Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Makkal Sakti prove challenging Anwar Ibrahim and Pakatan Rakyat

It wouldn't surprise me a bit politically if this is the Makkal Sakti fever prove challenging Anwar Ibrahim and Pakatan Rakyat which might cause Anwar Ibrahim to start sinking.

Ironically, it is crystal clear that the exploited disappointment felt by the Indians, who claim that they face discrimination and marginalization by leaders of PKR, DAP and PAS might cause Anwar Ibrahim’s vessel to start sinking.

In order to demand for political benefit and achieve self-interest, politicians will act in such a way as to maximize and achieve their self-interest.

It is reported that Kapar parliamentarian S. Manikavasagam has quit his Selangor PKR deputy liaison chief post following his fallout with Selangor Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim and growing frustrations with the party leadership.

Manikavasagam will nevertheless remain in the party supreme council until after his meeting with PKR chieftain Anwar Ibrahim, who is currently overseas.

Manikavasagam said he would be attending the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention on Jan 5 in India. While in India, he is also expected to meet Hindraf leader P. Waythamoorthy, who is in self-imposed exile in United Kingdom.

Manikavasagam said he would consult Anwar on his political future when he returns to Malaysia on Jan 15.

Consequently, it is also reported that the discontent is boiling over among the Indian members of Pakatan Rakyat parties. Among the exploited issues that claimed the Indian members of PKR are unhappy over are the appointments to posts like local councilors, government-linked companies and village committees.

Some 50 Indian leaders from the Pakatan were going to meet to come up with a united stand on whether to stay or leave component parties following Kapar Member of Parliament S. Manikavasagam decision to quit PKR. The move implies that Pakatan Rakyat alliance seriously required taking the pledge of loyalty.

By and large, the loyalties of Indian leaders in the Pakatan Rakyat to Anwar Ibrahim thus remain questionable.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Is Anwar Ibrahim a sinking politician?

PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim announced that he would be the chairman of the Sabah and Sarawak PKR liaison committees to wrest the two states from the Barisan Nasional, especially with Sarawak facing a state election by 2011.

Anwar Ibrahim

The announcement strongly indicated that he is using his position at the central level to control the PKR activities in the two states. It also shows that he has no confidence in the PKR leaders in both states especially Dominique Ng to lead the Sarawak PKR.

Dominique Ng

Ironically, to be truly the great political leader is to have quality of political influence and confidence in local leaders.

Look at history as a proof, the successful political leader must be well versed in getting support from the grassroots leaders in order to be successful in politics. He must have the outstanding ability to influence as well as motivate the supporters.

Undeniably, politics is a numbers game. The lack of political confidence as well as the support for the states leaders thus shows that Anwar’s failure as a political leader.

The question remains: Is Anwar Ibrahim a sinking politician?

Monday, December 29, 2008

PKR camp is playing word games

Kapar MP S. Manikavasagam threaten to quit PKR is the ongoing internal political disputes in PKR. It reflects the political behavior of the politician which lack of political responsibility.

Ironically, the issue of the Kapar MP's threat to leave PKR reflects that the code of ethics for politicians are not only orthodoxy iconic but far more needed to uphold the political moral. It needs courage and a willingness to accept political costs.

The incident show PKR leaders in Selangor were playing word games. They are not united and cold towards each other whereas a few others were arrogant.

The voters need political parties and politicians that can hold responsible for their politics and ethics and not playing word games with them.

As the members of the loose opposition alliance, DAP too disagree with the move of S. Manikavasagam.

DAP chairman Karpal Singh said, the Kapar Member of Parliament should resign as MP and wait another five years before contesting.

He said S. Manikavasagam, who is expected to resign from Parti Keadilan Rakyat before the New Year, was elected as an MP on a PKR ticket.

"People did not elect him in his personal capacity. He has no right to leave PKR and join any other party.

Justify Full "His only other option is to resign so that the people in the constituency can decide what they want," Karpal said.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hadi confident Chinese will vote PAS in KT remains questionable

All this while, in the eye of the Malaysian Chinese community, PAS are religiously fundamentalist, extremist and racist, and in many ways at loggerheads with the values upheld by Pakatan Rakyat especially DAP.

On the other hand, Umno is more acceptable as Umno can create more liberal leaders than Pas.

