Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Brief Updates from MBHQ

You’ve no doubt by now noticed that the sites got a bit of a re-design and some things got changed around last week. We wanted to highlight two changes to make sure everyone knows what changed.

The first and biggest is COMMENTS! Registration is no longer required to post a comment on any post. Of course if you already have an account you can still login to ensure your comments are attributed to you, but those who don’t can now post a comment without any long term commitment. Also, on the right you can see some of the recent comments so you’ll always know what the active discussions are. This was the most requested thing we’ve heard from people since our last redesign and we’re excited to see where it leads.

The next change is also something that was heavily requested, and that is a change to the ADS on the sites. You’ll immediately notice fewer of them, but what might not be as obvious is those smaller square ones to the right are specific to this city only and are being sold for a flat rate for a period of time rather than a confusing CPM/traffic/network model. Depending on the city, these range from $7-$175 for a full week. If you purchase one, during that time your ad will be the only one in that spot and will show on every page. We set these up both to make it easier for smaller local businesses to get their ads on our site, and also to help us bring in ads that relate better to our local audiences. Also, keeping these sites online is expensive and every little bit helps.

There are a bunch of other things we changed but we’ll leave those to you to investigate and take advantage of. Hope you like it, and we look forward to seeing you in the comments!!

Love,
The folks at MBHQ

Metblogs Mumbai on high alert

They are covering the chaos there.

Army on the streets of KL

The rumor mills are on overdrive with steroid added on top of it when the army are seen patrolling the streets of KL. Nik Nazmi reports that he saw military personnel dominating the scene of Kelana Jaya, the area where a huge gathering is scheduled to be held tomorrow. Anwar Ibrahim is rumored to make a very important announcement during that gathering.

Earlier, Anwar Ibrahim promised Malaysia with a new government by Malaysia Day, September 16. The government of the day is definitely worried about it. Meanwhile, the credibility of Anwar Ibrahim is on the line if he fails to make good of this promise. The gathering tomorrow may have something to do with the promise.

But we will never know for sure.

Meanwhile, Nat is visibly worried with military presence in the city.

Words on the street have it that an state of emergency might be declared tomorrow, depending on what kind of announcement Anwar will make. The fact that KL Sentral itself had an “emergency drill” last week or so grants the rumor some credibility, if the very visible presence of the military fails to do so.

All in all, like what a friend said to me, it is an exciting time to be a Malaysian.

OMFG, not again!

The haze is coming! The haze is coming! Every man for himself!

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s annual problem of dry weather and hazy skies look to be here again.

A check with the Malaysian Meteorological Services Department revealed 207 hotspots in Sumatra on Sunday, a drop from Saturday’s 372 hotspots in that area.

Peninsular Malaysia had four hotspots, while Borneo had 52.

[…]

According to the Department of Environment website, www.doe.gov.my, the Air Pollutant Index (API) readings showed Port Klang’s reading was 100 at about 8pm Sunday.

Other areas with relatively high readings were Taiping (71), Muar (68), Kuala Terengganu (67), Kuala Selangor (63), Ipoh (62), Putrajaya (59), Prai (58) and Kuala Lumpur (55).

API readings of 0 to 50 is good, 51 to 100 is moderate, 101 to 200 unhealthy, 201 to 300 very unhealthy and above 300 is hazardous. [Get set for hazy skies again. The Star. May 19 2008]

Olympic torch relay in KL

I was there when the relay started at Dataran Merdeka and I was there yet again to witness the torch relay on Jalan P. Ramlee under the heavy rain.

It started quite angrily for me. I had wanted to protest peacefully with no intention to disrupt the relay. Along with me was a camera and a placard with the word “liberty” written on it. Volunteers from China were not happy and forcefully took my placard away after physically harassing me. And so, I found out the hard way how violent these volunteers were. I’ve already described my experience at KL for a Free Tibet (and photos of another protester being harassed by the abrasive volunteers from China; my words there are harsh because I don’t take coercive kindly) and so, I shall refrain from retelling the story here.

But more photos are in order.

I caught a glimpse of the flame. First was at the Dataran Merdaka:

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Security was really tight. Apparently, the security personnel were there to protect PRC volunteers, not the Malaysian citizens or everybody at large. While pro-Beijing people were allowed to display their political placards, those sympathetic to Tibet were not. In fact, when the peaceful pro-Tibet protesters were assaulted by the PRC volunteers/thugs, the police arrested the pro-Tibet protesters, not the ones committing the assault. The police did nothing to stop the pro-Beijing thugs from harassing those that disagree with PRC’s policies.

