorrect. (In the past I have made the case that the northern route might be possible, but I’m not trying to beat that drum here.) Its engineers are widely regarded as top-drawer, paragons of meticulousness in an industry that is obsessive about attention to detail. But their work has been presented to the public by authorities whose inconsistency and lack of transparency have time and again undermined public confidence. It’s worrying that the report appears to have been composed in such a way as to make it impossible for anyone to independently assess its validity—especially given that its ostensible purpose was to explain to the world Inmarsat’s momentous conclusions. What frustrated, grieving family members need from the authorities is clarity and trustworthiness, not a smokescreen.
Inmarsat has not replied to my request for a clarification of their methods. This week, the Wall Street Journal reported that in recent days experts had “recalibrated data” in part by using “arcane new calculations reflecting changes in the operating temperatures of an Inmarsat satellite as well as the communications equipment aboard the Boeing when the two systems exchanged so-called digital handshakes.” But again, not enough information has been provided for the public to assess the validity of these methods.
It would be nice if Inmarsat would throw open its spreadsheets and help resolve the issue right now, but that could be too much to expect. Inmarsat may be bound by confidentiality agreements with its customers, not to mention U.S. laws that restrict the release of information about sensitive technologies. The Malaysian authorities, however, can release what they want to—and they seem to be shifting their stance toward openness. After long resisting pressure to release the air traffic control transcript, they eventually relented. Now acting transport minister Hishammuddin Hussein says that if and when the black boxes are found, their data will be released to the public.
With the search for surface debris winding down, the mystery of MH370 is looking more impenetrable by the moment. If the effort to find the plane using an underwater robot comes up empty, then there should be a long and sustained call for the Malaysian authorities to reveal their data and explain exactly how they came to their conclusions.
Because at that point, it will be all we’ve got.
Court of Appeal’s Fitnah 2 written judgement is flawed, defensive and insupportable
I refer to the written judgement dated 11 April of the Court of Appeal in the Fitnah 2 case, which criticises Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s decision to give a statement from the dock, accepts Saiful’s evidence and claims that Anwar’s defence was not credible. The judgement is insupportable in law and fact, and fundamentally flawed from beginning to end.
Unprecedentedly, the judges go out of the ambit of the case before them by saying that ‘ it would be stretching it too far to say that this appeal has been disposed of in haste’. This appears to be a defensive response to widespread public criticism, including a censure motion brought in the Dewan Rakyat against the three judges. It is highly inappropriate for the judges to respond to criticism of their conduct in such a manner. The judgement in a criminal case must deal with the facts and law of the case, and not extraneous matters. Otherwise it raises questions about the Judges’ impartiality and objectivity; justice must not only be done, but must be seen to be done.
The judges drew legally untenable conclusions based upon Anwar’s decision to give an unsworn statement from the dock. They ‘ wonder why ‘ Anwar chose to make an unsworn statement, and suggest sinister motives. In fact, under the criminal law it is the hallowed right of the accused person to make an unsworn statement from the dock. Mandela did so when he was on trial for his life in the 1963 Rivonia case. Anwar did so in the Fitnah 2 trial, and thus put on trial the unjust legal and political system which had brought him to the dock. The Court of Appeal judgement has departed from all legal precedents by criticising Anwar for giving a statement from the dock.
The judgement says there is ‘nothing impropable about Saiful’s evidence’. How do these three judges reach such a conclusion when it is undisputed that Saiful met with Anwar’s political enemy, Prime Minister Najib, just 2 days before the alleged incident? Why did he also meet with top police officer SAC Rodwan, who was involved in the first sodomy case? How is that Saiful claims to have been sodomized several times whereas the GH medical report finds no such physical evidence? Why is it Saiful did not get away after the alleged incident although he had plenty of opportunity to do so?
Crucially, although the investigating officer Jude Pereira had cut open the sample bag P27, the judges say this does not ‘ amount to tampering of the exhibits’. This conclusion is against all legal principles governing the chain of evidence, and against all common sense.
In short, this is not a credible judgement; it disregards crucial facts and goes against accepted principles of law. This judgement purports to convict Anwar, but in fact it strengthens the general public conviction that Anwar Ibrahim is a victim of political persecution and a grave miscarriage of justice.