Ironically, DAP and PKR are forced to ally with PAS due to current political situation. A strong believes and fears that with extreme measures such as enacting Islamic “hudud” laws, a vote for PAS may cause the Chinese to be suffered.

Undeniably, the MCA had delivered and believe will be delivered the Chinese votes to the Barisan Nasional whenever the classical battle between two Malay political parties in a Malay heartland.

Abdul Hadi Awang is confident that Chinese voters will swing behind the party in next month’s Kuala Terengganu by-election as they had previously benefited from four years of PAS rule thus remains questionable.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Can DAP help to win over votes for PAS in Kuala Terengganu by-election?

It’s well known fact that DAP and PAS have been in loggerheads over their respective stand on both the formation of Islamic state and hudud laws.

Despite conflicting views on the Islamic state issue and hudud laws, DAP's national chairperson Karpal Singh said DAP will continue to support PAS, especially by campaigning for the party in Kuala Terengganu.

PAS vice-president Husam Musa’s comments about Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) will implement hudud laws if the Pakatan Rakyat coalition takes over the administration of the country in a general election having caught DAP out of doors.

Husam Musa

Clearly, DAP continues to be caught by the same unresolved dilemma. The issue has created tension in the Pakatan Rakyat coalition especially between PAS and DAP.

On the contrary, Gerakan called on all Malaysians to stand united in opposing PAS' vision of turning Malaysia into a theocratic state.

MCA - the biggest Chinese-based party in the country - too was vocal in objecting PAS' Islamic agenda.

MCA's Federal Territories Youth wing departed from the norm by marching over to the PAS headquarters in Kuala Lumpur to hand in a memorandum opposing the hudud stand.

The youth wing also unfurled banners by the roadside to express its displeasure with PAS' stand.

DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang took to task PAS vice-president Husam Musa for reiterating PAS' plan to implement Islamic hudud laws if the party succeeded in taking over the federal government following a general election.

Lim said Husam must explain his statement to address the unease it would create among the non-Muslims in Kuala Terengganu.

"If unclarified, Husam's statement would create unease, anxiety and opposition not only among the 11 % of the Chinese voters in the critical Kuala Terengganu by-election on Jan 17 but also among both Malay and non-Malay voters whether in Terengganu or the rest of Malaysia," he said.

PAS faces an uphill battle to win over non-Muslim voters in Kuala Terengganu by-election. Can DAP help to win over votes for PAS is the most interesting political issue that we haven't seen before and eagerly awaiting an answer.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

PAS loses non-Muslim support

Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) will implement hudud laws if the Pakatan Rakyat coalition takes over the administration of the country in a general election, according to party vice-president Datuk Husam Musa.

He reiterated the party’s pledge to implement the Islamic laws at a discourse on political transformation in Malaysia.

The attempt by the Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) to enact hudud laws ran contrary to the Federal Constitution which requires an amendment of the federal constitution; it has been opposed bitterly by non-Malays and secular that this ulterior motive, which was inappropriate and unacceptable in a multi-racial and multi religious society like Malaysia.

PAS risks losing what little non-Muslim support it has during the 12th general election if persist tussling and proving its Islamic credentials.

Ironically, PAS needs not only maintaining Muslim support but also retain the non-Muslim support politically it obtained on the back of a more united opposition alliance back then. It is a tall order if it continues to push for hudud laws.

Indeed, the "political ploy to out-Islamize" over the issue of hudud is an unwise political strategy as it causes the opposition alliance to split. It triggers a political crisis of confidence toward multi-ethnic Chinese-based Democratic Action Party and undermine non-Muslim support for the opposition especially PAS itself.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Wan Ahmad Farid is the tie-breaker in Kuala Terengganu by-election

It's been an accepted fact that politics is a game of numbers as the numbers don't lie. Traditionally, BN and PAS is the rival political parties fight for every inch of ground especially after the 12th general election.

Interestingly, the game of numbers will be happened again in P36 Kuala Terengganu by-election that certainly attracts wide attention.

Undeniably, BN and PAS had an equal chance with the majority Malay voters in P36Kuala Terengganu; the party that could win over the 8,800 Chinese votes would break the tie and secure the win.

In this game of numbers in Kuala Terengganu, the Barisan Nasional's (BN) candidate Senator Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh could gain political advantage against the rival and would be the tie-breaker.

