Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Owner of motorcycle in C10 found

(pic removed by blog owner)
This was the Honda EX5 parked inside the C10 building last weekend during the suspected BK lobby break-in.

(pic removed by blog owner)
This is the owner of the bike

I wish to clarify that the group of Persuasive Communication students supposedly implied for the cause of the BK lobby 'break-in' last week was not what it appeared to be. I also wish to apologize if anyone or any group of people who were mislead into the 'implication' and was offended.

Yes, it was a misleading implication, but it was not a false alarm. There were 'signs' of break-ins although nothing was stolen. The door lock was damaged and we believed (me, Ming Hock and Azmi) that it was deliberated.

On Monday, 14 December the Dean called for a meeting with the relevant staff to look into the matter. The two students stated in the last post were also summoned. We found that they had abide to security procedures as mentioned earlier.

The Dean also made some improvements to the operation procedures on the running (or manning) of the building. Security measures were beefed up.

Meanwhile, the mystery surrounding the damaged lock remains. At first we thought it could be due to wear and tear as the quality of lock is questionable. But I checked with the only person who regularly use the door to go up his room - Abdul Rahman - who said the last time he used it (Friday 11 Dec), the lock was okay.

To some others, it might be a false alarm, but to me the episode was a blessing in disguise.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Berita Kampus lobby broken into - 12 Dec 09

On Friday, 11 Dec 09, two Persuasive Communication students (Rishven and Joyce Quek) came to me to ask permission to use the lecture room 109 at the C10 building on Saturday, 12 Dec 09 around 10am. I told them to get another colleague, Abdul Razak or Azmi to come open it for them instead.

As the students couldn't find Abdul Razak nor Azmi as they were not around (busy with the conference at Parkroyal Hotel, I guess), I obliged and told them to use the same procedure as was implemented all this while - that I will come and open the main door for them, and they would exit the back door and lock it before leaving.

The back door can be opened and unlocked from inside without any keys, but once latched from inside, you can only open it from outside using a key. So this is the procedure that I have agreed with the students when they wanted to stay off late during weekdays. So far there was no problem.

On Saturday at exactly 10am, I came and opened the front door for the students - Joyce Quek and about a dozen other PR students were there too. As they wanted to use the room 109, I made sure it was opened and everything in the room was intact.

At around 11am, I left C10 before checking everything was locked, including the main door, my room door and the door to both entrance to the BK Lobby. I left through the back door, as I always did - before locking the front doors and exiting through the back door to make sure the both the back exit/entrance are locked.

So, no problem. The students request was only to use room 109 - nothing else. Now why do they have to break in the BK Lobby (to relax, use the pantry and watch Astro I assume). Now, if that's what they want, why not ask my permission. I would gladly allow them as long as they keep everything tidy and not bring in any outsiders.

Now, they have broken in the BK Lobby, and the locks are broken. Who else would want to break in the BK Lobby and not steal anything?

This was the door they broke into.

Now the lock is damaged.

They wanted to look as if nothing was touched, but hook on the doors were not latched

They didn't even bother to latch on the upper lock too.

Nothing was stolen, but it is still a case of breaking and entering without permission

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

2 JAM TANPA KENDERAAN?

Berikut gambar-gambar yang dirakam ketika Kempen 2 Jam Tanpa Kenderaan Bermotor di sekitar kampus USM, Pulau Pinang semalam.

Dalam berita muka depan Berita Kampus Bil.6 yang diterbitkan semalam, Pengarah projek kempen tersebut, Ahmad Wafi Sedan, Sains Fizik 2 berkata, "Jika kempen ini berjaya, kemungkinan besar ianya akan diadakan secara berterusan setiap hari Jumaat jam 2.30 petang hingga 4.30."

Ya..! ketika itulah orang ramai berpusu-pusu keluar dari Masjid selepas solat Jumaat dan staf yang hendak masuk semula ke kampus untuk sambung balik kerja jam 2.45 petang.

Harap mereka dapat memilih waktu yang lebih sesuai untuk berkempen...!

















Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Berita Kampus Jilid 40, Bil 6

BK Jilid 40, Bil 6 sudah berada dipasaran mulai hari ini 20 Oktober 2009. Ia merupakan edisi terakhir semester ini. Edisi seterusnya akan bermula selepas semester depan dibuka awal tahun depan.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Berita Kampus Jilid 40, Bil 5

Berita Kampus Bil 5 sudah berada di pasaran. Kandungan berita dan rencana kali ini sangat menarik. Pelajar USM boleh beli dengan harga RM0.50. Staf USM boleh dapat dari PTJ masing-masing atau datang terus ke bangunan C10 (hubungi saya di 04-6535070).

Sekumpulan 5 orang pelajar juga akan buat jualan terus di Kampus Kejuruteraan, Transkrian pagi ini. Komen, cadangan dan kritik di buka.

Izaham

Monday, September 14, 2009

Berita Kampus Jilid 40, Bil 4

Berita Kampus Bil 4 mula diedar hari ini. Staf USM sila dapatkan dari PTJ masing-masing (yang langgan). Kalau ada yang tak dapat boleh hubungi saya 04-6535070 (mulai jam 11.00 pagi). Sekarang saya urus edar langganan sekitar kampus. Komen, cadangan, kritik dan sebagainya adalah dibuka.

Izaham

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Linking the Dots; Beating the Odds

This is my new blog - Linking the Dots; Beating the Odds. The content will display my own opinions and inner thoughts - based on my observations and experiences with the media (well, I'll be inviting some contributors soon). But at the moment this new blog will try to gather as many readers as possible.

Sapiently, the subtitle reads Credible, Non-Credible and the Incredible (or incredulous if you prefer) and this refers to news and information, of course. You can read the context of the subtitle on the side bar of the blog.

This current blog - usmcampusnews - will remain as it is, reporting on the dates of publication of Berita Kampus and anticipating responses from its readers (which is a bit slow at the moment, no doubt).

Nonetheless, we sincerely hope with the existence and maintenance of this main blog, readers will have a platform to give their piece of mind on the publication of BK. We will not moderate any comments, complaints, criticisms or suggestions.

Till then, ciao...
Izaham

Monday, August 31, 2009

Analisis BK Jilid: 40 Bil:3

Jenuh memikirkan apa dan bagaimana reaksi yang ingin saya beri terhadap keluaran terbaru Berita Kampus yang akan terbit pada 1 September, esok. Sementara saya ini jenis yang suka berterus terang mengenai kualiti penerbitan sesuatu bahan cetak, saya juga bukan yang suka mematahkan semangat orang.

Sebagai tujuan promosi selain tidak mahu menghampakan semangat kemerdekaan semua orang yang sedang berkobar ketika ini, saya ringkaskan pandangan saya melalui posting ini.

Tidak banyak yang ingin saya perkatakan kecuali ianya adalah ulangan dari beberapa banyak keluaran BK yang terdahulu. Sebagaimana BK-BK yang lepas, tiada tema yang khusus, cuma penekanan diberi tentang pelaporan Convex 09 atau upacara konvokesyen ke 40 USM baru-baru ini.

Sebagai ulangan dari pelaporan BK pada tahun-tahun yang lepas mengenai peristiwa-peristiwa penting universiti, upacara konvo sememangnya sesuatu yang harus ada. Bagaimanapun, konsep dan konteks liputan tetap sama, dengan kualiti rekaletak nampak tidak bersemangat - tiada idea baru.

Sementara itu, semangat yang ditunjukkan pada wadah editorial masih mendatar dengan ulangan isu-isu yang sama diperkatakan akhbar harian tanpa kupasan idea yang baru. Harapan saya, wadah editorial ini dapat menampakkan kematangannya dengan pelajar berani memperkatakan mengenai isu-isu semasa di dalam negara dengan lebih telus.

