Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Doctored 709 photo — who’s responsible?

This article was taken from this source, http://blog.limkitsiang.com/2011/07/18/doctored-709-photo-whos-responsible/

All top journalists as well as management personnel in New Sunday Times and Berita Minggu responsible for the photographic falsification of a PAS Unit Amal volunteer as a violent 709 protestor armed with knife when he was holding a Malaysian flag and not throwing rocks at police should step out and own up.

It is a violation of all the basic tenets of journalism of truth, fair play and responsibility for New Straits Times through the New Sunday Times and Berita Minggua to commit such a blatant and flagrant breach of journalistic ethics – a base and lowly act of irresponsibility not only to the profession of journalism but also a great disservice to the plural Malaysian nation-building.

The Malay daily Berita Minggu had on July 10 front-paged the picture of a heavily-built man in a white T-shirt with a black cloth wrapped around his face.

The man, shrouded in smoke, was depicted hurling an object with his left hand while in his right was what appeared to be a knife handle.

The caption read: “Seorang perusuh membawa pisau dalam perhimpunan haram” (A rioter brings a knife to illegal rally) and another subheadline read: “Perusuh guna senjata, batu, lawan polis” (Rioters use weapons, rocks to fight police).

The same image was also featured on New Sunday Times’ front page with the title: “Peaceful?”.

The person concerned, Abdul Razak Endut, has surfaced to rebut and expose what must be one of the most irresponsible and despicable case of journalistic chicanery in the history of Malaysian journalism.

A PAS Unit Amal volunteer, Abdul Razak denied he had a knife and that he was in fact holding a Malaysian flag and he was not throwing rocks at police.

Abdul Razak said: “When the FRU fired tear gas, I saw the wind blowing towards the demonstrators… I picked up the canister and tossed it to a grass field with the hope that the demonstrators would be safe.”

Abdul Razak explained that earlier, he had joined others in forming a human shield to prevent police advances on demonstrators.

“However, that did not happen. Instead, the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) brought in water cannons and fired on us. What should I do to stop the FRU truck? I asked for a (Malaysian) flag from a fellow demonstrator, he gave it to me and I held it against the FRU’s water cannon barrage.

“I had hoped… these people behind are Malaysians, your people, why are you doing this?” he said in an emotional voice in a PAS ceramah over the weekend.

What has the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein got to say for this blatant and flagrant violation of journalistic ethics to serve the political agenda of UMNO and Barisan Nasional?

Last Tuesday, the Home Ministry hauled up top editors of three Chinese newspapers as the Barisan Nasional Government was irked by their coverage of the 709 rally as allegedly favourable to the Bersih 2.0 organisers.

The Chinese newspapers covered the 709 factually, truthfully and responsibly unlike New Sunday Times, Berita Minggu and Mingguan Malaysia which either doctored photographs or reports or carried tendentious and biased one-sided account of the 709 rally.

It was been reported that the Home Ministry is following up with “show cause” letters to the three Chinese newspapers.

Has the Home Ministry “hauled up” New Sunday Times and Berita Minggu for their “doctored” false photograph on the front page of “a violent protestor” at the 709 rally? Has the Home Ministry hauled up Utusan Malaysia for its daily staple of lies and falsehoods to poison and undermine inter-racial and inter-religious harmony in Malaysia? Will show-cause letters follow suit?

Are all printed news media required to publish doctored photographs and print biased reports turning them as “lies-paper” rather than newspapers under Najib’s 1Malaysia’s Transformation Programme?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ride for Rations 2011 - Malacca to Singapore

This 'Ride for Rations 2011' was organised by the Sunlove volunteer organisation in Marsiling which supports the needy families, a fund raising project. There were some 60 cyclists in this event, and among our kakis, we had Kevin, Chua, Corinna, Hooi Yen, Clarence and me. We were to cycle from Malacca via Batu Pahat to Singapore over 2 days covering some 230 km.

We were scheduled to leave by 26-seater express coach to Malacca on 8 July, Friday first. I took half day leave, went home at noon to take my bike and then cycled to Lavendar where the two coaches were on standby for us. Chua had to cycle from his home in Bukit Panjang and Kevin did likewise, from his home in Holland area.