Kuala Terengganu Umno division Chief Senator Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh is the Barisan Nasional's (BN) candidate to stand in P36 Kuala Terengganu by-election.

Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid, 46, is a former political secretary to the prime minister and deputy home minister. He has been the Kuala Terengganu Umno division head for two terms and Umno deputy president, whom the party leaders believed to be capable of defeating PAS and retaining the parliamentary seat for the BN.

It is a well known fact that the Chinese in Kuala Terengganu like Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid very much.

As a lawyer and politician, he keeps score in a relationship with the Chinese voters and the relationship goes back a long way.

It is reported that Wan Ahamad Farid has attributed his 17-year partnership with a Chinese associate in running a firm that had kept him in touch with the Chinese grassroots in Kuala Terengganu.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

PAS can’t win over Chinese voters in Kuala Terengganu by-election

Chinese is comprising 11 per cent of the electorate of about 80,000 of the electorate in the P36 Kuala Terengganu constituency and seems to play a decisive role in determining the outcome of the coming by-election.

The political impact is great toward the political future of BN and PAS in the by-election. Can PAS winning over the highest number of Chinese voters in the state capital of Kuala Terengganu which surrounded by 99 percent of the population Malays, remains the vital question for the leaders of partisan parties and political analysis to chronicles this exciting result.

Traditionally, the 11% Chinese voters in the electorate is strongly backed BN which is considerably more liberal among the parties. PAS’s Islamic policy would certainly claim to create uneasiness among the Chinese voters.

The PAS years of administration in Terengganu strongly are remembered for its Islamic policies. The attempts to implement Hudud law, the ban on sale of alcohol, the prohibition of karaoke and public performances and gender segregation are by far the most inane frequently discussed subject matter.

The Chinese criticized PAS for the underlying threat in its attempts to them. They would not take softer tone on PAS as it has proof not changed in any way, despite its apparent softer approach toward non-Islamic society.

The by-election is claimed never been a better time to be the utmost crucial and forthcoming radical political platform for PAS to show that Islam and PAS is the only way forward for the Malay.

Monday, December 15, 2008

BN is confident of retaining Kuala Terengganu parliamentary seat

The Kuala Terengganu by-election will be held on Jan 17 following the death of its Member of Parliament Datuk Razali Ismail Razali on Nov 28, 2008.

In the 12th General Election on March 8, 2008, there were 80,325 voters in P36 Kuala Terengganu; voter turnout was 66,132 or 82.3%. Razali Ismail of UMNO-BN obtained 32,582 votes, defeating Mohamed Sabu of PAS 31,934 votes by a very slim majority of 628 votes. Independent candidate Puan Maimun Yusuf who managed to get 685 votes and there were 931 spoil votes.

Kuala Terengganu, with Malays making up 90 per cent of the strong electorate, 11% Chinese voters in the electorate who have traditionally backed MCA.

The by-election is going to be an absolute fought between UMNO and PAS, or rather Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat. PAS are facing internal problems and tussles within PR component parties as all parties in PR can’t cuts across racial lines.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak handed over RM408.6 million in oil royalty to Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said and the state government tabled a balanced budget of RM1.799 billion for the year 2009 to ensure the government can implement high-impact projects for the people, the moves seen by many observers as a bonus to BN.

PAS, a nearly exclusively Malay-Muslim party, is not very optimistic of the Malay votes as Anwar and his colleagues in the Pakatan Rakyat cannot be trusted to safeguard their position.

The PR government seems to create the image of uphold Malay rights and would sell out the Malays. The stand on Ketuanan Melayu, or Malay Supremacy, the New Economic Policy, social contract pertaining to Malay sovereign rights, Malay Rulers, Islam as the official religion, Bahasa Malaysia as the national language and pig farms in Selangor have had to allay fears of Malays being sidelined and may cause Malay voters to lean towards BN.

The wrestling of power between PAS's conservatives and reformists will not only chart the future path of the party, but will also affect the cooperation among the three Pakatan component parties as well as the faith of voters towards the opposition pact.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Thailand's urban elite is fighting a rearguard action against democracy

Sondhi Limthongkul, a Thai tycoon, who is the "People's Alliance for Democracy" de facto leader, says that "Representative democracy is not suitable for Thailand.”

Sondhi Limthongkul

The "People's Alliance for Demo
cracy" had brought down an elected government. Their broader demands are Thailand's directly elected parliament to be replaced by a legislative body that is 70 per cent appointed.