Bagaimanapun, jika ada isu yang boleh dibanggakan mengenai pelaporan BK kali ini ialah mengenai berita kecemerlangan kesusasteraan negara apabila Prof Muhammad Hj Salleh dinobatkan Anugerah Tokoh Akademik Negara. Pengiktirafan Anugerah Akademik Negara tertinggi ini suatu penghargaan kepada bidang pendidikan dan kesusasteraan terutamanya kepada USM apabila karya Prof Muhammad, Poetika Sastera Melayu mendapat perhatian di kalangan akademik tempatan mahupun dunia.

Teori sastera Melayu yang diketengahkannya sering dirujuk dan digunakan di beberapa buah universiti di Nusantara dan antarabangsa dan juga sebagai landasan tesis/disertasi. Karya-karya sasteranya juga menjadi bacaan wajib di semua sekolah menengah dan juga beberapa kursus Universiti di Malaysia, Singapura dan Indonesia. Maka tiada sangsi lagi Prof Muhammad memang layak dinobatkan dengan anugerah tertinggi tersebut.

Bakti Prof Muhammad menerusi sastera ini seterusnya diabadikan dalam sebuah rencana oleh Mohd Bakri Adam dan Izzat Ismail dengan kupasan yang menyegarkan di muka surat 16.

Hari Antarabangsa Pusat Pengajian Bahasa, Literasi dan Terjemahan (PPBLT) juga menjadi tumpuan pemberita BK kali ini dengan pelbagai aktiviti seperti permainan, pameran dan pertunjukan kebudayaan, deklamasi sajak, tayangan filem dan pesta makanan yang telah diadakan di perkarangan PPBLT. The BOOK Club@SoLLaT, suatu program PPBLT juga dilancarkan oleh Naib Canselor bertujuan menyemai tabiat membaca di kalangan warga kampus USM, selain meningkatkan kemahiran pemikiran kritis.

Berita sastera lain yang turut menjadi tumpuan ialah sesi autograf bersama Dr Chuah Guat Eng, penulis wanita Malaysia pertama menerbitkan novel berbahasa Inggeris pada tahun 1994. Penulis novel pasca kolonial bertajuk Echoes of Silence ini telah berkongsi pengalamannya sebagai seorang penulis dengan para pelajar di Dewan Kuliah A, USM. Selain memberi ceramah, tujuan lawatan Dr Chuah juga sebagai mempromosikan novel tersebut yang kini dalam proses penulisan episod kedua, buku Tales from the Baram River (2001) dan juga novel The Old House and Other Stories (2008).

Berita sastera seterusnya ialah mengenai Persidangan Penterjemahan Antarabangsa ke 12 yang diadakan pada 18-20 Ogos lepas. Dianjurkan USM dengan kerjasama Persatuan Penterjemah Malaysia (PPM), Institut Terjemahan Negara (ITNM) dan Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) dan dibawah naungan Kementerian Pengajian Tinggi Malaysia dan Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia. Resolusi utamanya ialah sokongan kesemua penganjur terhadap dasar penggunaan bahasa Melayu sebagai bahasa pengantar oleh kerajaan dalam semua peringkat pendidikan termasuk pengajian tinggi.

Akhir sekali, Dewan Budaya USM telah berjaya mempersembahkan Pertandingan Ceritera Lestari dengan menampilkan lapan kumpulan mewakili desasiswa dan persatuan untuk bertanding dalam bidang lakonan pentas. Ceritera lestari ini ialah sebuah pertunjukan budaya yang cuba menyampaikan mesej mengenai idea kelestarian melalui pementasan pantomim, sejenis lakonan tanpa suara. Kumpulan Daksina Artisutra yang mewakili Persatuan Rentak Madini muncul johan dengan pantomim yang bertema "Ke Arah Kelestarian Masa Hadapan."

Dengan begitu banyak berita dan aktiviti mengenai kesusasteraan pada beberapa minggu kebelakangan ini, maka layaklah Berita Kampus kali ini dikatakan telah bertemakan 'sastera' secara tidak langsung. Semoga perkembangan baik dan menggalakkan ini diteruskan.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Poco-poco - is it really a religous dance?

Never ever underestimate the power of chain-emails, irregardless of the truth of its contents (or lack thereof). Accept it, embrace it, hate it, ignore it - it is a phenomenon - that chain-email has been spreading the WWE (world-wide-email) like wild fire and reaching even the remotest of people's mail-box irrespective of their race, creed or philosophical belief.

It can and has affected everyone - including the government, the authorities, politicians, or even experts in media studies. If a layman can feel insulted or demoralized by the widespread of chain-emails, so can anyone, especially if it touches on things that are close at heart.

The subject in this posting will not carry the previous title (although it has similar thoughts and messages) as I intend to focus on this matter specifically. In the next posting I will try to categorize the types of chain email that has been spreading and polluting our in-box and consider its impact on people's lives.

Question: Is there any pinch of truth in the poco-poco email that we can consider to research on its authenticity or background or should we just leave it untouched and categorize it as thrash? Or can it be put under urban legend, urban myth or urban tale - a form of modern folklore consisting of stories thought to be factual by those circulating them but are not entirely. Like all folklore, urban legends are not necessarily false, but they are often distorted, exaggerated, or sensationalized over time.

First lets look at it again:
"Assalammualaikum.
|
| Alhamdulillah kerana kita semua masih bernafas lagi dgn keizinanNya.
| Saya ingin berkongsi dgn rakan2 semua tantang tarian pocoh2 yang
| sedang hangat ditarikan oleh semua lapisan masyarakat,umumnya
| masyarakat kita yg beragama islam terutama suri2 rumah dan badan2
| kerajaan ketika manghadiri kursus.
|
| Sebenarnya tarian pocoh2 ini berasal dari Filipina bukannya dari
| Indon.Ia ditarikan oleh masyarakat yg berugama kristian ketika mereka
| menghadiri upacara sembahyang mingguan mereka.Lihatlah sahaja
| bagaimana pergerakannya, yg membentuk salib.
|
| Mungkin kita x perasan
| kerana kita suka mengikut2 sesuatu yg baru tanpa usul periksa. Inilah cara musuh2 islam mengenakan kita sedangkan kita tahu apabila kita melakukan sesuatu yg menyerupai sesuatu agama maka kita dikira merestui agama itu seperti amalan yoga
| yg telah difatwakan haram kerana menyerupai agama hindu.cuma
| tarian pocoh2 ini belum difatwakan haram lagi.
| Marilah kita sama2 fikirkan."
|
| | Masya Allah...penulis pernah terfikir dulu,kenapa tarian itu dimulakan
dari kiri?dan apa jenis senaman ini? relevankah tarian ini,yang kelihatan
seperti tidak siuman? Dengan emel ini 'terungkailah' persoalan itu semua.
| Jadi,penulis menyeru kepada diri penulis dan anda semua supaya mengambil
inisiatif untuk tidak lagi 'menarikan' lagi tarian ini yang ternyata
mensyirikkan Allah tanpa kita sedar.Dan paling utama memohon keampunan
daripada Allah S.W.T atas kejahilan kita tentang perkara ini sebelum ini.
|
| Semoga mendapat perhatian pihak berkenaan agar mengkaji secara terperinci
tentang kesahihan perkara ini,asal usul dan kesannya kepada akidah Umat
islam dan mengeluarkan fatwa tentang tarian ini,agar Umat Islam tidak
berterusan di dalam kelalaian dan 'keasyikkan' menarikan tarian ini.
| WALLAHUALAM....


