Friday, June 27, 2008

Absolute power corrupts absolutely

Perak Sate assembly Speaker V. Sivakumar (DAP-Tronoh) did not allow Datuk Seri Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Raja Omar (BN-Kubu Gajah) from being the first speaker to debate a motion of thanks on the royal address clearly display of excessive egoness and power hunger.

Ironically, power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it. The exercise of power by one human being over another is uniquely fraught with the effects of fallenness. Any exercise of power must be driven by a desire to recover the original benevolent intentions. The power the DAP politicians acquired has made them corrupt.

V. Sivakumar is the first Indian speaker in the country. Regardless of how powerful the speaker may be, the earlier decision made by the deputy speaker should be honored and the disrespected manner should be condemned to the strongest degree.

All 28 Barisan Nasional (BN) assemblymen staged a walkout, led by state BN chairman Datuk Seri Tajol Rosli Ghazali, as a show of protest after Speaker V. Sivakumar did not allow Datuk Seri Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Raja Omar (BN-Kubu Gajah) from being the first speaker in a debate here yesterday.

Earlier, Raja Ahmad Zainuddin had stood up and asked that he be allowed to debate a motion of thanks on the royal address at the end of the question and answer session.

Sivakumar, however, allowed Chang Lih Kang (PKR-Teja) to be the first speaker instead.

Raja Ahmad Zainuddin protested, saying that Deputy Speaker Hee Yit Foong had, on Wednesday, promised that he would be the first speaker.

A shouting match ensued with accusations hurled at the speaker for not honoring the earlier arrangement.

At this juncture, Tajol Rosli stood up and asked the speaker to either allow Raja Ahmad Zainuddin to debate, or the BN state assemblymen would stage a walkout.

When the request was turned down, Tajol Rosli immediately walked out of the hall, followed by other BN assemblymen.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Parliament is not a political market place to move around freely

Why should the big media companies deployed up to a dozen of reporters each, including editors, in Parliament? Is it an evident that the reporters assigned to cover the Parliament are not highly qualified and could not performance?

Ironically, parliament should not be a place to be swarmed with hundred of reporters and five journalists to cover the ongoing session is more than enough. The parliament is not a political market place, thus the journalists should be restricted from moving around freely in the lobby.

More than 100 journalists from all print, online and electronic media are staging a boycott. The decisions taken to cover the proceedings in the Dewan Rakyat and boycott all press conferences or events held outside of the chamber thus justified the actions taken were wrong and unjustified.

Last Friday, the Parliament administration issued a notice to all media organizations informing them that they could only send no more than five journalists to cover the ongoing session. The barricades have restricted the journalists from moving around freely in the lobby to interview parliamentarians.

In protest, journalists from all print, online and electronic media have decided to only cover the proceedings in the Dewan Rakyat and boycott all press conferences or events held outside of the chamber.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Water-powered cars

Oil hike would’nt becomes crisis if water-powered cars are materialized. Japan's Genepax has now made some real progress on those front water-powered cars.

Genepax Co Ltd explained the technologies used in its new fuel cell system "Water Energy System (WES)," which uses water as a fuel and does not emit CO2.

The system can generate power just by supplying water and air to the fuel and air electrodes, respectively, the company said at the press conference, which took place June 12, 2008, at the Osaka Assembly Hall.

The basic power generation mechanism of the new system is similar to that of a normal fuel cell, which uses hydrogen as a fuel. According to Genepax, the main feature of the new system is that it uses the company's membrane electrode assembly (MEA), which contains a material capable of breaking down water into hydrogen and oxygen through a chemical reaction.

Though the company did not reveal the details, it "succeeded in adopting a well-known process to produce hydrogen from water to the MEA," said Hirasawa Kiyoshi, the company's president. This process is allegedly similar to the mechanism that produces hydrogen by a reaction of metal hydride and water. But compared with the existing method, the new process is expected to produce hydrogen from water for longer time, the company said.

With the new process, the cell needs only water and air, eliminating the need for a hydrogen reformer and high-pressure hydrogen tank. Moreover, the MEA requires no special catalysts, and the required amount of rare metals such as platinum is almost the same as that of existing systems, Genepax said.

