Monday, October 29, 2007

Ponder the following:


From Publius Melayu Blog

  1. Nasaruddin Jalil, rich economic advisor and died-hard supporter of DSAI died recently.
  2. Razak Ahmad, Chairman of PKR Johore died a few months ago, too.
  3. Syed Azmi, Penang strong supporter & Pengerusi Perhubungan Pulau Pinang is now seriously ill.
  4. Zainal Abidin Wahid, ardent supporter is also now seriously ill and wheel-chair bound.
  5. Sanusi Osman of PRM is also seriously ill of old age.
  6. The wives of three of DSAI's close friends have died of cancer (i.e. Anuar Zaini, former VC Universiti Malaya, Nazri Abdullah, formerly of NST and Kamaruddin Md Nor, still Ketua bahagian UMNO Pasir Putih Kelantan).
  7. Zainur Zakaria, former lawyer to DSAI, has decided to wind down his support of DSAI and is now significantly quiet and no longer active in PKR.
  8. Marina Yusof and Saidatul Said Keruak (Sabah) have left Keadilan and rejoined UMNO (though surely they will get anywhere now in UMNO?)
  9. Roslan Kassim, LokmanNor Adam, Hanafiah Man and Zaid Mat Ariff plus eight others have declared rejoining UMNO a year ago.
  10. Many others like Saupi Daud, Anwar Tahir, Ustaz Mohamed Mustapha (Kelantan) and Shaari Sungib have left PKR for PAS.
  11. Ezam Md Nor left PKR recently, why?
  12. Even Nallakaruppan has quit PKR and deserted Anwar...

Why? Are they all wrong and only Anwar right? One begins to wonder – why? Needless, this surely has affected DSAI's morale. Hence, failing to get support from these people anymore, he now has no choice but to try become a hero for the non-Malays in order to continue to be relevant to Malaysian politics.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Child Alert System

From Lenggong Valley Blog

It is good to know that an initiative for a child alert system mooted by Nuraina Samad in her blog sometime back has received positive response. Based on the American system, Amber Alert, the Nurin Alert system as envisioned by Nurin's uncle, Jazlin, may very well be a manifestation of a wholesome programme to facilitate the search and rescue process in the event of a lost child report.

Prior to this, about two years ago, this blogger had come out with a similar idea named GERAK AWAM, which was submitted to the Malaysian police through some people but came to nothing. I don't know whether it got lost in the convoluted proposal submitting system or received but found its way into oblivion in some musty store room somewhere.

Anyway, my programme is a comprehensive link-up of a web portal with a nationwide satellite child tracking system that uses nanotechnology in the form of the RFID (Radio Frequency Integrated Digital Device). As an adjuct to this 'base' setup, the system would also link to the Short Messaging System (SMS) and other modes of connectivity.

Now, with the Nurin Alert programme attracting certain attention, I do hope my programme would again be revisited. I would gladly help invoke its use should Nurin Alert require further enhancements.

Animal rights, human wrongs



We need to adopt and enforce laws and policies about humane treatment of animals in every sphere of interaction with our fellow creatures. 

CRUELTY towards all other forms of life has been a shameful aspect of human existence for thousands of years.  

We use our distant cousins in feather and fur for food. Many animals are exploited as beasts of burden. We kill beautiful creatures for their fur. To some people fashion statements are more important than reverence for life!  

Poachers kill rare animals for ivory and for the manufacture of aphrodisiacs. Medical schools use live animals for dissection. Animal organs are used in xenotransplantation to save human lives. Genetic engineering of animals is increasingly common. 

There are cruel sports such as hunting and cockfights. Matadors pierce bulls' bodies to the roar of delighted fans. Animal businesses employ brutal ways of transporting creatures from farms to markets.  

Slaughterhouses skin animals alive. Some of our exotic food preferences and cooking techniques are absolutely bestial. Fish and crustaceans are cooked alive. In some gourmet restaurants live monkey skulls are split open for connoisseurs to feast on raw brain!  

The smugness with which man does whatever he pleases to other species exemplifies a brutal anthropocentric approach and is based on the principle that might is right.  