People's Alliance for Democracy, the orchestrator of the airport sieges, continues to demand that most parliamentarians are appointed according to profession and social group, rather than elected by universal suffrage.

Ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra told an estimated 50,000 people through his pre-recorded video address that, “At the moment the army is interfering... Those people who interfere in forming the government must stop and allow political parties to sort out the issues by themselves.”

Thaksin, who was ousted in a military coup two years ago and is now in exile abroad, also pledged loyalty to the monarchy, said that democratic systems should be allowed to function and the will of the majority heeded.
Former human rights commissioner and democracy activist Jaran Ditta-apichai said: “We are not fighting for a person or group or party; we are fighting for democracy.”

The dramatic event had their origins from Thaksin Shinawatra's election as the Prime Minister seven years ago. All the while Thailand's peasant majority had unconditionally voted for the rural allies of the urban privileged. But Thaksin, never in Thai political landscape, won their overwhelming support by pledging the likes of cheap loans and improved healthcare for the rural poor.

Thaksin Shinawatra

The middle classes and urban elite recognized that it had a serious threat to their traditional special position and political supremacy, thus organized a series of the so called undemocratic street protests movement which detrimental to the freedom of democracy that led in September 2006 to a military coup.

The 2006 Thailand coup d'état took place on Tuesday 19 September 2006, when the Royal Thai Army staged a coup d'état against the elected government of caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra which caused him to flee the country. The coup d'état, which was Thailand's first non-constitutional change of government in fifteen years, followed a year-long political crisis involving Thaksin, his allies and political opponents.

The Army allowed a return to democracy last year, only for the People's Power Party, a proxy for Thaksin's disbanded party, to win a majority of seats and form a coalition Government. Subsequently, Samak Sundaravej's term as Prime Minister was ended by the Constitutional Court for the less-than-heinous offence of continuing to host a TV cooking show.

Somchai Wongsawat, Thaksin's brother-in-law, had been forced from office by Constitutional court rulings that banned the Prime Minister from politics for five years has merely delivered a lull in hostilities.

Nonetheless, the ruling coalition is still intact, and is expected to switch to a new "shell" party to form a new government that remains dominated by pro-Thaksin politicians.

This will further infuriate the People's Alliance for their way of Democracy. The judiciary has proved itself no friend of the rural poor.

The urban elite's ultimate aim, however, is to force the abandonment of the one-person, one-vote system. It claims Thailand's rural majority is too poorly educated and too susceptible to vote-buying to responsibly choose its representatives.

The landslide majorities for pro-Thaksin politicians speak volumes of the peasants' preference but was accused of occurring some buying of votes.

Undeniably, the urban elite group is clearly politically motivated, publicly demonstrated a new way of fighting a rearguard action against democracy and their intent is appears questionable and anti-democratic.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Can Citadel guarantee your profits or money back?

Citadel Investment Group LLC, Chicago’s biggest hedge fund, was hit hard by the fallout from Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy and the ban on short-selling in September, 2008.

The Kensington and Wellington funds, which together manage about $10 billion, have lost 49.5 percent of their value this year through Dec. 5.

Hedge funds are private, largely unregulated pools of capital whose managers can buy or sell any assets, bet on falling as well as rising asset prices and participate substantially in profits from money invested.

The questions remain: Should hedge funds be regulated? Can any hedge fund recover from 49.5 % drop? Can Citadel Investment Group LLC, one of the world’s largest and most sophisticated alternative investment firms possibly survive a 49.5 % catastrophic loss? Or will Citadel end up a corpse just like many other hedge funds?

Kenneth Griffin

Citadel Investment Group LLC, the Chicago-based hedge-fund firm is a multi-billion dollar hedge fund, founded by Kenneth Griffin in 1990. The company deploys its capital across a highly diversified set of proprietary investment strategies in nearly all major asset classes.

Since its founding, Citadel has grown into one of the world’s largest and most sophisticated alternative investment firms.

Citadel employs more than one thousand professionals with location in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, London, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

Since 1998, Citadel has generated over $10 billion in net profits and currently deploys approximately $15 billion of investment capital around the world.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Global recession hits Japan’s Sony Corp.

Japan, the world’s second biggest economy, is struggling with rising unemployment as its economic recession deepens.