Unlike the direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC), which uses methanol as a fuel, the new system does not emit CO2. In addition, it is expected to have a longer life because catalyst degradation (poisoning) caused by CO does not occur on the fuel electrode side. As it has only been slightly more than a year since the company completed the prototype, it plans to collect more data on the product life.

At the conference, Genepax unveiled a fuel cell stack with a rated output of 120W and a fuel cell system with a rated output of 300W. In the demonstration, the 120W fuel cell stack was first supplied with water by using a dry-cell battery operated pump. After power was generated, it was operated as a passive system with the pump turned off.

This time, the voltage of the fuel cell stack was 25-30V. Because the stack is composed of 40 cells connected in series, it is expected that the output per cell is 3W or higher, the voltage is about 0.5-0.7V, and the current is about 6-7A. The power density is likely to be not less than 30mW/cm2 because the reaction area of the cell is 10 x 10 cm.

Meanwhile, the 300W fuel cell system is an active system, which supplies water and air with a pump. In the demonstration, Genepax powered the TV and the lighting equipment with a lead-acid battery charged by using the system. In addition, the 300W system was mounted in the luggage room of a compact electric vehicle "Reva" manufactured by Takeoka Mini Car Products Co Ltd, and the vehicle was actually driven by the system.

Genepax initially planned to develop a 500W system, but failed to procure the materials for MEA in time and ended up in making a 300W system.

For the future, the company intends to provide 1kw-class generation systems for use in electric vehicles and houses. Instead of driving electric vehicles with this system alone, the company expects to use it as a generator to charge the secondary battery used in electric vehicles.

Although the production cost is currently about ¥2,000,000 (US$18,522), it can be reduced to ¥500,000 or lower if Genepax succeeds in mass production. The company believes that its fuel cell system can compete with residential solar cell systems if the cost can be reduced to this level.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Anwar: MCA MPs will crossover to Pakatan

The MCA MPs will defect to Pakatan Rakyat was merely another political gimmick that has taken place offered by PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. He tries to generate political relevance for PKR and keeping the public on tenterhooks under Malaysia domestic political environments.

Yesterday, a politico uncritically reported that de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim told journalists that several MCA MPs will crossover to Pakatan Rakyat soon.

“I can safely say that several MCA MPs will join us soon,” he told journalists after opening a service centre in Bayan Baru, Penang.

However, as with previous assertions of the same variety, that was all he was prepared to reveal. Anwar has been keeping the public on tenterhooks since the general election on March 8, with repeated claims of crossovers by Barisan Nasional (BN) parliamentarians, especially those in Sabah.

He said that discreet meetings have been held in Hong Kong, Manila and Singapore, to avoid scrutiny, and that “even a cabinet minister met me”. At a night rally held in City Stadium, George Town, the former deputy premier worked up the crowd with similar promises.

“It’s about time that we take over. It’s only a matter of time for us to take over. We are so close to Putrajaya,” he said to roars from some 15,000 people. “It’s very soon. I will not say how (soon). But it will happen soon.”

He stressed that defecting MPs would have to accept the Pakatan tenets of good governance. “I can guarantee you all today that if Pakatan Rakyat were to form the federal government today, we will bring down the oil price tomorrow,” said Anwar. “Let’s join force to topple this irresponsible and arrogant government.

If enough numbers support us, we will form the next government. The people of Penang must lead others in backing us for change to a better life,” said Anwar.

Hinting that Abdullah could dissolve Parliament in a sudden move to “save his skin”, he cautioned Pakatan leaders and members to be ready for a snap election. “We must fight to win till the end,” he said.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Support your favorite presidential candidate, wear a condom

The American voters can have fun with the Republican presidential candidate John McCain and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama in the United States presidential election of 2008 campaign by wearing the condoms.

A New York NYC company has decided to market condoms featuring images of Barack Obama and John McCain for the fun of it.

The presidential race is in full swing—in more ways than you might imagine. A young New York City entrepreneur has decided to “have fun” with the campaign by marketing condoms featuring images of Barack Obama and John McCain.

Benjamin Sherman, who created the company Practice Safe Policy, says the Obama condom carries the slogan “Use With Good Judgment.” The McCain version says “OLD BUT Not Expired.”

According to the Web site, McCain condoms “are battle tested, strong and durable, for those occasions when you just need to switch your position!”