Firstly, the email does not have any credibility at all because it was an unsigned letter - meaning we do not know who the original sender is. According to the study of mustalahul hadith or the science of hadith, the first thing we should ask if a news or story reaches us is whether it has an isnad. Isnad is the list of citations for successive narrators reaching back to the original narrator. If the isnad and the narrator is authentic (credible) then we can accept the news as the truth. If there is no isnad then how can we know who the original narrator (perawi) is.

But then, this method is, with all due respect, outdated as far as ICT and research is concern. Of course at that time when there is no internet, the GSM or Broadband, you can't verify a story that say for e.g someone come up to you and claim... Saidina Ali was killed in Karbala. But now if someone does that, you can just search the internet and find out that it was Saidina Hussein not Saidina Ali that was killed in Karbala (I know it's a lame example).

So, if a story comes to us without any basis like an unsigned letter, must we verify it first or can we just ignore it. Depends-lah, read it first, if it's important for e.g like the much sensationalized letter about the death of Teoh Beng Hock given to Teoh's family lawyer, Gobind Singh Deo - then it is worth verifying (by the court).

But if it's just this poco-poco chain-email, then you decide yourself. If it happens that you are a die-hard fan of the dance and you can't live to breath another day without moving to the dance beat of poco-poco then do a research on it. So, that's what I did...! No, I'm just kidding...! I'm not a poco-poco die-hard fan (maybe a little bit of Bruce Willis - the Die-Hard movie trilogy) but research on it I did...

So what did I find? Opocot!...no such thing as the dance originated from the Philippines or if it's a religious dance. The email can be categorized as rubbish or even worst...

But I did found something else - that the dance music was created or written by Arie Sapulette and made popular by Jopie Latul. Arie is from Ambon and the song is sung in Menado, an Indonesian dialect.

Poco-Poco
Artis (Band): Yopie Latul / Arie Sapulette
Lagu berbahasa Menado pengiring senam pagi di Indonesia dan tarian Poco Poco Minahasa ciptaan: Arie Sapulette yang dipopulerkan oleh Jopie Latul. Olah raga bersama Jumat pagi bisa bikin sehat dan tambah semangat, asal jangan sampai telat piket gara-gara terpikat ama yang pakai kaos ketat

I also found this Berita Harian article by Siti Fatimah Mohamed Anwar.

Poco-poco diminati golongan veteran
Oleh Siti Fatimah Mohamed Anwar
sitifatimahanwar@nstp.com.my

Tarian dari Sulawesi Utara digemari semua peringkat masyarakat

POCO-POCO yang kini menjadi kegilaan rakyat di negara ini membuktikan senaman tarian mendapat tempat di hati masyarakat. Tarian yang asalnya tarian tradisi masyarakat Yospan di daerah Papua dan Wayase di daerah Ambun, Indonesia, kini divariasikan menjadi tarian senaman menghiburkan.

Malah, tarian poco-poco atau maksud lainnya adalah tarian beramai-ramai ini menjadi wadah senaman yang dipertandingkan di kebanyakan agensi kerajaan dan swasta. Bukan saja golongan berusia malah murid tahun satu juga sudah ligat menggelek ala poco-poco.

Hakikatnya, nama poco-poco itu diilhamkan seniman dari Ternete berdarah Ambon iaitu Arie Sapulette, ia bermula apabila beliau menghadiri satu majlis keraian di sebuah daerah berdekatan kampungnya, pada majlis itu beliau melihat seorang gadis gempal menari sejenis tarian dengan bertenaga dan lincah.

Lantas secara tiba-tiba perkataan poco-poco yang membawa maksud gadis yang tubuhnya berisi dan lincah terbit dari mulutnya. Sejak itu, tarian yang ditarikan mengikut rentak gendang itu terus kekal dinamakan poco-poco sehingga ke hari ini.

Arie juga menjadi individu yang bertanggungjawab menggubah lagunya yang turut dinamakan poco-poco sejurus beliau berhijrah ke Jakarta pada 1995, lagu poco-poco popular di seluruh Indonesia dan dinyanyikan semula oleh penyanyi tersohor Yopie Latul.

Pensyarah Fakulti Seni Persembahan, Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Syed Mustapha Syed Yasin berkata, poco-poco bukan sekadar tarian biasa ia memiliki aura dan kekuatan tersendiri. Tarian yang berasal dari daerah kecil di Ambon di Sulawesi Utara, Indonesia, ini digemari semua peringkat masyarakat tanpa mengenal usia, tambahan pula gerakan tarian ini mudah dipelajari dan menghiburkan.

Menariknya tarian ini mendapat sambutan menggalakkan malah, pertandingan tarian poco-poco juga diadakan dan menjadi sebahagian pendekatan gaya hidup sihat di agensi kerajaan serta mendapat tempat terutama ketika majlis keraian.

Gerakan asas poco-poco pada dasarnya mudah diikuti. Buat yang baru pertama kali mencubanya, walaupun badan tegak bagaikan tiang lampu, jangan khuatir kerana langkah tarian ini mudah diikuti. Dua langkah kecil ke kanan, kembali semula ke tempat, lalu langkah diundur satu atau dua langkah, seterusnya melangkah ke hadapan sambil berpusing.

Begitulah seterusnya gerakan ini diulang-ulang, hingga si penari selesai memusingkan tubuh ke arah empat penjuru angin lalu kembali semula ke kedudukan asal, katanya.

Selain zapin, tarian poco-poco juga menjadi alat bantu kecergasan yang popular di kalangan rakyat di negara ini gerakan yang dilakukan mengikut alunan muzik ala reggae yang tidak terlalu rancak dan sentimental bersesuaian dengan budaya masyarakat Malaysia terutama Melayu.

Masyarakat kita masih malu melakukan tarian moden, tambahan pula yang berumur. Disebabkan itu tarian poco-poco, zapin dan joget lebih sesuai dijadikan tarian senaman kerana sifatnya lebih mesra rakyat.

Justeru, tidak hairanlah tarian poco-poco diminati golongan berumur kerana ia lebih tradisional dan sifatnya ala joget namun lebih bertenaga. Kalau sebut salsa, tango dan balle pastinya makcik dan pakcik di rumah geleng kepala tapi apabila sebut poco-poco saya yakin senyum mereka lebih lebar itulah aura poco-poco, katanya.

Selain poco-poco Syed Mustapha berkata, tarian perut atau lebih dikenali tarian gelek juga semakin popular di barat terutama Amerika Syarikat. Tarian gelek yang popular di negara Timur Tengah itu, kini menjadi satu perkhidmatan yang di tawarkan di beberapa pusat kecantikan dan gimnasium di Eropah.

Tarian gelek berkesan dalam membantu menguatkan otot serta mendisiplinkan diri mengatur langkah dengan baik. Tarian ini menjadi asas senaman untuk kardiovaskular serta menjadikan tubuh bersifat mudah lentur, katanya.

Mereka yang mengamalkan tarian gelek menggunakan banyak gerakan otot dalam badan baik untuk melancarkan pengaliran darah.

Terdapat beberapa gerakan dalam tarian ini, ia sama ada dilakukan serentak atau berturutan. Langkah gerakan tarian gelek seperti, putaran pinggul, gaya ular, gerakan kepala dan goncangan sekitar abdomen.

Alunan abdomen adalah asas tarian gelek. Putaran pada pinggul dilakukan secara berulang, tarian ini membantu membentuk pinggang menawan dan pinggul berotot. Malah, pakar percaya tarian gelek berkesan mengurangkan risiko osteoporosis, katanya.

Beliau berkata, tarian itu baik untuk wanita bagi mengurangkan risiko sakit sendi terutama di bahagian lutut, tulang kering dan kaki. dengan melakukan gerakan gelek berulang-ulang ia meningkatkan pernafasan dan melancarkan degupan jantung.

Malah, kajian membuktikan dengan melakukan tarian gelek ia mampu membakar, 300 kalori jika dilakukan selama satu jam.

