Monday, December 31, 2012

The world’s smelliest and largest flower blooms in Brazil

Hundreds of visitors are flocking daily to a botanical garden in southeastern Brazil to watch the rare blooming of the Titan arum, the world’s smelliest and largest tropical flower. 

Also known as the “corpse flower” because of a smell likened to rotting flesh, it began blooming on Christmas Day and is already beginning to close, botanist Patricia Oliveira said. 

The flower “has a lifespan of 72 hours, during which its stink and meat-coloration attract pollinators: carrion flies and beetles,” added Oliveira, who works at the Inhotim garden, about 445 kilometers from Rio de Janeiro, housing the massive flower. 

Titan arum, also known by its scientific name, “Amorphophallus titanum,” which means misshapen giant penis, is native to the rainforests of western Sumatra. It rarely flowers, is incredibly difficult to cultivate and takes six years to grow. 

Thursday, this Brazilian specimen reached 167 centimeters in height, but the species can grow up to over three meters tall.
This “is the second time it bloomed. The first time was in December 2010,” Oliveira said. 

When it flowers, the bloom has the same temperature as that of the human body, which helps spread its pungent smell.
The species was first described in 1878 by Italian natural scientist Odoardo Beccari. 

Ten years later, it bloomed in a London botanical garden and its next flowering occurred in 1926.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

MCA president: Pro-Umno bloggers only interested in scoops and spinning rather than helping MCA

It’s rather difficult to gain credibility in blogging especially blogging about Malaysian politics. To be recognized as a credible blog and emerge as one of the prominent political bloggers to shape the political scenario, the bloggers must be capable being believed.

Often than not, most political bloggers look unprofessional and can be categorized as unethical bloggers or more specifically “go bloggers”.

The go bloggerin general was seen as the destructive media. Being incredible, the blog is not as what it claimed to be so prominent to politics although it inexorably intertwined with the political issues.  

Observing the issue, the act of "go blogger" prurient fixation against the former president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat once again can be seen as purely hypocritical and destructive to BN.

As MCA president, Chua Soi Lek condemned the behavior of pro-Umno bloggers who he claimed were only interested in “scoops and spinning” rather than helping out his party.

Dr Chua had blamed the pro-Umno blogger who published his remarks against former president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat for starting the public tiff between the two, claiming that the chat had been behind closed doors.

“They obviously do not honor what was discussed ... It was a closed door interaction to talk about MCA’s preparation for general election,” Dr Chua explained in a press conference.

“It was just a chit-chat; some were in a joking form ... So obviously they have no reporting ethics.”

“I would like to condemn their behavior, and the fact that they broke that promise,” Dr Chua referring to the bloggers’ pledge not to publish any of his remarks that was made in a friendly manner.

By betraying the mutual trust and respect placed between them, Dr Chua claimed that he will be more wary of pro-Umno bloggers and their motives in the future.

On Thursday, Dr Chua had suggested to a group of pro-Umno bloggers at his office that his rival and predecessor Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat may quit the party if there is no clear winner to the next general election.

According to a pro-Umno blogger who attended the meeting, Dr Chua had said there were factions in MCA and the only way to overcome this would be to work hard.

“Revisiting the issue of factionalism and lack of support, he spoke bluntly about the Ong Tee Keat faction trying to sabotage him in Melaka. Dr Chua feels that if there is a hung Parliament after the general elections, Ong Tee Keat may just pack his bags and leave. Like Chua Jui Ming,” the BLOGGER wrote on his blog.

In response, Ong took a swipe at Chua via Facebook saying he pitied the MCA president and suggested that he seek psychiatric treatment.

“I really pity him. This is just a fresh round of OTK-bashing, a cyclical recurrence of d same symptom during festive season, more so b4 GE13. He needs help from a psychiatrist perhaps,” Ong wrote on his Facebook.

The question remains: Who can stand as a candidate in a general election without the consent of the party president?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

China may require real name registration for internet access

China may require internet users to register with their real names when signing up to network providers, state media said today, extending a policy already in force with microblogs in a bid to curb what officials call rumours and vulgarity. 

A law being discussed this week would mean people would have to present their government-issued identity cards when signing contracts for fixed line and mobile internet access, state-run newspapers said. 

“The law should escort the development of the internet to protect people’s interest,” Communist Party mouthpiece the People’s Daily said in a front page commentary, echoing similar calls carried in state media over the past week. 

“Only that way can our internet be healthier, more cultured and safer.” 

Many users say the restrictions are clearly aimed at further muzzling the often scathing, raucous - and perhaps most significantly, anonymous — online chatter in a country where the Internet offers a rare opportunity for open debate. 

It could also prevent people from exposing corruption online if they fear retribution from officials, said some users. 

It was unclear how the rules would be different from existing regulations as state media has provided only vague details and in practice customers have long had to present identity papers when signing contracts with internet providers. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Will public declaration of assets by politicians jeopardise their chances of winning the coming 13th general election?

A public declaration of assets by potential election candidates is to hold politicians accountable for their actions. It claimed that it’s a moral reason to show that those involved are not corrupt and is a needed action to fight corruption effectively. 

Indeed, it’s an ever-growing number of the governments to adopt a morally anti-corruption practice that required the politicians to declare their assets and liabilities.

As the public are increasingly recognize the importance of assets disclosure in the enhancement of transparency on the part of those politicians in power who are entrusted with public property and resources. Practically, it serves as an effective way in detecting the sources of corruption and the conflict of personal interest. Those who have little to hide and are not likely to involve in corruption are supporting the action and those have something in hiding under their sleeves are otherwise.

In honor of the fact that, if the politicians in power have nothing to hide, shouldn’t they afraid to declare what they honestly accumulated over the years they are in politics.

It’s somewhat ironic but arguably that politics is the simplest ways to build wealth, however there appear an overwhelming need have emerge to hawkishly protest the country’s rich resources being exploited by those callously and fraudulently politicians for personally benefits.

The public flexes its muscle to support the call for public declaration of assets and not merely just campaign rhetoric. It would seem to them, it's time to walk the talk in fighting the corruption from within or marked the end of the talk.

It is important to note that the existence of openness and transparency about the assets and liabilities of the politicians is vital while the country is moving forward. The public in general, would be able to monitor aggressively and prevent the way and manner the politician unethically and corruptly accumulate their wealth and fortune.

Undeniably, it appealed as the barometer to measure and monitor the financial dealings of the politicians to those feeling suffocated in the political mainstream in fighting corruption which gaining them many followers.

The wrong perception to doubt the popular characterization of all politicians as massively corrupted is arguably modest and statistically fragile needed to be proven, but not hidden otherwise. 

It seems that its one of the strict measures that would be taken in ensuring that politicians show some accountability to the public. It will paint a good image and show the integrity of the ruling government and capability of the law enforcing units in fighting corruption and safeguarding of the politicians.

Noticeably, the public are unconvinced and feel unjustified by the standing of several politicians who hold the school of though and have said that a public declaration of assets by potential election candidates may jeopardize their safety, ahead of what is expected to be the country’s most intensely-fought 13th general election. 

The question remains: Will the public declaration of assets by politicians to voters jeopardize their chances of winning the coming 13th general election?