While the company can’t guarantee the condoms are 100 percent effective, it says it’s certain “that without wearing one, there’s likely to be an Obama-Mama in your future.”

Friday, June 13, 2008

Oil price hike protest is unjustified and wrong

To protest against the recent fuel price hike, a large group led by PAS Youth chief Salahuddin Ayub, gathered in front of the Kampung Baru mosque after Friday prayers. They walked from the mosque at about 2pm towards the junction of Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Jalan Dang Wangi in front of the Sogo shopping complex while chanting slogans and carrying banners.

With global oil prices soaring, government was forced to slash fuel subsidies that were draining government coffers although there will be an immediate adverse effect on Abdullah's popularity. If Malaysia doesn’t increase the fuel price now, the economy will go down.

Ironically, global oil prices are being driven by external factors such as the weakening dollar and speculators -- and are thus out of the cartel's control. Oil is an inherently volatile commodity, and thus highly attractive to speculators, who profit by betting on the daily and even hourly fluctuations in price. And while there's nothing criminal about betting on price, it is a problem when the bets themselves influence the price.

Malaysia is struggling with a spiraling fuel subsidy bill that may breach
more than 45 billion ringgit (US$14 billion) this year as global oil prices skyrocket. It is unjustified economically and politically in riding and exploiting on wasting public funds to keep the fuel price artificially low.

As a responsible government, there is a better use of the public funds in education, health, housing, and employment and to be channeled to increasing food security, including subsidizing imported rice, flour, bread and cooking oil. Thus, the burden of soaring international fuel prices by and large will have to be passed on to the consumers regardless of oil producing country status.

The fuel price hike is expected to send prices of food, transportation and other essentials higher across the board, piling further inflationary pressure on Malaysia. Malaysia's inflation is currently at 3%.

It is reported that the US's "imperial ambitions", "economic egotism" and “aggressive financial policies" are the root cause for the oil hike and current problems in the global economy.

The protect action targeted at the Malaysian government is thus seen as unjustified and wrong as the hike is purely due to external global oil prices soaring factor. The massage should be read clearly and should not be under any doubt at all.

OPEC not to hike oil output

The oil price could peak at $150-170 in the next three months and then retreat quickly by the end of the year, a Commerzbank analyst said on Wednesday.

Oil should come back down to under $100 in 2009 but the days of $40 or $50 a barrel are long gone, senior commodity analyst Eugen Weinberg told journalists in Frankfurt.

OPEC's president Chakib Khelil, the energy minister of Algeria on Thursday ruled out an increase in production by the oil-exporting group despite record crude prices.

OPEC oil exports, excluding Angola and Ecuador, will jump to their highest rate this year in the four weeks to June 28, an analyst who tracks future flows said on


Seaborne crude oil exports from 11 OPEC members, including Iraq, will rise to 24.85 million bpd, up 390,000 bpd from 24.46 million bpd to May 31, British consultancy Oil Movements said in its latest estimate.

"It's going up month on month. This is the high for the year," Roy Mason of Oil Movements said. Mason added that he revised down last week's estimate, which he said then was the highest in 2008. The boost in shipments from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is expected to meet a seasonal rise in demand and halts a period of decline in sailings to the west.

"The upward movement of eastbound sailings has leveled off and the downward movement westbound has stopped," Mason said. The rise in OPEC exports from lows in mid-May echoes figures cited by other analysts and some producing countries.

Oil exports from Iran, OPEC's second-biggest producer, will rise by 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) to at least 2.5 million bpd this month and next, a top Iranian official said on Wednesday. Refinery maintenance had slowed Iran's oil sales during April and May to about 2.2 million bpd and much of the unsold crude was stored on vessels off Iran's shores.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Forming new rules of game in the world oil market

Oil prices have hit record highs of US$139.01 a barrel and have more than doubled in less than a year. The soaring cost of oil could help tip some of the world's economies into recession and causing growing strain to economies around the world, with some governments facing protests and other pressures from consumers and businesses.

In addressing the issue, both the Malaysian and Indian governments have recently raised fuel prices in order to cut the subsidies they provide.

India insisted there was no agreement to remove the subsidies altogether, China made clear it had no time frame for moving towards lower subsidies, and Japan confirmed they had agreed only on the need to remove the subsidies.