The coaches were scheduled to leave at 3pm. We were there at about 2.30pm. We had to take out the front wheel of our bike, then loaded it to the back. Some wrapped their 'championship' bikes with wrappers to prevent being scratched but I didn't. Kevin's bike is the easiest, a folder which he just placed in the cargo compartment underneath. Kevin, Corrina and I were assigned coach A and Chua was assigned coach B, together with Clarence.

Our coach had 17 of us with our bikes loaded onboard, there were still some vacant seats left. It was a comfortable ride, I must say. On the coach, we met two gregarious brothers, Tomas and Pete and we had good conversation with them throughout the journey.

We arrived to Malacca in the evening, slight delay along the way due to roadblock setup by police, apparently looking out for 'Bersih' supporters heading to KL for the weekend rally. But it was breeze passing through the roadblock, no police was onsight to conduct any formal check though roadblock was set up that caused part of traffic to a snarl on the highway...funny lor.

Our accommodation was at Emperor Hotel and immediately after our arrival, we re-assembled our bikes and placed in a reserved function room. Kevin and I bunked together whereas Chua had to share with someone we don't know. Corinna and Hooi Yen shared a room and big Clarence shared with someone. On the same evening, we (Corinna, Hooi Yen, Kevin, Chua, Clarence and I) roamed the street for local food and ended up taking a good mix of each at different places. Fried oyster, KL hokkien mee and some local stuff in one back alley but the food was superb. We then walked to Jonker Street which has a pasar malam; ate Penang laksa and downed with gula-melaka favoured chendol. Feeling contented, we finally walked back to the hotel to prepare for a long day tomorrow.

After breakfast, everyone was all ready before 8.30am. Checked-out, placed our bags in one support car and we were ready to hit the road. A short briefing was made by Manjit Singh, the organiser and we were finally flagged off at about 8.30am.

We cycled through the town centre to the direction of Batu Pahat, our next destination. It was a nice morning and we moved in one single file. I was with my group but slowly lost sight of them. I was cycling at an average speed of 25km/hr and about an hour of cycling, I slowed down for my kakis to catch up. Still, couldn't see them but the two brothers, Tomas and Pete caught up with me. I then decided to draft them. Both of them are experienced riders. At our first water point, I finally caught up with Chua and Clarence. We were already in Muar, Chua's hometown and we decided to make a surprise call at his mother's place. We first visited his cousin's place, said a quick hello and left. Just a short distance ahead, we dropped by his mother's place but she was not in. His third brother and family were in. It was again, another quick 'hi and bye' as we needed to catch up with the rest who were ahead of us. At about 60km mark in midday, it was our lunch stop. We had by then covered some 60km, another 40km to Batu Pahat.

After lunch, I decided to draft the two brothers to gauge my cycling level. Chua who was in his mountain bike was expected to be slower but I must salute him for trying to catch up with the road bikes and he was not too far behind, though. There was no water supply after lunch and it was getting hotter and hotter. I was with Pete and Tomas and suddenly, we heard a loud burst. It was Pete's bike and his second consecutive time (such bad luck for him). We spent a close one hour trying to fix up his tyre. And finally, we were off again.

By 3pm, we arrived at Batu Pahat town. We gathered at a bike shop, for Pete to change a new tyre and to wait for the rest to marry up with us. One by one, they arrived. Hooi Yen, Corinna, Clarence, Chua and finally Kevin. We then cycled a short distance to our hotel, Crystal Inn. The road condition from Malacca to Batu Pahat is excellent and most of the journey, we cycled on the motorcycle lane. It is mostly flat except for crossing of some bridges.

A dinner was arranged by the organisers for all of us but we still wanted very badly to take the local food first. After a short rest, we gathered at 5.30pm. The six of us then walked a good 20 mins to a hawker centre led by Chua, despite already covered more 100km of cycling. Another good feast for us, again we ordered a good mix of each. Wan tan mee, pork leg fried mee hoon, otak-otak and few more local delicacies, we just gobbled down the food. We walked back another 20 mins to the hotel and still had the dinner hosted by the organisers. It was carbo-loading, no doubt.