Selain itu, tarian ini mampu mengurangkan kadar stress kerana kebiasaannya apabila seseorang tertekan otot bahu, kepala, leher akan berasa tidak selesa. Dengan melakukan tarian gelek, regangan pada bahagian tadi diurut perlahan-lahan dan ia menjadi terapi yang baik, katanya.

And also this one from the same author.

So, what can we learn from this episode?

Avoid or refrain ourselves from forwarding chain-emails especially if it can offend people. Sometimes we may claim that we have good intentions i.e to inform, initiate discussions or provide an insight to others, but we do not know who the original sender is and what their intentions are? For that - any chain-letter or email that needs to be verified before we can believe in it, needs to be verified before being forwarded off to other peoples mail-box. Please send it to the thrash bin if we could not verify its truth.

Apparently in this example, we can assume that the original creator of the letter just wanted to initiate discussion as to him/her the dance craze is a bit too much for his/her liking. But if his/her intent is to discredit the original songwriter, then be careful, like in the case of TBH's letter, the people mentioned in the letter can sue you as the carrier of the news together with the original creator for defamation or slander.

Cheers...<----maybe somebody wants to find out if this word means 'Yam Seng' or what?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Email culture - have we evolved in tandem with the development of the internet? Part 2

My better half is my biggest critic. Well, not only when it comes to my writing, but also when it comes to all aspects of my life. She almost never compliments me about the quality or significance of my writings because she knows my standard and demands something better out of me all the time - including you know what.

She asked me why all of a sudden this topic. I answered: 3 issues that affected me recently prompted me to write about emails:
1. The problem with lousy email users not replying most of my important work-related emails. Not even a simple answer like thanks or OK or I'll look into it.
2. The problem of compulsive chain-emailers overloading my in-box with insignificant stuff, some of which are scams of some sort (not necessarily financial) and some which are just someone's idea of a bad joke (one of which recently offended another who replied back showing his disgust to the sender and cc-ed it to all other recipients).
3. Spams, which I am getting less of it now, no doubt, but a topic I would like to explore into to enlighten myself, certain individuals and groups about what it really means.

When I told her I took half my working day to do the write-up, she said not good enough because with that amount of time it should be longer and that I should have delved into her favorite networking site - Facebook. Yes, she's an ardent fan of Facebook and I think I should stop commenting more about what she likes before I get a good bashing when she reads this.

About not writing fast enough or longer, I do write slowly because I have to check my sentences, grammar, spelling, vocabulary, facts and and double check them again for clarity before I publish them. I believe that writers who choose to double check their write-ups, amend errors and if possible shorten or concise their sentences for simplicity and brevity before putting them up for publication abide to the hallmark of good writings. These factors should be the benchmark of a good writer and not just that writers also have to check their facts as they have to be responsible and accountable for what they publish.

But then OK, I said I'll try to write longer this time around with that amount of time without any or less mistakes (then it pondered upon me why women likes to spend time reading thick novels - those steamy, romantic stuff! - one marriage manual states that any man who wants to know what women really want should read a romance novel. They are as close to a marriage manual for men as you're ever going to get. You only need to read one...they're all the same).

OK, sorry for the digression. Let's get to the serious stuff...

Christine Jalleh, a communications specialist who blogs about English, culture and travel quoted The Radicati Group, that on average of 210 emails are sent per day with business users sending and receiving about 156 emails per day (reported in August 2008). The majority is spam, which leave an average of 60+ emails flooding your in-box every day.

Maybe its due to this fact that some people take emails for granted - either they couldn't be bothered to reply them even if it's important or they become obsessed and fall into the second category - chain e-mailers - 'shooting off' by forwarding all their emails as fast as they get them.

Christine says in general, emails that are least likely to get a person's attention fall into these categories:
> Emails that do not require the recipient’s action i.e. copied or “c.c.”-ed emails.
> Emails containing more than ten names in the “To” section – such e-mails are labeled as general or opinion-seeking e-mails. Recipients tend to delay their responses to these e-mails, thinking that nine others are available to respond.
> Emails containing one-word responses e.g. “OK”, “Thanks, everyone.”
> Forum-like e-mails which contain endless replies after replies on a topic of discussion.

But I would like to add, from my experience some emails sent directly to a recipient get unnoticed because the recipient couldn't even bother to open and read them! Until of course their in-box gets clogged and their email account eventually use up the maximum limit. (Then they can have a good excuse of not using their email because it is now kaput!)

And after we get a chance to meet them personally and ask them if they have received the email, this is the standard answer we get - tak dak pun! or tak buka email pun lagi! or komputer I rosak!

To them e-mail is not their culture. Period! You want to say anything to them, come up to meet them and say it on their face. Only then you will get an answer. Regarding this group of people, whoever or whatever they are, I rest my case!

But there are some email users who do open their email but are reluctant to reply immediately because:
> they want to contemplate on the matter and wish to delay answering
> they would prefer others on the list to answer as they consider the others could give better answers or opinions
> they just want to delay until they don't answer at all

There are also some example of people who are unresponsive to emails but suddenly one fine day you get to see one long, emotional write-up appear in your mailbox because:
> they only write when they are very angry - a knee jerk reaction to some offensive email or event
> they are very happy about some happenings in their life, like a promotion or moving on to another place
> criticizing a particular person, without naming their victim
> apologizing profusely for something wrong they have done

I have no qualms about people who don't answer personal emails, like asking their help on something unrelated to work or about inviting them to some party or occasion or wanting their opinion or cooperation about a personal project. This to me is their own choice. But not replying to important, work related matter until it gets everybody into trouble is something we should avoid. This couldn't be bothered or lackadaisical attitude is really upsetting, to say the least.

Some university in the West have this policy that the e-mail is an official means for communication. Therefore, the university or their authority has the right to send communications to their subjects via e-mail and the right to expect that those communications will be received, read and replied in a timely fashion. Some examples of these policies can be viewed here and here.

At University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire nearly 90% of all its students and staff are regular users of email. Email to them is a utility. They rely on it just as they rely on heat, water and electricity. They have taken advantage of this widespread email utilization, and use it to distribute administrative reports, personal documents and official notifications - saving money and improving service to students and faculty. You can read the report here.

Last, but not least - to people who don't answer emails promptly, read this.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Is this blasphemy or just ignorance?

Just happened to stumble upon this piece by Haris Ibrahim in his The People's Parliament. Well, at least Haris isn't like some hypocrites who prefer to hide behind their Muslim names in revealing about their faith (or lack thereof)...

Maybe this quote can give some meaning to his stand on the religion: “It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for something you are not.”
- Andre Gide (French writer, humanist and moralist, 1947 nobel prize for literature, 1869-1951)

Malaysian syariah laws passed off as God’s
August 22, 2009

Many, many years back, in the Bar Room at the KL High Court in the Sultan Abdul Samad building, I was smoking.

It was the fasting month.

Sharifah came up and reprimanded me, and suggested that if I had to smoke during the fasting month, I should do it in the toilet.

I replied that if she could guarantee me that God could not see me smokng in the toilet, I would.

That was when I, too, believed that saum ( the Arabic word in the Holy Qur’an that is translated to mean fast ) was a command to abstain from food, drink and conjugal relations during the daylight hours of the month of Ramadhan.

I don’t believe that anymore.

What I believe now is unimportant.

What’s important is that I have the right to hold to my beliefs, just as those who believe as I once did, and who will dutifully fulfill their fast this month, are entitled to theirs.

I will respect their beliefs.

They must respect mine.

Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno had three glasses of beer. For that, she was fined RM5,000 and has been sentenced by the Syariah Court to be caned.

Six strokes.

Why?

Muslims believe it to be a sin to drink alcohol.

