Sunday, October 31, 2010

India's rich history & culture in single volume

A good single-volume book which outlines the rich history and culture of India is Anjana Motihar Chandra's India Condensed: 5000 Years of History & Culture (Singapore, Marshall Cavendish, 2007). It is useful for general readers , especially journalists, politicians and diplomats. It should probably be made a compulsory reading material for all and every public servants in multiethnic Malaysia, including those of BTN.

James & family share festive joy of Deepavali

Friday, October 29, 2010

Futurist Toffler as a multidisciplinary thinker

Alvin Toffler is often described as a sociologist, but his masterpieces suggest that he is actually a multi-disciplinary thinker who integrates sociology, psychology and history into a grand framework of futurism. Of course, for Toffler, the history of scientific and also technological changes is economically , politically as well as socially transformative. In his magnum opuses, Toffer also outlines and explores the forms of reactionary resistance to progressive changes on a really global scale. It is Toffler himself who uses the word "reactionary" frequently in his still-very-useful books, like Future Shock, Third Wave and Powershift.

Toffler again offers insights into future world

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Toffler again offers insights into future world

40 years ago, fairly well-known futurist Alvin Toffler released his first masterpiece, Future Shock . Toffler now predicts the global trends for the coming 40 years. Toffler' s ideas are always grounded on facts on earth and made coherent in a dynamic and world-historical paradigm.

Impact of increasingly cheaper overseas trips

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Absolutely, knowledge preserved in good and useful books helps us to understand or comprehend everyday news in greater width and depth. Well -balanced news with facts also contribute to writing of good and useful books that would facilitate better understanding of more news.

Brickfields ready to greet Dr Manmohan Singh

I visited Brickfields just now and found the familiar area is now very colourful. I expect it to be musical as well tomorrow, when India's PM Dr. Manmohan Singh is there to launch a town beautification project.

Brickfields to welcome India PM with facelift

Monday, October 25, 2010

UK's defence cuts & implications on Falklands

Following the "deep" cuts in defence, one of the major concerns that has emerged in Britain is whether Argentina would take advantage of it at what Britain calls Falklands (or what Argentina names Malvinas). One happy observation is that the slash would not damage very much the preparations for the Olympic Games to be held in London in 2012. Also, in spite of the latest phase of Britain' s strategic contraction or shrinkage, English remains a very important, useful and also popular language - and a priceless form of Britain's soft power - in this world.

Unions in UK to stage big protest againsct cuts

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Unions in UK to stage big protest against cuts

Trade unions in Britain are reportedly planning for the " biggest ever" protest against the austerity measures introduced lately by PM David Cameron's government. The economic crisis triggered off by the Fall of the Wall Street has caused massive protests in Greece and France. Europe has a more powerful tradition of union activism than the USA, as the eastern flank of the Atlantic Ocean is historically and culturally more class - conscious than the more religious land on the other side.

An American reflection on defence cut in UK

Saturday, October 23, 2010

USA State Secretary Clinton also to visit M'sia

Besides India's PM Dr. Manmohan Singh, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will also visit Malaysia , among other countries in this region, next week . Both India and the United States have renewed their own countries' foreign policy focus on the Asia -Pacific or East-Asian area.

Brickfield to welcome India's PM with facelift

An American reflection on defence cut in UK

Certainly, the 7.5 % cut in Britain' s defence budget is being reflected upon in the United States , whose economy is also facing pressure as the result of the Fall of the Wall Street 19 years after the Collapse of the Berlin Wall in Germany which led to the end of the Cold War later. The American military is still the most powerful in the world in terms of budgetary allocation, advanced technology and force projectability, although it has to face asymmetrical challenges like the 9/11 attacks as well as the increased and increasing pressures of the conventional capabilities stemming from Russia, Iran, China and also North Korea.

Austerity drive in UK hits monarch & military

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Austerity drive in UK hits monarch & military

The no-nonsense "deep" cut in public spending in the United Kingdom has reportedly hit the monarchy as well as the military , although the drastic reduction of defence expenditure is considered by the United States, which is Britain 's closest ally, to be still alright or acceptable. Earlier, USA's State Secretary Hillary Clinton reportedly "warned" that Britain's defence budget cut may undermine the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) which is facing reassertive Russia and also Iran. The British armed forces are also still fighting alongside the USA -led military coalition against armed Islamists in tumultuous Afghanistan.

Public spending for monarch in Britain frozen

Brickfields to welcome India PM with facelift

The streets in the Brickfield area in Kuala Lumpur have already been decorated with beautiful archs to welcome India 's PM Dr. Manmohan Singh (above) who is a professionally educated economist on his own intellectual merit. Sikhs constitute only about 2% of India's 1.3 billion Hindu-majority population, but India' s constitution is truly inclusive. Also, the president of India Smt Pratibha Devisingh Patil is a woman.

Inclusive generosity of a Punjabi Sikh woman

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Xi Jinping's wife Peng Liyuan a major-general

Peng Liyuan, the 47-year old wife of Xi Jinping, joined the land force of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) at 18 and has risen to the rank of major-general on her own merit. She is affiliated to PLA's General Political Department. Ms. Peng also holds a master's degree in music. She is very well-known in China as a soprano and singer of folksongs.