Crude oil, also known as petroleum, is the world's most actively traded commodity. The largest markets are in London, New York and Singapore. To an increasing extent, financial institutions are trading in oil as an investment like shares or currencies. They buy oil contracts in the hope that their value will go up before they sell them. This would commonly be in a futures contract for delivery in the following month and the minimum purchase is 1,000 barrels.

In this type of transaction, the buyer agrees to take delivery and the seller agrees to provide a fixed amount of oil at a pre-arranged price at a specified location. Futures contracts are only traded on regulated exchanges and payments are settled daily, based on their current value in the market place.

Opec still controls the amount of oil it pumps into the marketplace to keep the basket price within a predetermined range. Producers say that there is plenty of supply and blame the high prices on speculators.

Economists will tell you that prices are set by supply and demand and, indeed, at the heart of the rise in oil prices are what are known as the fundamentals.

Demand for oil has been growing as Asia's powerhouse economies such as China and India fuel their rapid economic expansion. At the same time, there are all sorts of worries about the supply of oil.

A lot of the world's oil comes from somewhat unstable countries, so every time oil workers are attacked in Nigeria or Iraqi oil facilities are damaged, people get concerned about the supply of oil.

Fundamentally, people are worried that demand may be growing faster than supply, and oil is such an important commodity that they are prepared to pay more and more for it if they are worried.

Events such as rocket testing in North Korea have been cited as reasons for the rising price of oil. But it is hard to imagine how it could have any direct effect on its supply or demand.

But recently, many traders have believed that some people are treating oil and the dollar as alternative investments. So, if they think the dollar is falling they will buy oil instead and if they think oil is falling they will buy dollars instead. Investors hedging oil against the weak dollar has also pushed up the price of oil.

Oil prices were given a boost on a report by Morgan Stanley analyst Ole Slorer, who suggested the price of oil could rocket to $150 as early as July, justified the blame the high prices were caused by speculators.

Some analysts even suggested that prices would reach as high as $200 a barrel during the next 18 months. The market was also responding to a statement by Israel's transport minister that an attack on Iran was unavoidable after sanctions to prevent Tehran from developing its nuclear capability had failed.

The fears that workers at Chevron Corporation in Nigeria may go on strike and subsequently disrupt production and access to oil are also adding to market jitters.

Friday's spike in oil prices coincided with a dollar slump, plummeting share prices on Wall Street and US unemployment suffering its biggest rise in 20 years.

Separately, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev blamed what he termed the US's "economic egotism" for the current problems in the global economy.

He accused the US of "aggressive financial policies" and said most people in the world had become poorer. He said Russia was a "global player" and wished to "participate in forming new rules of the game", but not because of "imperial ambitions".

Friday, June 6, 2008


The 40% Malaysia's fuel price hike is not an political attempt by Malaysian government to be popular. Ironically, the record high global oil prices need to be addressed as it has pushed the cost of subsidy way past the expenditure for development.

The virtual elimination of the subsidies is in line with similar steps taken by other governments reeling from record high global oil prices for the sustainable development for the future.

It may be very traumatic to think about the energy war has started. The lasting economic damage, the unimaginable consequences that would tip Malaysia into a generations-long economic depression and many would lose their jobs as industry implodes become the new priority for Malaysian government to ensure her transparency and accountability.

Malaysians are lucky to be blessed as subsidies have kept the price of fuel in Malaysia — a net exporter of oil — among the lowest in Southeast Asia. But the government can no longer afford to fund the subsidies due to record high global oil prices, which are expected to cost the treasury more than 45 billion ringgit (US$14 billion) this year.

The restructuring of fuel and electricity prices will save the government 13.7 billion ringgit (US$4.41 billion) this year, with the savings to be channeled to increasing food security, including subsidizing imported rice, flour, bread and cooking oil.

We will need all our strength, courage and cooperation to joint the government's efforts to deal with the consequences of what the oil hike and de-industrialization. Knowing the challenges and difficulties are in front of us Malaysian is the first step in choosing for ourselves how we will react.

Generally, consumers are changing their behavior in response to higher prices when the fuel price goes up. It will almost certainly tension but begin to consume less and look for alternatives.