I don’t share this view.

“Those who believe and do righteous good deeds, there is no sin on them for what they ate, if they fear God and believe and do righteous good deeds, and again fear God and believe, and once again fear God and do good deeds with perfection. And God loves the good-doers” – Surah 5 verse 93 of the Holy Qur’an.

I look at this verse and I’m not too sure that Kartika has committed a sin, but even if it is a sin…

“Tell those who believe to forgive those who do not look forward to the Days of God. It is for Him to recompense each people according to what they have earned” – Surah 45 verse 14 of the Holy Qur’an.

God’s syariah, as I’ve come to understand it, enjoins us to forgive the wrongdoer.

And so, even if Kartika has done wrong, is caning her the way to set her on the right path?

“You shall invite to the path of God with wisdom and compassionate enlightenment, and debate with them in the best possible manner. Your Lord knows best who is deviating from His path, and He knows best who are guided.” – Surah 16 verse 125 of the Holy Qur’an.

To those who are minded to send in comments contradicting my viewpoint here, I’ll be obliged if you abided by the verse I’ve just quoted, and be mindful of the verses that follow below.

“O God, Creator of the heavens and earth. Knower of all that is open and concealed, it is You that will judge between Your servants in matters on which they differed.” – Surah 39 verse 46 of the Holy Qur’an.

“If they do wrangle with you, say ‘God knows best what you are doing. God will judge between you on the Day of Judgment concerning your differences.” – Surah 22 verses 68 & 69 of the Holy Qur’an.

To those of you observing the fast this Ramadhan, I pray that God gives you the strength and patience to see you through your religious obligations.

Posted by Haris Ibrahim
Filed in Digressions
73 Comments »

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Email culture - have we evolved in tandem with the development of the internet? Part 1

One of the most widely used forms of current-digital-age-communication on the internet is the email.

Today, almost every nation is getting wired and almost every netizen who are serious about climbing on the internet bandwagon, has an email account. No internet user can go around surfing any decent site without having an email account if they want to fully utilize the site's function.

According to a Radicati Group study from August 2008, there are 1.3 billion email users worldwide and the numbers are increasing. That makes a tad more than one in every five persons on earth using email. The mailboxes commanded by these millions of users were estimated to number about 1.4 billion in 2006.

Retrospecting on Marshall McLuhan's theory on the Global Village, suggesting that "electronic communication allows people from different corners of the globe to simultaneously experience the same culture", I believe what he meant or prophesized was that it was the email and the internet.

By now we know that the email has helped mankind to communicate, educate, disseminate information and ease business related transactions by leaps and bounds as compared to the conventional snail-mail or even the telephone. In other words the email can assist us to be well informed, educated and be more cultured.

As the internet evolved, the email too got some kind of technological booster with the creation of its by-product - the bulletin boards and the e-groups. The advent of e-groups carried on another level with newer faze such as sites like Friendfinder, Frienster, MySpace and Multiply. These networking sites were meant as a platform for the young to communicate, socialize, post and share photos and exchange ideas.

Then comes Blogger and the independent news portal and the blogging community started to change the contents and the way people read (or were fed with) news and ideas and with whom they communicate with.

Yet as the internet evolved, and as novelty fades on some of the older networking sites, comes newer and more popular sites like LinkedIn, Hi5, Wayne, Tagged and Facebook. Utilization of other less popular pay-to-use communication tools like Skype and Twitter are also on the rise.

Another form of internet tool that is widely used by the younger generation is the chat system - YM, Google Talk and MSN (because most of it are free). Considered the internet's original substitution for word-of-mouth chatting, the chat system has also evolved with Yahoo, MSN and Google going neck-and-neck on the internet technological forefront.

And not to forget, there's also YouTube, Dailymotion and Flickr and a host of other video and photo display sites if you're into blogging of some kind other than text-based.

And of course, I must have missed out something, somewhere, somehow or rather about all the new and exciting networking sites, communication tools, gadgets and the various 'shows' on the planet that is called the internet.

All these illustrate that the speed of information and communication technology in the current digital age is fast-forwarding so rapidly that it is impossible for us to catch-up and know everything about the culture, development and evolution of the internet.

Nonetheless, the email hasn't evolved much, well at least not to me. The functions and the process of using it is still the same, some 15 years ago. Maybe I have used it less then, but an email program is just it, a software, a communication tool. You can even carry it around if you have a laptop connected to the internet or if your mobile phone allows you to use the functions of the internet.

But it is unlike the text messaging system on a mobile phone, as you can't use it to send and receive huge text, photos or video messages.

Right from the very first time when I was introduced to web-based email like the Hotmail and Yahoo! and later pop-mail such as Eudora, Microsoft Outlook and now the IMAP (aah.. don't mention the lousy Lotus Notes), there's not much to getting used to. It's all just plug-n-play - compose, attach, send and receive. All these shows that the email hasn't evolve much.

So, what has evolved with the email? The contents of course, depending on which e-groups, chat groups, email newsletters, news feed readers, alumni, friends or office user group we subscribe to using the email.

The contents of emails that we send, receive and consume (or digest) tell so much about whether we have matured or cultured. If the contents that we send and consume are the common chain-mails, urban legends and jokes that we get over and over again then we are nowhere getting knowledgeable, matured or cultured.

The language or the internet 'lingo' we use. If our command of a language hasn't changed a bit ever since we started to embrace the email vis-a-vis the internet, then we have not evolved in tandem with the times.

So, how do we fare when we ask ourselves these questions?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Kantoi kena pecat akibat komen dalam Facebook


Berita ini sudah menjadi bualan hangat dan bahan berita online, selain dihantar melalui email di serata dunia. Anda boleh baca beritanya di sini dan di sini. Bagaimanapun ini bukan kes pertama kali berlaku. Satu lagi kes juga berlaku di UK. Anda boleh baca di sini.

Sememangnya salah jika kita mengumpat atau mengutuk majikan dan jabatan di mana kita bekerja/mencari rezeki. Bagaimanapun, sama ada budaya pecat memecat ini budaya kerja yang baik atau tidak, terserah kepada budi bicara kita masing-masing.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Gan Pei Nei - the unsung alumnus

Crediting success with attribution has always been the norm rather than the exception. Nothing wrong with that, but being biased or selective towards one’s choice of attributing a success story is an issue that needs to be pondered upon.

In many of the functions I attended involving guests of the School of Communication, the senior lecturers would usually attribute the school’s success with celebrated former students. Among famous names flaunted were personalities in the local broadcast scene like Ahmad Fethri Yahya of TV3 and Daphne Iking of NTV7. Politicians maybe a rare breed of the school, but they hardly get any mention.

Well, maybe because she was on the wrong side of the divide or could be she was never given the limelight by the mainstream media, but one personality that recently attracted my attention was Gan Pei Nei.

A persuasive communications major who graduated in 2004, Yang Berhormat Gan Pei Nei is the Rawang state assembly person of Selangor. At 28, Gan is one of the youngest state lawmaker in the Pakatan Rakyat government of Selangor. She won the seat under the Parti Keadilan Rakyat banner in the 12th General Election on 8 March 2008.

Born and bred in Pulau Gadong, Malacca in 1981, she is the second child in a family of three offspring.

You can red all about her here

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Kualiti Berita Kampus semakin baik

Isu kedua Berita Kampus jilid ke 40 yang akan diedarkan esok, Isnin 10 Ogos semakin meningkat dari segi kualiti persembahannya - aturletak, gambar dan designnya dan juga isi kandungan berita. Editorialnya juga tidak kurang menarik dan mengajak pembaca mendamba beberapa isu semasa yang hangat diperkatakan dewasa ini.