The nation’s export business continues to crumble against the rising Yen and analysts predict that the Japanese economy is set for its longest ever contraction. It had shrunk at an annual rate of 1.8% in the quarter, down from its previous estimate of 0.4%.

Japan’s Sony Corp., the maker of the Walkman portable player, PlayStation 3 game console, movie, video game and financial businesses, is slashing 8,000 jobs, or 5 per cent of its global work force despite shutting 10% of its manufacturing sites.

Aiming to cut costs by US$1.1 billion a year as a global downturn, Sony Corp, which has 185,000 employees worldwide will complete the layoffs by the end of March 2010.

Sony did not give a country breakdown for the job cuts but said they will come from its electronics business, which has 160,000 workers.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The future belongs to all-electric cars

The collapsing US economy has much greater impact on the global economy and international political landscape.

Blow for US car industry

The economy is shedding massive job losses, continued home foreclosures, a big drop in retail sales, a severe credit squeeze linger and extreme market volatility.

This was not the first time the US economy has been rattled but the seriousness this time is even greater; to combat the serious crisis is to engineer an unprecedented rescue.

In addressing the crisis, the appropriate steps to promote stability in the markets in a way that respects the ingenuity of the American people that bolsters the entrepreneurial spirit is by far needed.

Electric car

The auto industry is the backbone of American manufacturing and thus vital to the US economy. Millions of people, directly or indirectly, are reliant on that industry. The survival of the domestic car-making capacity is important. But Detroit's Big Three automakers repeatedly make strategically mistakes in their failure to building small cars and energy-efficient cars.

US oil imports have more than doubled since 1981, the last time the US economy's dependence on foreign oil was a hot issue, the number of cars and trucks registered for the road has increased by about 75% to 248.7 million vehicles, according to Ward's Automotive Report.

US auto industry

The best way to safeguard the collapsing and faltering economy is through the leading technology invention in automobile technology.

By exploitation the advanced space scientific technological resources and technocratic reorganization in automobiles industry to develop electric or fuel-cell car, decisively and directly influenced the modern technology of power and management are by far the most practical solution to solve energy crisis and the US collapse economy.

Energy hydrogen car

Ironically, if the high-performance Electric Cars that perform as good as today's gasoline-powered models sold at prices the average consumers could afford, it is a fact that besides doing a very large part in fighting global warming, it would lower the cost of living and solving the financial trouble at present.

Plug car

Only the corporations that are organized systematically for the exploitation of scientific technological resources can permanently maintaining the leading position.

Energy hybrid car

Electric Cars

Many automakers are developing electric cars. The Japanese auto giant reported success in a test of a fuel-cell and become the most prevalent car in the world. Despite the higher gasoline price, consumers demand has continued to rise along with inflated gas costs.

i. Reva electric car company has manufactured low tech India Reva 2001 and 2008 Revai safer version.

The base version is rated as having a 50-mile range, with a high-end model getting 90 miles per charge.

The 48V worth of lead acid batteries of the base model can be fully charged in eight hours with an eighty percent charge in 2.5 hours from a 230V outlet at 40mph top speed.

Lead-acid maintenance battery and battery life is 90 miles. Charge time is 8 hours.

Suffer "serious or life-threatening" injuries in a 64 km/h (40mph) crash by UK top gear.

Price: £9,500 (€12,000) for the standard model sold in India, British and Europe. In 2009, high performance lithium-ion batteries are expected to be available for the latest model.

ii. Low tech China Flybo 2007 and 2008 model with heater .
The models are manufactured by Jinan Flybo Motor Co.Ltd. The top speed is 45 mph (with the 25-mph limiter removed), and it has a range of 70 miles to 150 miles on a charge.

Classified as a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV), the XFD-6000ZK is "100 percent legal for on-road use," the company says. It and two lower-end electric cars — yes, there are lower-end models — are powered by a 48V electric motor and sold in Russia, Europe and US.

The Flybo electric car is 2 seated rear drives only at this point and for those who don’t need to use the highway regularly; it would make for a good second car.

Battery life is 70 miles before charge (2.5 hours charge). Charge time is 2.5 hours.

Lead-acid maintenance battery and durability is 500 time.
Price: $10,000.

iii. Japan Eliica 2005
Created by Professor Hiroshi Shimizu of Keio’s Faculty of Environment and Information studies. The 8 wheels 4 seconds car (1-100km/h) is developed by 39 company, Japan Science and Technology.