The following morning was to start very early for all of us, at 7.30am to be exact as we had to cover some 130 km all the way to Marsiling, our final destination. We had breakfast at 5.45am and by 7.30am we were already hitting the road. We were forewarned that the road condition will not be as good as Malacca to Batu Pahat. Indeed, it was undulating and was really testing our leg muscle. I had to vigorously engage my gear. I stayed close to Tomas and Pete, drafting them throughout. Clarence did join briefly and at some stage, he was leading us but eventually, he just faded away. Corinna and Hooi Yen were drafting with a group of female cyclists and they surged ahead of us when we stopped for tea tarik. The ladies decided not to stop for tea tarek, haiz. Chua was left mostly on own but not too far behind. Only Kevin was way way behind the rest of us. The terrain was tougher than first day, because the distance covered was longer and it was undulating. At 90km, we stopped for lunch. We were already in Kulai. We were among the fastest ones to have arrived and the organisers then decided to group us together. We were planning 2 or 3 groups to move in group, for safety measures as there was no police esort assigned for us. We had to move on own and in a single file. Chua, despite his slower mountain bike decided to join the first group. All 17 of us had to move out first led by iron-man Mano and the sweeper role was given to another seasoned cyclist, Andrew.

It was heavy traffic from Kulai all the way to Johor Bahru. We had to stop many times for the those at the back to catch up. A single file was maintained but it was not easy, we had to stay alert due to the heavy traffic along the way. I was just behind Corinna and twice, I almost bumped into her when she suddenly jammed brake. It was a domino effect when a person in front braked abruptly, it just followed through. We just had to be careful, can't afford a fall on the busy road.

By my reckoning, it took us more than an hour moving from Kulai to the immigration. So far, so good for all of us. We made a finally check before pushing all the way to the immigration. It was smooth and traffic heading to Singapore was not heavy, surprising and it was around 3 pm. The Berish rally in KL did turn away many Singaporeans visiting JB, fortunately for us.

After we cleared the Johor immigration and all of us made sure everyone had cleared before moving. We were going up the slope in one single line on the motorcylce lane. Corrina who was just in front of me suddenly fell from her bike. It was a hard landing for her. Clarence who was in front of her cycled back while I move ahead. She sat on the ground for a good few seconds, the impact was too painful for her. She could stand up on own but complained some pain in her neck. We had to cycle a short distance to the Singapore immigration and then another 1km or so to Blk 3 in Marsiling Road. She told us that she was distracted by Clarence's bum, that bum of his became the butt of joke later when we gathered.

At about 2.10pm, we finally arrived at Blk 3 in Marsiling Road but Sunlove home is still not opened yet. We were well ahead of our schedule. Finally, we had the time to attend to Corinna's wound. The wounds on her shoulder, arm and leg were superficial but it was the neck that hurt most, she couldn't turn her neck. Other than that, she looked alright. Her friend, Vivian drove over to pick her up while we waited for the rest of the cyclists to arrive. To my surprise, she was given 5 days MC, can you imagine that?

I had arranged for my brother to bring his lorry to bring us back at 5.30pm and we didn't stay back for dinner organised by the organisers, simply too tired for us. We just wanted to head home. It was a good outing, challenging and for a good charitable cause. I went home feeling truly satisfied that I have achieved another feat, a ride from Malacca to Singapore over 130km. Hip, hip, hip, hooray (3x)!

Sunday, July 03, 2011

GE Women 10K 2011

The biggest run event for women in Asia, numbering some 12,000 runners and this honour goes to the Great Eastern 10km 2011 which commenced this morning (3 July). Save for last year, this is Winnie third participation in the 10km event.