Cuma yang kurang ialah dari segi ketiadaan bahan rencana baik dari pihak pelajar mahupun penyumbang luar. Bagaimanapun kekurangan ini ditampung dengan sebuah ulasan buku yang agak ringkas oleh Edmund Ngo. Harapan saya Edmund lebih berani dan pergi lebih jauh dalam mengemukan saranan dan kritikan selain ulasan.

Dua isu lain yang ingin saya ulas dalam posting ini ialah mengenai masalah keselamatan dan kesihatan. Dalam isu BK kali ini termuat 2 berita mengenai soal keselamatan (harta benda) dan 2 isu mengenai kesihatan (Pusat Sejahtera, USM).

Yang pertama mengenai seorang pelajar kerugian hampir RM5000 apabila biliknya dimasuki pencuri di Desasiswa Tekun. Akibatnya mangsa telah kehilangan komputer riba, telefon bimbit dan external hard-disk. Bagaimanapun nasib menyebelahinya apabila komputer ribanya dijumpai semula. Semua ini gara-gara terlupa kunci pintu bilik semasa dia ke tandas.

Dalam isu yang berkaitan, Jabatan Keselamatan akan memasang kamera litar tertutup (CCTV) diluar semua dewan kuliah bagi memantau setiap pergerakan keluar masuk barangan dalam dewan kuliah. Pemasangan CCTV ini bertujuan mengawasi sekiranya berlaku kecurian barang dalam dewan kuliah.

Isu kedua (kesihatan) ialah mengenai Pengarah Pusat Sejahtera, Dr Nurulain Abdullah Bayanuddin memohon maaf diatas tindakan seorang kakitangannya yang bertindak tidak profesional kerana menafikan perkhidmatan kepada seorang pelajar yang datang ke Pusat Sejahtera akibat disengat lebah. Sebaliknya kakitangan tersebut mengarahkannya pergi ke klinik di luar kampus. Kejadian itu berlaku sekitar jam 1.30 pagi pada 29 Julai lalu. Bermula 29 Julai 2009 Pusat Sejahtera beroperasi 24 Jam untuk memberi rawatan kepada warga kampus yang demam sebagai langkah berjaga-jaga kerana kes penularan virus Influenza A H1N1. Bagaimanapun Dr Nurulain berkata tidak sepatutnya kakitangan tersebut menolak memberi perkhidmatan kepada pelajar tersebut walaupun ia bukan kes demam.

Dalam isu berkaitan, seorang pelajar kecewa dengan perkhidmatan yang diberikan Klinik Pergigian di Pusat Sejahtera, USM gara-gara kakitangannya tidak menjalankan tugas mereka dengan berhemah. Pelajar tersebut yang menamakan dirinya 'Pelajar kecewa' menyatakan sepanjang tempoh rawatan, mereka berbual sehingga peralatan digunakan itu terkena bibirnya. Akibatnya bibirnya bengkak. Dia juga menyatakan terpaksa menahan kesakitan akibat cara kerja mereka sambil lewa. Lebih mengecewakan katanya, mereka tidak meminta maaf atas kejadian itu dan menyalahkan dirinya kerana membuka mulut terlalu besar.

Dua isu berkaitan, keselamatan (harta benda) dan (perkhidmatan) kesihatan sememangnya isu yang lapuk, baik dalam BK mahupun dalam Buletin Notes, yang merupakan dua medium utama yang (agak) bebas ketika ini, namun ia tetap menjadi topik yang hangat dilapor dan diperkatakan saban tahun. Ia menampakkan seolah-olah perkara ini tiada kesudahan atau jalan penyelesaiannya, baik ketika USM dalam era yang lama mahupun dalam era APEX sekarang.

Ini juga memberi satu gambaran bahawa slogan 'sejahtera' dan 'kelestarian' yang dilaungkan oleh USM masih belum mencapai objektif atau matlamatnya untuk menjulang cita-cita universiti ini sebagai institusi terulung negara.

Bagaimana mahu jadi 'sejahtera' jikalau setiap pergerakan warganya perlu dipantau dengan CCTV kerana takut peralatannya dicuri. Dan bagaimana mahu jadi 'lestari' andaikata setiap kali staf atau pelajarnya hendak ke tandas perlu dikunci bilik mereka.

Bagaimana mahu jadi 'sejahtera' andaikata pelajar yang disengat seekor lebah disuruh dapatkan rawatan diluar kampus sahaja. Mungkin jika dilaporkan disengat sepuluh ekor lebah akan lebih wajar diberi perkhidmatan. Juga dengan kes 'pelajar kecewa' yang merungut bibirnya bengkak akibat tertonyoh peralatan pergigian disebabkan dia membuka mulutnya terlalu besar.

Bukankah menjadi tanggungjawab kakitangan berkenaan untuk menyuruh pelajar berkenaan menutup sedikit mulutnya, andaikata ia dibuka 'terlalu besar' sehingga menyukarkannya melakukan pekerjaannya? Tidakkah ia lebih 'lestari' jika kakitangan tersebut tidak memarahi pelajar tersebut, selain bersabar dan meminta maaf di atas kejadian tersebut?

Sememangnya tulisan ini seolah-olah marah dengan kejadian-kejadian yang berlaku sebagaimana isu yang dilaporkan dalam BK kali. Namun demikian, itulah tanggungjawab BK, melaporkan apa-apa yang wajar dan mempunyai nilai berita, baik dari pihak pentadbiran, akademik, staf mahupun pelajar - sesuai dengan motonya "SUARA DARI MENARA ILMU".

Dalam kita mengejar cita-cita peribadi dan dalam usaha kita menjadikan universiti ini sebuah universiti terulung, terlalu banyak halangan dan cabaran yang perlu kita tempuhi. Andaikata ada perkara yang kita rasa boleh dilaporkan mahupun diperkatakan demi untuk kebaikan dan kesejahteraan kita bersama, maka lakukanlah sebaik mungkin. Cuma terserah kepada budi bicara kita bagaimana hal tersebut hendak kita 'lapor' atau 'kata'kannya.

Juga kepada orang yang ditegur sama ada dapat menerima kritikan tersebut dengan hati terbuka dan men'tranformasi'kan (satu lagi slogan USM) unsur-unsur tersebut dari negatif menjadi positif ataupun menyimpan rasa marah dan dendam dengan menunggu peluang untuk bertindak balas (agar 'rasa puas' nafsu amarah itu dapat dikecapi), maka terserahlah.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Safety on plastics usage debates - when shall the twain ever meet

Given their popularity in an ever-widening array of applications, plastics are ubiquitous in our lives. From everyday items up to the point when we want to dispose-off food waste into the litter bins, plastics are practically used all the time. Even the keyboards that I am using to type this article is made of plastics.

Imagine our modern living without plastics. Better still, imagine some 'green' or environmental wacko who's so tight-up about not using plastics in their lives entirely. The only place he/she can 'exorcise' him/herself from the 'demon' plastics is to build a tree house in the jungle, and live on 'nuts'.

While this might sound a little far-fetched, there are actually 'green' nerds (in the guise of being sustainable) who thinks humans can actually live in this world without plastics. The only people who had ever thought about living without modern technology in the modern times could rightly be animation legends, William Hanna and Joseph Barbara who created The Flintstones - and their creations can only be materialized on TV screens.

The debates on the pros and cons about plastic usage go a long way, with each end of the divide adamant about their say on its safety or otherwise, especially where food containers is concern. Their 'evidence' and articulation about it can sometimes go into lengthy detail only apt for a PhD dissertation.

Nonetheless, some of the arguments are in the form of warnings which include awareness about which type of plastics that are safe or unsafe. Those which are not were said to be able to leach toxic chemicals known as phthalates and bisphenol A when food or drinks (especially when hot) are served on them.