If fuel prices get high, I’ll just drive less. How about you?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Although the petrol price went up 78 sen a litre, a hike of 40% but is still the cheapest in Asia.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Wednesday announced that the new price for premium leaded petrol (ULG 97) is RM2.70 per litre went up by 78 sen, the price for ULG 92 petrol per litre went up by 74 sen to RM2.62. effective midnight tonight.

The price went up by 78 sen from the current RM1.92, a hike of 40%. The price of diesel increased by RM1 from RM1.58 to RM2.58.

The 78 sen hike or 40 per cent increase for the ULG 97 petrol is still below the anticipated RM4 per litre price projected earlier and is still the cheapest in Asia.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


The price of oil hit a new high of US$135 (RM434) a barrel. If petrol is to be sold at full market prices, it could be as high as almost RM4 a litre - about 100 percent above current levels. Currently petrol sells for about RM1.92 a litre, among the cheapest in the region.

Looking from macro aspect, with increased globalization and closer socio-economic ties between countries, the devastating economic effect of the hike in fuel prices is far more destructive. The damages done can threaten not just a single country, but can impact an entire region.

The devastating economic crisis may ripple affects through the global economy especially economic growth. The situation may become critical arise questions about the economic effects of this and other terrible problems face by the world and Malaysia.

As an oil and gas exporter, Malaysia has profited from higher world energy prices, but due to the price hike, petrol, diesel and gas prices in Malaysia will be at an all-time high and rising from now too.

Given the rising trend in the price of crude oil, a political decision could not be put off. The much-discussed hike in fuel prices which forced government to reduce subsidies is by far needed and around the corner.

The move to cut the spiraling bill for its extensive subsidies, which is expected to cost RM56 billion this year. Although experts and politicians have a lot of excellent reasons to explain the price hike, among them blaming mysterious international market forces for increases in oil prices, unrest in the Middle East, petrol-guzzling cars, greed among oil-producing nations and the fall in the value of the US dollar.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said, the international community should look at the possibility of suspending the trading of oil in the futures market to prevent speculative bidding of the commodity. Countries like Japan had taken the lead in instituting such a move for other commodities.

“To prevent speculative biddings, Japan has suspended trading of rice in the futures market. It has also offered to sell rice from its stockpile at reduced prices,” he said in his keynote address at the 22nd Asia Pacific round table here yesterday.

Abdullah said the international community should examine if similar steps could be applied to the trading of crude oil as it was a major contributor to inflation. He, however, recognized that his proposal would require negotiation and agreement at the international level.

Abdullah said the steep rise in oil, food and other commodities required a global response.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad said, the new subsidies would be a needs-based system, rather than the current arrangement which lowers the cost of petrol for all users no matter what their income.

The government was considering mechanisms including offering cash payments or setting quotas. The government is initially targeting Singaporeans and Thais who make day-trips across the border to fill their tanks with fuel that is substantially cheaper here.

How about the public transport? Should the accessibility, efficiency and facilities in the public transport system be improved?

Malaysia is far too dependent on oil and it is only going to get more and more expensive. Should we be encouraging our people to reduce their energy consumption? Shouldn't we plan to remove our dependency?

The degree of dependency on oil should be reduced now. We should heading it off by proper planning and look at long-term solutions through alternative sources of energy like solar power, biodiesel and wind farms. We must look for real alternatives now to replace oil not till when it has all run out.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


Another political blow to Gerakan as Federal Territory Gerakan chairman Datuk Dr Tan Kee Kwong had joined the opposition government. Federal Territory Gerakan chairman Datuk Dr Tan Kee Kwong was reported to have been accepted by the Selangor government to head a task force to improve the administration and policies concerning the problems of land ownership.

Earlier, former Gerakan deputy secretary-general Datuk Lee Kah Choon had accepted the post of director of the Penang Development Corporation and InvestPenang from the Pakatan Rakyat government in Penang.

It seems that PKR wants to achieve the political mileage through indulging at Gerakan's humiliation.

Hence, the interesting questions come across my little mind : Do you think they are humiliated to Gerakan and wrong morally? Do you think they are taking the right approach? Who is the next? How many other Gerakan members would remain in the party and have faith in the future of BN?