MP PADANG SERAI
18 April 2014
He dug so deeply into her sentiments that in search of interest he found love, because by trying to make her love him he ended up falling in love with her. Petra Cotes, for her part, loved him more and more as she felt his love increasing, and that was how in the ripeness of autumn she began to believe once more in the youthful superstition that poverty was the servitude of love. Both looked back then on the wild revelry, the gaudy wealth, and the unbridled fornication as an annoyance and they lamented that it had cost them so much of their lives to find the paradise of shared solitude. Madly in love after so many years of sterile complicity, they enjoyed the miracle of living each other as much at the table as in bed, and they grew to be so happy that even when they were two worn-out people they kept on blooming like little children and playing together like dogs.
To him she seemed so beautiful, so seductive, so different from ordinary people, that he could not understand why no one was as disturbed as he by the clicking of her heels on the paving stones, why no one else's heart was wild with the breeze stirred by the sighs of her veils, why everyone did not go mad with the movements of her braid, the flight of her hands, the gold of her laughter. He had not missed a single one of her gestures, not one of the indications of her character, but he did not dare approach her for fear of destroying the spell.
The Captain looked at Fermina Daza and saw on her eyelashes the first glimmer of wintry frost. Then he looked at Florentino Ariza, his invincible power, his intrepid love, and he was overwhelmed by the belated suspicion that it is life, more than death, that has no limits.
"And how long do you think we can keep up this goddamn coming and going?" he asked.
Florentino Ariza had kept his answer ready for fifty-three years, seven months, and eleven days and night.
"Forever," he said.
Personal Eulogy To Karpal Singh By Penang Chief Minister and DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng In Penang On 18.4.2014.
Karpal Singh – For True Believers
As I sit here at my home in Penang at 4 am in the morning of 17 April 2014, waiting for my driver to come and pick me up to go to Ipoh Hospital, I felt numbed by the shocking news relayed to my wife Betty through my sister Hui Ying an hour earlier. I had gone to bed early as I was unwell and was still groggy when the import of her words sunk in.
DAP National Chairman Karpal, who meant so much to us, was gone. A man filled with such vitality, brilliance and energy was no more. A leader who gave forth so much strength, vision and guidance had left. A true friend in our darkest days whether in the depths of prison cells or the abyss of electoral defeat had departed. A loving father and an even more loving husband had suddenly passed away on the early hours of this terrible rainy 17th April 2014.
As the messages and tweets on the handphone flashed back and forth scattering my thoughts everywhere, I could not find the words to describe my acute sense of loss. DAP leaders are shaken because it was so sudden and unexpected. Karpal left before his time when he still had so much to contribute.
I will miss hearing the cheer in Karpal’s voice, the optimism that comes from doing the right thing and the fighting spirit no matter highly impossible the odds. But I can still hear Karpal’s voice – undaunted and forthright with a deep sense of humanity.
Karpal was one of those rare voices who spoke his mind, respected by friend and foe alike and completely fearless. Even Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyidin Yassin had personally told Mrs Karpal when he paid his last respects that “politics aside, Karpal was a great man and very bold”. Indeed Karpal was not afraid to offend anyone no matter how high and mighty, how wealthy or powerful if he felt he was right. And he forgave easily those who could not live up to his exacting standards but he never forgot.
He was a lawyer’s lawyer upholding the basic tenet that everyone had a right to a fair trial and counsel. That was why he was more than willing to defend former foes who were victims of injustice. Truly there are no permanent friends nor enemies in politics, only permanent principles.
He reminded me from the time we shared our dormitory in the detention camps in Kamunting in 1987-88 when we were both detained under the Internal Security Act(ISA) or in his visits to my dingy Kajang Prison in 1998-99 when I was serving time under the Sedition Act of the importance of distinguishing the true believers from the unreliable ones.
The true believers were the ones who anchored their beliefs simply in terms of right and wrong. The true believers were incorruptible and fought on even when all was lost because it was the right thing to do. They continued the struggle because they had to as a human being, for simply to live and permit such injustice and corruption, was unacceptable.