Experts studying the chemical bisphenol A said they have gathered a growing body of evidence to show the compound, also known as BPA, might damage human health. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials have examined the chemical’s safety, without much evidence showing it’s harm on human health.

While this squabble, which centers around the safeguarding of human health is commendable, the arguments used are more often based on scientific studies done on animals. It is said that animal studies have linked phthalates at high doses to lowered testosterone levels, reduced sperm counts and reproductive defects.

Last year, U.S. government toxicologists at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences expressed concern that BPA may hurt development of the prostate and brain. They also recently found "some concern" that BPA, causes neural and behavioral problems if fetuses or young children are exposed. British researchers also produced a study in 2008 that linked high levels of BPA to heart disease, diabetes and liver-enzyme abnormalities.

In an article titled "Growing Evidence of Harmful Effects From Plastics Chemicals", Dr. Robert Carey of the University of Virginia, who is president of the Endocrine Society, presented evidence suggesting that endocrine disruptors do have effects on male and female development, prostate cancer, thyroid disease, cardiovascular disease. But the statement issued by the society admitted the evidence is not yet overwhelming, although it is worrying.

Apparently, there have been very few studies on the actual affects of plastics on humans, particularly over the long term. Animal studies can't always translate, and neither can lab tests that measure extremely high doses. It is clear that much more research needs to be done on a substance that shows up everywhere, based on real world exposure.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Plastics - To Ban or Not to Ban?

While all the environmental gurus and 'green' aficionados in Malaysia are hell bent about banning the use of plastics, one personality from the plastic industry, Lim Kok Boon of the Malaysian Plastics Manufacturer Association (MPMA) and chairman of the The Malaysian Plastics Forum is going the opposite direction to prove his detractor's 'wrong' stance about its harmfulness.

Contrary to popular knowledge, Lim Kok Boon said that the Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association and Malaysian Petrochemicals Association-Plastic Resins Producers Group has reason to believe that studies (mostly government-backed) have proven that there is no justification to the claim that plastics is detrimental to human health. He maintained that the allegation that high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic bags, used mostly to pack hot or cold beverages and food, are unsafe is misleading.

All these and a host of other 'proof' were revealed in a letter to NST (3 August). This was in a response to another letter "How safe are these bags" which condemns the use of plastic bags in school canteens written by Dr Zorina Khalid from Sandakan (NST July 23).

Last month, the Penang State Government took the initiative to reduce the use of plastic bags in a state-wide campaign banning its use in supermarkets and hypermarkets in Penang every Monday. The "No Plastic Bags Day" kicked off on July 6, with the Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng going out on a road tour to officiate the campaign proper in major hypermarkets in the state.

However, on July 14 the Star carried a report that MPMA was against the move (No to 'No Plastic Bags Days'). The MPMA also sent in a memorandum to Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng to reconsider its decision of making Monday a "No Plastic Bag Day". It said instead of banning the use of plastic bags every Monday, the state government could consider the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) campaign. Mr Lim Kok Boon, representing the organisation also did not think the current initiative was the answer to a greener environment.

During a public forum on April 19, Lim Guan Eng said the state government had discussed and considered the pros and cons before making the decision to reduce the use of plastic bags every Monday. "We do not completely ban the use of plastic bags on Monday, we just want to reduce it to save the environment," he said. Lim said Penang was the first state in the country to come out with the idea in a bid to become Malaysia's first "green" state. (Bernama, July 13)

On a related matter, today, (4 August) NST carries a report on singer Zainal Abidin from the popular band Headwind announcing his intention to set up a 'green' political party which concentrates on environmental and humanitarian issues. He and his friends - environmentalists who did not want to be named - were dead serious about setting up the political party. Zainal said the group was concerned that the authorities "could not even take the simple step of banning the use of plastic bags".

"We don't want to rule the country. What we want is just one seat in Parliament to make a difference and the necessary noise to make a change in such issues," he said at the launch of the Climate Change Convention 2010 themed "101 ways to save and make a change".

So, if this 'green' party do materialises and members of the party get nominated to contest in the next GE, lets vote for Zainal and his friends, names or no names.

Go, Go GREEN!

Izaham
Imagining Zainal campaigning, singing his flagship song 'Hijau' at the beginning of his speech.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Bila Utusan selektif dalam membuat permohonan maaf

Baru minggu lepas akhbar Kosmo meminta maaf diatas kesilapan mereka menyiarkan artikel 'Takdir Yasmin' kerana kononnya tidak sensitif terhadap keluarga dan rakan-rakan Allahyarham Yasmin Ahmad. Akhbar Utusan pula melakukan sebaliknya apabila Dr Mohd Ridhuan Tee tidak mahu memohon maaf di atas sebuah artikel 'Nasib Melayu di bumi Melayu' kerana tulisan beliau yang tidak sensitif terhadap keluarga Teoh Beng Hock. Banyak perkataan geram dan marah, tidak mahu minta maaf, termasuk tuduhan rasis terhadap akhbar lain dalam tulisan ini. Saya serahkan kepada pembaca untuk menilai betapa penulis, termasuk akhbar yang menerbitkan tulisannya adalah pejuang kepada apa yang mereka laungkan.

Hari ini (3 Ogos), The Malaysian Insider menyiarkan berita mengenai tuntutan keluarga Teoh Beng Hock agar Utusan memohon maaf.

Bila kacang lupakan kulit — Dr Mohd Ridhuan Tee

OGOS 2 — Saya dikecam hebat, apabila salah satu laman blog menyiarkan semula artikel saya minggu lalu dalam Mingguan Malaysia, bertajuk “Nasib Melayu di bumi Melayu”. Saya dituduh penulis upahan Umno, lupa asal usul diri, lebih Melayu daripada Melayu, Cina tidak sedar diri, rasis dan berbagai kecaman dilemparkan oleh golongan ultra kiasu ini.

Saya mengucapkan terima kasih atas yang respons. Saya tidak berhasrat memberikan respons, kerana malas melayan idea-idea picisan yang menyerang peribadi dan tidak langsung menampakkan mereka ini profesional. Orang sebegini tidak layak dilayan, biarlah mereka terjun dengan labu-labunya.

Lagipun saya tidak pasti sama ada mereka faham atau tidak, artikel yang saya tulis dalam bahasa Melayu, atau mungkin juga mereka lebih memahami bahasa Inggeris atau bahasa ibunda, daripada memahami bahasa kebangsaan itu sendiri sehingga mereka tidak faham apa yang saya maksudkan.

Begitu juga dengan akhbar Cina, China Press dan Nanyang Siang Pau berniat jahat dengan secara sengaja memaparkan sebahagian kecil artikel saya berkaitan Teoh Beng Hock, mengenai anak luar nikah yang dikandung oleh teman wanitanya. Sedangkan simpati dan pembelaan saya terhadap mendiang tidak disiarkan langsung.

Ini menunjukkan betapa rasisnya akhbar Cina. Saya dituntut oleh keluarga mendiang untuk meminta maaf. Terus terang, saya tidak perlu meminta maaf kerana saya berkata benar. Bersekedudukan sebelum nikah adalah haram di sisi agama apa sekalipun. Kenapa agama Islam sahaja yang dipersoalkan, adakah agama lain menghalalkan perbuatan sedemikian?

Sebelum memeluk Islam, saya dahulunya pernah menganut agama Buddha dan Kristian. Kedua-dua ini mengharamkan sama sekali bersekedudukan sebelum nikah. Apakah kita mahu menghalalkan perkara ini sehingga menjadi budaya masyarakat kita? Apakah kita mahu ia turut berlaku kepada anak atau adik-beradik kita?

