Archive for March, 2011

No Poco-Poco in Perak, please

While sex video screening of late seems to have gained the acquiescence of the powers-that-be, the Perak Fatwa Committee reportedly has issued a fatwa to ban the Poco-Poco dance in the silver state.

Perhaps for certain people in Perak the dance gyration is too suggestive compared to a climactic tremor.

With a lil’ help from my friends

This number, sung by Joe Cocker, reminds us of what a certain Malaysian businessman revealed in court recently about how government contracts are secured through access to certain senior officials and influential ministers. Isn’t this what is called, in Malaysia’s political parlance, cronyism?

Rare earth in Kuantan

The spectre of rare earth has re-emerged in Malaysia. It was reported that a rare-earth refining plant has been built in Kuantan, Pahang.

Prime Minister Najib Razak assured Malaysians that this plant has the necessary safeguards that would supposedly prevent a repeat of the radioactive waste problem that was associated with a closed plant in Bukit Merah near Ipoh. 

According to a recent New York Times report, the Bukit Merah experience shows that “refining rare earth ore usually leaves thousands of tons of low-level radioactive waste behind”. This explains why this controversial project in Bukit Merah gave rise to a frenzyof protests from the local community and civil society groups of Malaysia some 20 years ago.

Given the radioactive nature of the enterprise, it behoves us concerned Malaysians, particularly the folks living around the Kuantan plant, to reflect upon this matter seriously.

Tearing down the wall, musically

Founder-member of English rock band Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, talks to Al Jazeera’s Riz Khan about his stand on the physical and political wall that separates Israel from Palestine’s West Bank. The activist-musician is very much affected by what he sees as a horrendous injustice imposed on the Palestinians.

More than 30 years ago, Waters wrote the band’s famous album, The Wall. Give it a listen below.

 

I who have nothing

Tunisia’s deposed Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Egypt’s ex-president Hosni Mubarak recently had their fortunes, which were reportedly amassed over the long years of their authoritarian rule, frozen. The kind of assets they had stands in stark contrast with the abject poverty of many of their respective countries’ underclass.

The present situation of these disliked leaders gives a new meaning to this song. Additionally, this may well be their swan song.