China's leadership succession process begins

China' s leadership succession process begins

With the official appointment of Xi Jinping , whose wife Peng Liyuan is the leading soprano and well-known folksong singer in China , as a Vice Chairman of the very powerful Central Military Commission, the succession process at China' s topmost level of leadership has begun. In other words, the "leading core" is now moving from the Hu Jintao's fourth to Xi Jinping's fifth generation after that of Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin. All political appointments in China are now limited to two 5-year terms to ensure that the polity is system-based rather than personality- focused as in the last ten years of Mao' s life. Mao, Deng, Jiang, Hu and Xi are not related through any familial ties.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A "discernible shift" in Obama's foreign policy

On 1 Oct, a well-known strategic thinker in the United States, Robert Kagan observed that there is "a discernible shift" in the foreign policy of the Obama admimistration. Kagan also wrote, among other books, The Return of History & The End of Dreams (New York, Knopf, 2008).

Baez sings unforgettable song at White House

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Baez sings unforgettable song at White House

Earlier this year, still well -known American folksong singer Joan Baez performed in person at the White House . She again chose to sing We Shall Overcome, the popular civil rights movement song that inspired many Americans and friends of America worldwide in the early 1960s. Baez, who has played a great role in popularising Gracias a la Vida in worlds outide Latin America, still appears frequently in Google News.

Evergreen Baez performs in English & Spanish

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Gracias a la Vida ... que me ha dado tanto ...

Indeed, faith, hope and love have triumphed over despair and death. Also, it is a great victory of all the positive elements in human spirit.

Faith, hope & love triumph in Chilean nation

Faith, hope & love triumph in Chilean nation

I am happy to see the 33 trapped mining workers in Chile coming out one after another. I am also praying for the success of all the efforts. So far, 17 of them have already been freed from the 2-month ordeal.

9th Latin America Film Fest coming to town

Monday, October 11, 2010

Multilingual Sabah girl as inspiration to youth

24 - year old Andi Tamsang Andi Kele has clearly shown to us that the learning of more than two languages isn' t as impossible as imagined. Without doubt , she is an inspiration to young Malaysians of all races.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Call to instill discipline in M'sian civil service

Needless to say, while we must always say terima kasih to all the civil servants who serve us and the country well, with their dedication and professionalism, we also expect the errant ones, especially those who uttered racially inflamatory remarks, to minta maaf or be disciplined. An increasingly disorderly civil service, if left unchecked, could result in social disharmony and political instability that would, in turn, pave the way leading to a failure of nation-building or a dyfunctional state.

Increasing number of bigots in public service

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Increasing number of bigots in public service

As a personal friend of many civil servants, I certainly agree with the Chief Secretary to the Government, Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan that the number of civil servants uttering unbecoming statements is still relatively small. The prevailing public concern , however, is that the number, although still small , seems to be growing in recent months. Meanwhile, there is also a need for the public not to stereotype civil servants negatively, as many of them are still decent and dedicated. To those civil servants who serve us well, we must say terima kasih.

Malaysia blessed with mature people of all races

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

M'sia blessed with mature people of all races

While there is a school of thought which reasons that only individuals in the public service utter racist remarks in their personal capacities, another school observes that BTN is the institutional or 'inspirational' source of the recent spate of anti-national remarks by civil servants. Malaysia, however, is blessed by the fact that the majority of rakyat jelata of all ethnic origins continue to desire to live or work in social peace and harmony as relatives , neighbours, colleagues and friends.

Hamim Husain challenges Cabinet's authority

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Hamim Husain challenges Cabinet' s authority

The Cabinet has already ordered an investigation on Hamim Husain's reportedly racist remarks and the BTN has also reportedly established a committee to carry out such a probe. Seen against this background, Hamim Husain's decision to lodge a police report with the support of Perkasa clearly shows that the authority of the Cabinet is challenged. The proper prodecures for Hamim to follow should be to explain first to his immediate superior, who would then report it to higher chains of authorities and allow the Cabinet to make a final judgement. The nation and the world is watching how the Cabinet would re-assert its moral , political and administrative authorities over public servants.

BTN becoming electoral liability for BN Gov't

Monday, October 04, 2010

BTN becoming electoral liability for BN Gov't

The lodging of a police report by BTN's Deputy Director Hamim Husain against the Malaysian Insider news portal has, paradoxically, resulted in himself and also BTN becoming a focus of popular attention. It may even turn into an electoral liability for the Nasional Front. The BTN is certainly an official or governmental unit put under PM's Department. There is an not unreasonable speculation that BTN is the ' dirty brain' and Perkasa the 'bad mouth' of some seemingly ' statesmanly' figures. It is also not unreasonable to believe that BTN has more ' interesting ' modules on, for example, 'International Jewry' / 'Zionist conspiracies'.

BTN subject to parliamentary & public watch

Very successful opening of CWG in New Delhi

Very glad to have seen on TV that the opening of the Commonwealth Games 2010 in New Delhi was incident -free and also very successful.