I offered to pick her up at her place in Clementi at 0615 hrs. We were on the highway on the way to Suntec, where the flag-off was to take-place at 0730 hrs and she received a call from her maid that she left her running shoes at home. We were not too far away and we were able to turn back quickly. Her shoes were then handed to her and off we go back. Again, on the highway, she remembered she left her chip on the table and one more time, we had to turn back to her place for the chip. This time, we made sure everything that was supposed to be brought for the run, was brought along before driving off. Boy, what a start before the run but we were still not too late for the run - it was a little over 0700 hrs.

Driving all the way from AYE and then, exited to Keppel Road to the direction of Suntec. It was smooth traffic at that hour. We then decided to park at Esplanade which is near to the flag-off venue at Suntec. It was nearing 0730 hrs and by the time we reached the venue, it was seconds to the flag-off. Winnie's friend, Charmaine who was to join her at the start-off was also late. She had to turn back to pick up her mobile phone but really, do you need to bring along the mobile phone for the run, I just wondered? I won't, for sure but hey, it's personal and to each, his or her own.

After the flag-off, I made a stroll to the finish line near the Padang. I was waiting with the rest of the supporters, mostly men I must say. Found a nice spot to watch the runners making final dash to the finish and of course, standing by my camera to take shots of Winnie later.

From a distance, I can see the first runner making her way to the finish and guess what, it was just under 32 mins. This young lady from Kenya was making her final few strides and she ran so that I could not even get my camera in time to take some good shots of her. But I blamed that compere who blocked my view momentarily, sigh! She came in under 34 mins and I must say, it is a super-duper fast time unmatched by many local male runners.

As the clock on the top of the finishing line was ticking away and when it showed 1 hr 5 mins, I still couldn't catch a glimpse of Winnie from afar. Then, 1 hr 10 mins passed...Winnie must be reaching any moment I said to myself. And yes, I saw her and quickly, readied my camera while she inched closer. Click, click and another click, I should have taken three quick shots of her. When I checked later, I only managed to take two pictures but only one is more visible. Well, it was better than none at all. The gun time showed 1 hr 13 mins 30 secs when she ran under but her net time be under 1 hr 12 mins. Not a very good time by her standard but there is still room for improvement. She has another chance to improve on it in the Shape Run which is happening in the next 2 weeks.

Nonetheless, I congratulate her for the good effort as completing the race is everything. We later joined her friend, Charmaine for breakfast in Holland V after the run. Good job, ladies!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Bike Rental Shop @ East Coast Park

This morning (Sat, 2 July) I arranged to do cycling with some friends, all 5 of us at East Coast. I have my own bike but all my friends had to rent one at East Coast. We were supposed to cycle from East Coast to Changi Village and back. After getting the bikes, we set-off at about 8.30am to Changi Village. After cycling for 2km, one of our friends had a flat tyre. Just a short distance away, there is this bike shop called 'Our Family Corner' and we went over to ask to use their air pump. We approached this sullen-looking middle-aged Chinese man who happened to man the shop. We sought his help for an air pump. He flatly refused our request pointing to a notice pasted at their shop which I didn't want to read it. He said air pump is only available for use on weekdays only and chargeable at S$1. I said it is fine, we will pay S$1 to use the air pump but he said it is only for rental on weekdays only, period. I was amused, why weekdays and not weekends and further, his shop then was not busy either. He simply stood there, looking deadspan and just refused to let us use the air pump, not even to rent out. We may not have rented the bikes from them in the first place but we could have purchased drinks and other items from them or we could have felt appreciated for their kind gesture and rent bikes from them in future.

This bike shop is certainly doing themselves a disservice, inviting irks from would-be customers and other cyclists who may seek assistance for the same reason. They simply do not understand extending such service to those who need help could earn them new customers and referrals. We were prepared to pay for the use of the air pump, which by the way, is always available in any bike shop or petrol kiosk but this particular bike shop stands out like a sore thumb.

Granted no other choice, I had to push the bike some 2km back to change to a new bike and then cycled 'like hell' to re-join the main group.

This bike shop, 'Our Family Corner' is located along the stretch just after East Coast hawker centre to the direction of Changi Village, nearest to carpark E2. It is the only one bike shop along that stretch, not diffcult to find.

We should boycott this shop, they do not deserve to provide bike rental services of sorts along East Coast to members of the public.