I shouted FREE TIBET when the Torch passed in front of my and was quickly grabbed from behind by a volunteer from the PRC. Mind you, not by a Malaysian police officer but a PRC volunteer instead. I pushed him back and made a complaint to an officer: the officer did nothing however but thanks the heaven that the PRC thug walked off, probably thinking that he might get himself in trouble if he continued to apply force against me in front of police officers, however timid these officers were against these PRC nationals.

Once the Torch left the Dataran Merdeka, I went straight to the Petronas Twin Towers to get another corru board to make a brand new placard just like the one robbed from me by the PRC volunteers.

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The previous banner was like this, only prettier since I had time to do it properly:

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This one took me less than 10 minutes to complete. That board is about the size of an A3 paper.

It rained after that but the Torch runner went on regardless.

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This guy went off the bus to wait from the runner with a lit torch.

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Notice the police presence. This must be the most protested Olympics in recent memory.

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There were isolated small protests and all of them were forcefully suppressed by PRC volunteers with unsanctioned coercion power. Your truly was one of the victims and he got himself cited in an article in a local daily:

Another scuffle also ensued before the run in Dataran Merdeka when a group of Chinese national students took away a banner emblazoned with the word “Liberty” from a 24-year-old woman known only as Gek.

It was learnt that the group hit Gek’s head at least three times and chanted “One world, one dream, one China”.

The situation was defused when another woman calmed the members down and told them not to create trouble.

It was revealed later that the banner did not belong to Gek, but to Hafiz Noor Shams, 26, who said he came to the torch relay “to witness things”.

Asked on his intentions in bringing such a banner, Hafiz said that it was only a one-word banner.

“But they are free to interpret however they like,” he said, admitting that he was pro-Tibet. [Minor hiccups and a handful of arrests during run. The Star. April 22 2008]

I don’t like like how The Star reported the news. Like what Marina said to me through IM, it is as if I admitted to a crime. But after all, The Star is owned by a local political party, MCA after all. The Star was heavily biased but the recent election was a kick in the groin for them.

In any case, exercising liberty is not a crime. Harassment is.

Others whom plan to protest at other cities should be careful when these PRC volunteers are around. They have no qualm about using force to silent you. These volunteers which lived under suppressed society (Malaysians are suppressed too but at least, we are fighting back) have developed fascist culture of suppression where diversity of opinion are not acceptable. They know nothing about free speech or peaceful expression.

Protest peacefully though. Let teach them a leason or two about the real meaning of peace.

UMNO akan kalah di Titiwangsa?

KL Pos memberi gambaran yang UMNO akan kalah kepada PAS di kawasan Parlimen saya, Titiwangsa.
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Jealous of Penang

KL is so much better compared to Penang. But we have to concede: we do not have a coastline and we don’t have the luxury of watching porpoises from our own city.

BALIK PULAU: A pod of six porpoises was spotted in the waters off Penang, about 200m from the shores of Kuala Sungai Burung near Pulau Betong here.

The Star photographer Wan Mohizan Wan Hussein, a part-time fisherman, saw the porpoises as he was testing his boat after some maintenance works at 11.30am yesterday. [Porpoises seen frolicking off Penang. The Star. February 20 2008]

A real bomb 5-minute drive away!

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 15 (Bernama) — A bomb found at the edge of a heap leaves underneath a tree near a food centre in Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz opposite the Celcom Tower here, just about half-a-kilometre from Bernama’s headquarters, caused the road to be closed for more than two hours Thursday night.

[…]

Police, who arrived about 30 minutes later together with a Bomb Squad, sealed off the road and areas surrounding it before detonating it at 10.15pm. [Bomb Find Causes Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz To Be Sealed Off. Bernama. February 15 2008]

Is KL suddenly on the front line?

KL in World’s Monopoly

There will be a World’s Monopoly and right now, Hasbro is taking vote on which cities to include.
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KL, the wireless city

So, there is a plan to turn Kuala Lumpur into an almost wireless city by 2010. That is one huge plan but it would be exciting!

The best thing is, it will be free for 2 years. So, no more stealing those wireless broadband from Starbuck!
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