Lithium-ion battery operated, powered with 8 electric motors. Each motor is 80 hp and total output is 640 hp.

Only about 200 cars will be made, given the right amount of corporate sponsorship. Each will be sold for $240,000.

iv. US Tesla Roaster 2007 Tesla Motors

4 wheels 3.9 seconds car (1-100km/h). Lithium-ion battery operated 2-seat, open-top, and rear-drive sports car.

Total output: 248 HP
Mass: 70 pounds
Battery type: Lithium ion Battery Life: 5 years or 100,000 miles.
Price: $109,000, 2009MY Roadster base price

v. Toyota Motors Years 2009

Small, Light weight i-swing concept car. Limitations of current battery technology, Toyota's EV would likely be a small vehicle limited to commuting or city driving.

For more widespread use, Toyota still is betting on hybrids as a more practical solution to rising demand for environmentally friendly gas sippers; it plans to sell more than 1 million per year in the early part of the next decade.

vi. Nissan Motors Year 2010

Small, light weight Nissan will market the electric car worldwide in 2012 to retail customers. The car will be powered by lithium ion batteries developed in Nissan's joint venture with NEC Corp. in New York.

The production vehicle will have a daily range of 100 miles, with an estimated top speed of 75 mph. A complete recharge will take about eight hours. The lithium ion battery pack will have 24 cells, each with four batteries.

vii. Mercedes Benz-Smart 2010
Lithium-ion Smart Fortwo ED
Battery will have a 41hp electric motor that can reach speeds up to 70 mph and have a range of 70 miles.

With the improvements being made in the battery development this range will surely increase.

Charging time is about 8 hours, and will cost about $3 in electric. At present gas prices an electric Smart would save some 70% of what you are paying now. Top speed: 70 mph, Speed: goes from 0-30 mph in 6.5 seconds Battery life: range of up to 70 miles per charge.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Malaysia bans all hillside projects

There is one clear message that arises from the Bukit Antarabangsa tragedy. The message that arises here is: Sustainable development is a pattern of resource use that aims to meet human needs but the comprehensive Slope Safety System should be the first priority to safeguard public safety.

In any event, stern action should be taken against the hill slope housing projects developers that breach the existing guidelines and regulations. Undeniably, planning can only sustain development, but not the environment.

The professionals that approved and monitoring the projects during the construction stage should also be held supervisory responsibility. In the wake of the socially irrational tragedy,

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi immediately banned hillside developments and ordered all current projects to be frozen while soil tests are carried out after a weekend landslide in Bukit Antarabangsa tragedy killed four people and forced thousands to evacuate.

“Malaysians never want to learn from past experiences. They want good views while developers only seek to profit ... no one takes safety and soil stability into consideration,” he said.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

AIDS - Prevention is better than cure

According to WHO, about 33 million people have HIV worldwide. Only 3 million people are currently on AIDS drugs. Nearly 7 million people are still awaiting treatment, and about 3 million more people were infected last year.

Although there were many people look to medicine as the primary way of combating AIDS, but the results delivered is not satisfactory. The initiatives like safe sex education and other measures taken to end the AIDS epidemic too were very disappointing and the effectiveness remain to be questioned. It is not because of the failure of the governmental and non-governmental sector.

Working as a team is seen as a crucial way of combating the problems but the perception and remedial measures taken in addressing treatment and combating prejudices need to be revised in order to create a comprehensive, coherent anti-HIV plan.

Ironically, for long lasting to permanent cure and to be effective in addressing, treating the disease from its roots, it seems that avoidance is the best cure. The immoral depraved works of sex-workers, transvestites, homosexuals, pre-marital sex were against social norms and values and should be banned.

It should, instead, encourage responsible sexual practices predicated on Eastern social norms and values. It is wrong and offended to have sex before marriage or having sex outside of marriage as it is still a serious social taboo.

For the sake of survival of the society, a total ban of the malpractices in sexual relationship is probably more practical.

Friday, December 5, 2008

America is paying the price

The Bush administration has almost certainly presided over the most egregious run of mis-governance and bad government especially the policies on economy as it resulted the economy tipped into deep recession.