He never feared defeat. He told me to lose occasionally is good for you as it puts iron in your soul, where you learn to climb back up quickly. “After all he lost electoral battles, Kit Siang had lost too and both of us are still here”, her reminded me with a twinkle in his eye. He said defeat is merely a test of your mettle to see how quickly you bounce back.
Even when his body failed him after the 2005 traffic accident outside his house in Penang, he refused to bow out. He did not allow his wheelchair bound body to still his voice but focused his brilliant legal mind totally on improving the law and righting wrongs.
We had bonded in Kamunting Detention Camp and the years after as only comrades in adversity could. I learnt from him, was guided by his wisdom and refreshed by his iron will and spirit. We shared the same travails, whether persecuted or prosecuted under the ISA detention without trial or Sedition Act. And indeed it only made us stronger and more determined.
He shared his passion for DAP and his open brotherhood with my father Kit Siang as well as his comradeship with Sdr Dr Chen Man Hin, the late Sdr P.Patto and Dato Chian Heng Kai. His belief and trust in Kit Siang and faith with Sdr Dr Chen was the bedrock which the party pulled itself up and built upon the ashes of defeat.
This trinity of Kit, Karpal and Chen in the DAP would never yield and submit to a corrupt and authoritarian regime. They were all prepared to be broken as men with honour, who preferred to live by dying on their feet rather than survive on bended knees.
I will miss you Karpal. I am honoured to be your associate. Malaysians will miss Karpal too and salutes a towering Malaysian patriot who made every citizen proud of his country and gave hope to the dispossessed, weak, defenceless, poor and voiceless.
Your greatest legacy is not the honours bestowed by leaders or tributes by famous personalities overseas or locally. What moves us are the tears shed by the many ordinary Malaysian who do not know you and whom you never met but yet are touched by the sacrifices you have made.
Rest In Peace – you deserve to after all you have done for the party, nation and people.
—–Mandarin Version —
Yin Wai, Property Investor and Property Coach shared about the prospect of investing in Penang in the video below.
The Department of Statistics of Malaysia says that there are two main economic activities that contribute to Penang’s income. One of these is manufacturing, and the other one are services.
First we look at manufacturing. Penang has always been known as the Silicon Valley of the East. This is because the first Chief Ministers Region, who have brought in what is known as the “Seven Samurai,” one of which being Intel, and they have been here ever since.
What does Penang manufacture? We have always been manufacturing semiconductor chips. Recently, we have also been manufacturing medical devices under our excellent manufacturing standards. We started off by doing, what we call, low-value manufacturing or low-mix at a very high volume. This means that we manufacture a high volume of the same parts.
Manufacturing has once been seen as having the lowest value in the commodity chain. However, for the past 40 years, thanks to government policies and promotional activities, we are getting all these manufacturers to move up on the value chain from manufacturing all the way up to R & D.
At the same time, by having the E & E industry go in to more R & D, we are also also promoting a new area to focus on like the Life Sciences, which is in the purview of the Biotechcorp that was set up in 2005.
Another industry that is really recession-proof is the medical device industry. For the past 30 to 40 years, Penang has been the base of manufacturing excellence. We produce parts that are related to the electronics component of medical devices like those found in a pacemaker as well as producing orthopedic parts. We have become known for precision manufacturing and engineering. That’s why it makes sense for Penang to get in to these areas.
I’ve also been recently talking to some of my friends. We were told that there are resizing in the electronics industry. There have been some lay-offs, but there are some companies are generally expanding and seeing very high revenues. Thanks to the state government for promoting this industry focus area, Penang is actually doing quite well.
Another area that Penang has been promoting is Outsourcing. Here we have Business Process Outsourcing, Shared Service Outsourcing, and IT Outsourcing. Those familiar with Penang in the Bayan Baru area, you’ll see companies like Citi Corp, since it moved here, many kinds of people coming in to the Bayan Baru area.
Not only that, you have the insurance company, Prudential, also has moved in. Recently, we have also seen a lot of demand for rented properties in the area.
And we realize that that AirAsia has actually moved their operation here. It is not the main hub, but operations from overseas like Cambodia, Philippines, and Indonesia has moved to Penang.
It’s actually very exciting. These are just some of the activities going on right now for Penang that you would also see in the news.
Watch the webinar below for more opportunity outlook in Penang.