I have reliable reports from animal lovers that, contrary to official denial, monkeys are being trapped and shot in Bangsar in Kuala Lumpur. It is suspected that unscrupulous traffickers in animals are emboldened by the recent lifting of the ban by our authorities on the export of monkeys.  

Animal lovers fear that many of the monkeys trapped or shot dead will end up in cooking pots or on vivisection tables in laboratories.  

I have strong doubts about the morality or utility of monkey and crow shoots, and the offering of rewards to catchers of stray dogs.  

Are we ignoring the root causes of conflict between animals and humans – the damage to our environment, the slow elimination of our flora and fauna, the constant encroachment on animal habitats and the slow but sure de-gazetting of forest reserves, green belts and parks? 

These human-centred development policies confirm our callousness towards animal welfare, and reinforce the mistaken view that all other forms of life on this planet exist only to serve human beings.  

In fact, they have God's own reason for existence.  

Some readers will, of course, wonder why "animal rights" are important. Animals are, after all, a "lower form" of life.  

My answer is that animals are our fellow creatures and part of God's majestic creation. Like humans, they have a spark of life that deserves respect and demands compassion.  

Whether animals can reason or talk is less important than whether they can suffer. It is undeniable that all animals with central nervous systems feel pain. Their suffering at our hands is as real as our suffering would be if the roles were reversed.  

In an earlier age, most human beings had a "tribal ethic". Members of the tribe were protected, but people of other tribes could be robbed, raped or killed as one pleased.  

As civilisation advanced, the circle of protection expanded. We began to see the evil in tribalism, slavery, caste system, racism, religious bigotry, colonialism and gender exploitation.  

Pete Singer says that "just as we have progressed beyond the blatantly racist ethic of the era of slavery and colonialism, so we must now progress beyond the species-ist ethic of the era of factory farming, of the use of animals as mere research tools, of whaling, seal hunting, kangaroo slaughter and the destruction of wilderness. We must take the final step in expanding the circle of ethics".  

"Compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain its full breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures" – Albert Schweitzer.  

"Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar" – Bradley Millar.  

Many studies indicate that those who are cruel towards animals are also more disposed to crimes against other human beings.  

The movement for the protection of animals is split into two. The first approach is that animals are sentient beings possessing inherent value and deserving moral and legal rights.  

Religions like Buddhism and Hinduism support this approach fully. In most other religions there are strictures against cruelty towards animals. Unfortunately there is as yet no international treaty on animal rights.  

The second approach is that animals have no inherent rights, but their protection is part of the biodiversity of this planet. As such, animals should be protected because of their instrumental value for the survival of this planet's ecosystem.  

Both approaches call for methods and environments that are more humane for the lives of animals, and envisage that the time will come when animals will not be used as mere tools of human interest.  

A few non-binding instruments like the International Convention for the Protection of Animals, 1988, and the World Medical Association Statement on Animal Use in Biomedical Research, 1989, have been framed by eminent legal thinkers and regional organisations. 

Europe is providing leadership. There are documents for the protection of animals kept for farming purposes (1976), for slaughter (1979), as pets (1987), and during international transport (1971).  

The Humane Society of the US has a number of documents on farm animals, biomedical research, animals in entertainment, and competition and companion animals. 

Sadly, the Malaysian legal system has not developed along these lines. The Penal Code regards animals as property and makes it a criminal offence to "(commit) mischief by killing, poisoning, maiming, or rendering useless, any animal or animals of the value of five dollars or upwards".  

The law is obviously quite inadequate to deal with many of the animal abuses mentioned earlier. 

What we need to do is to adopt and enforce laws and policies about humane treatment of animals in every sphere of interaction with our fellow creatures.  

In addition, we need to conserve and protect areas that are vital to the survival of all other inhabitants of the earth. We need to learn to live with our fellow creatures. This new consciousness cannot wait. Time is running out on our planet.  

The Government must join hands with animal lovers to remind the apathetic citizenry of the unity of life and its interconnectedness.  

Education should be directed towards the refinement of the individual's sensibilities in relation not only to one's fellow humans everywhere, but also to all things everywhere.  

Animals are not our underlings. They are an integral part of the net of life and time. They are fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of Earth. Our life depends on their survival.  

 Dr Shad Faruqi is Professor of Law at UiTM