The unemployment rate rose to a 15-year high of 6.7% from 6.5% in October in the world's largest economy. Payrolls were cut by 533,000, much worse than the forecast for a reduction of 340,000 jobs as weakening consumer and business demand prompted companies to cut jobs to reduce costs.

Dramatically, it’s very clear that the US is in a pretty deep recession as the figures showed the employment market is deteriorating at an alarmingly rapid pace. Its economy suffered the worst monthly job losses since 1974; employers shed, underscoring the depth of the global financial crisis which prompted a slew of interest rate cuts worldwide.

President-elect Barack Obama said each of the job losses represent a "personal crisis" for an American family.

Subprime mortgages were one of the biggest root causes of the financial crisis and unemployment, with 20 percent of those mortgages in delinquency. It further push the Big Three, General Motors, Chrysler and Ford appear before Congress to appeal for federal aid.

Companies are cutting jobs to maintain profits or minimize losses at a time when consumer demand is abruptly drying up and banks are tightening lending standards.

Job losses will exacerbate mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures in the near future. The dollar fell against major currencies, and US light crude dived $1.31 to $42.31 a barrel after the November jobless figures were unveiled. It sinks further to $40.81 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The number of job losses was the largest in 34 years and much higher than the 325,000 expected by private forecasters, suggesting the recession in the world's largest economy would be longer and deeper than feared.

The worsening situation in the economy were widespread, hitting factories, building companies, financial firms, retailers, leisure and hospitality and other industries. Employers are slashing costs to the bone as they try to cope with falling demand. The few places where gains were logged included the government, education and health services.

America is paying the price, how about the rest of the world?

Revitalizing the US automotive industry

The Big Three US automakers -- General Motors, Ford Motor and Chrysler LLC submitted their turnaround plans to Congress in an effort to seek approval of up to $34 billion in federal loans for the US auto industry they claim are necessary for their survival.
The poor sales caused The Big Three seeking the government bailout. General Motors, the nation's largest automaker, is asking for up to $18B, Ford wants $9B and Chrysler, $7B.

It is reported that Chrysler Chief Executive Robert Nardelli committed to working for $1 per year, GM's Rick Wagoner and Ford boss Alan Mulally both pledged Tuesday to work for one dollar a year in salary if their companies got tax-payer help.

Motor vehicles are one of the most important consumer products in terms of total household expenditures. As the largest durable consumer product in terms of expenses next to housing, the consumers demand for motor vehicles is highly correlated with the general business cycle as the automotive industry generates economic activity through backward and forward linkages.

The main competitors in the global market are Japan, South Korea and Chinese producers. Nonetheless, the efficiency of Japanese automaker Toyota has been higher and very well equipped for price competition.

The automotive industry is one of US’s key industrial sectors, whose importance is largely derived from its linkages within the domestic and international economy and its complex value chain but the international producers are well positioned to compete.

The job cuts, shuttered factories, canceled bonuses and commitments to fuel-efficient cars are not the answers to the problems.

The internationalization strategies may change over the current slump in US automotive market is to increase global competitiveness and address the challenge of mass motorization in low income, emerging economies.

The existence and the continued growth of overseas markets are encouraged. The Chinese automotive market is growing very rapidly and China will be the third largest market for automobiles by the end of the decade, thus by expending export to the emerging China, Asian and Eastern European markets relying on price and quality of cars by far one of the effective strategies to improve their financial condition.

Practically, to tide over the turbulent times, revitalizing the industry and avoid the tough international competition, the major changes to the way of doing business to achieve long-term viability is to introduce cheap but powerful hybrid electric or water vehicles.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Petrol prices: Another 5 percent cut

The government of Malaysian does act responsibly to reduce the petrol prices by another 5 percent bringing pump prices down by 10 sen per liter as the global crude prices continuing to ease.

The pump price of RON97 petrol will now be RM1.90 a liter - down from RM2 - while both RON92 petrol and diesel will be RM1.80 effective Dec 2 midnight.

This is the sixth fuel price cut since June's 41 percent hike on the back of soaring crude costs and the last cut by 15 sen was just over two weeks ago.

In the wake of the economy devastating destruction caused by the evil oil is by far unforgettable and unforgivable, the reduction is seeks to prevent the economy of Malaysia from sliding down.

Economy is good with low oil prices but the question remains: Would the businessmen and manufacturers willingly given a price cuts?