Justeru, bila saya menulis, saya selalu meletakkan diri saya sebagai rakyat Malaysia atau bangsa Malaysia, bukannya orang Cina. Ini bertujuan supaya pandangan saya tidak berat sebelah atau bias. Jika orang Islam melakukan kesalahan saya akan tegur, begitu juga yang lain.

Adakah kerana hanya saya berbangsa Cina, maka saya patut selindungkan sesuatu keburukan yang berlaku pada bangsa saya? Sudah tentu tidak kerana saya perlu berkata benar. — Mingguan Malaysia

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Utusan flayed over ‘salacious’ article on Yasmin Ahmad


Begitulah tajuk yang dilaungkan oleh portal berita online, The Malaysian Insider (MI) hari ini. Jika saya terjemahkan ke dalam bahasa Melayu maksudnya lebih kurang "Utusan dicela kerana artikel 'cabul' mengenai Yasmin Ahmad. Apa sebenarnya isu 'cabul' atau 'salacious' yang dimaksudkan MI tersebut saya serahkan kepada pembaca menilainya sendiri.

Sememangnya isu semasa ini tiada kaitan dengan USM atau akhbar BK, tetapi ada kaitan dengan sensitiviti kemanusiaan dan etika pemberitaan termasuk 'fair reporting' yang diajar kepada pelajar Kewartawanan tidak kira dimana mereka belajar. Saya juga bukan ingin melanjutkan apa yang diperbalahkan mengenai 'isu' Yasmin ini. Apa yang ingin saya timbulkan ialah, terdapat konflik kepentingan dari segi kaitan yang saya sebut tadi (sensitiviti, etika pemberitaan dan 'fair reporting') dan ini amat penting untuk dirungkaikan sebagai pelajar mahupun penganalisis berita.

Di satu pihak ada yang mencela artikel yang dibawa akhbar Kosmo (Isnin, Julai 27) dan juga Kwong Wah Jit Poh, kerana pendedahan tersebut seolah-olah tidak menghormati keluarga si mati. Di pihak satu lagi pula menyokong berita ataupun pendedahan tersebut disebabkan tiada apa yang hendak dimalukan mengenai si mati yang pergi meninggalkan kita dengan jasa yang cukup banyak, sebab ia adalah kebenaran dan kebenaran tersebut perlu dilaporkan 'in a fair manner'. Inilah yang telah dilakukan oleh akhbar Kosmo, dan ini adalah lebih baik daripada cakap-cakap keji, umpat dan tokok tambah yang sudah menjadi lumrah di kalangan masyarakat kita.

Jadi, disebelah mana berat timbangan hujah yang telah didedahkan oleh MI yang lebih diterima masyarakat dewasa ini adalah hak pembaca untuk menilainya. Di era teknologi maklumat yang semakin pantas, serba dedah dan serba canggih, sudah tiada lagi ungkapan 'rahsia' atau 'cerita lama' yang tidak boleh diketahui oleh orang lain, lebih-lebih lagi jika ia melibatkan selebriti atau orang kenamaan.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Kisah Pak Arab Kecewa Tak Dapat Kahwin Dengan Doktor Melayu

Kisah di atas tertera di dalam rencana BK Jilid 40 Bil.1 (27 Julai 2009) di mukasurat 12-13.

Menurut penulis (seorang Arab Palestin), kawannya seorang Arab yang lemah lembut (gentleman), ingin menyunting seorang perempuan Melayu berjawatan doktor perubatan. Lalu digunakan seorang kawan Melayu untuk mendekati dan mengenali gadis tersebut. Dia cuma meminta alamat e-mail agar mereka dapat berhubung secara sopan. Ini semua dengan tujuan agar mereka dapat berkenalan dan seterusnya dapat mengahwini doktor tersebut.

Apabila keluarga gadis mendapat tahu niat dan tujuan si Pak Arab, sang ibu memberi arahan agar anak gadisnya "forget about it..." Semua ini kononnya, gara-gara minda 'stereotyping' sang ibu (seorang Melayu) terhadap semua Pak Arab. Pak Arab ini pun merasa malu dan menceritakan pengalamannya kepada penulis.

Memang menyiksakan membaca tulisan Pak Arab ini, bukan kerana penulis menggunakan bahasa Inggeris yang menyusahkan, tetapi ketiadaan fokus yang jitu dan juga terlalu banyak menyandar kepada persepsi orang lain (termasuk persepsi sendiri), yang tidak bersandar kepada kaedah penyelidikan yang sah. Contohnya, penulis menyandarkan pendapatnya mengenai "the Chinese in Malaysia are stereotyped as cheaters, the Indians in Malaysia are stereotyped as drinkers, while the Malays are stereotyped as lazy people."

Kemudian penulis terus menafikan idea stereotyping tersebut dengan mengatakan "This is definitely untrue since I myself have met Chinese who are not drinkers and Malays who are so hard working" dengan tidak bersandarkan fakta-fakta kukuh.

Dari segi akademik, asnad penulis memang gah, dengan ijazah pertama Bahasa Inggeris, Sarjana MBA (USM) dan sekarang sedang menduduki calon kedoktoran USM di Pusat Pengajian Perumahan, Bangunan dan Perancangan.

Stereotyping atau sikap suka melabelkan orang lain mengikut acuan kaum atau bangsanya sememangnya sifat semulajadi manusia. Cuma yang membezakan antara seorang yang tidak mudah men-stereotype-kan orang lain dengan sifat sebegitu ialah berkatnya didikan ibubapa dan guru-guru kita. Belajar setinggi mana pun, kalau ilmu yang dipelajari itu tidak berkat, sikap rasis dan stereotyping akan tetap melekat dalam diri kita.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Era Baru Berita Kampus

Sememangnya cliche jika saya katakan 'begitu cepat masa berlalu...'. Tetapi itulah hakikat yang dapat saya ungkapkan mengenai penerbitan Berita Kampus (BK) yang sudah menjangkau empat dekad (seusia penubuhan USM) mulai sesi 2009/2010 ini.

Bermula dengan hinanya dibangunan C10 dengan beberapa orang pensyarah dan pelajar komunikasi yang komited dengan penulisan berita, hanya dengan menggunakan typewriter yang ketika itulah teknologi ICT paling terkini. Setelah itu potongan teks daripada cetakan typewriter itu disusun dan ditampal diatas sebuah lembaran newsprint agar penerbitan itu dilihat seperti sebuah akhbar. Setelah siap, lembaran newsprint ini dibuat beberapa salinan lagi menggunakan proses yang sama agar ia dapat diedarkan kepada beberapa kerat peminatnya dalam kampus USM dan agar para pembaca ini dapat menyelami cita-cita dan idealisme yang ingin disampaikan mereka.

Begitulah rumitnya proses penerbitan BK ketika itu dan pengalaman ini saya mohorkan sebagai lambang betapa gigihnya pengorbanan para pengasas akhbar ini dalam merealisasikan cita-cita mereka sebagai wartawan. Syabas saya ucapkan kepada mereka yang mampu menjadi peneraju perubahanan kepada generasi pelajar ketika itu.

Pada 27 Julai ini, jilid ke 40 akhbar ini akan sekali lagi (dengan setianya) menemui pembaca dengan liputan berita yang lebih sensasi dan kandungan rencana yang lebih menarik. Berita Kampus kali ini akan cuba mengenengahkan aspirasi generasi baru APEX yang lebih menjuruskan kepada kandungan separa akademik, berita mengenai penemuan-penemuan saintifik di USM serta laporan yang lebih fokus kepada hal-ehwal pelajar pasca siswazah.

Turut diberi perhatian berita mengenai aktiviti Alumni (2 halaman) serta rencana-rencana yang menjurus kepada isu semasa. Laporan khas kali ini akan menumpukan kepada masalah bersama penghuni Desasiswa. Desasiswa yang mana jadi tumpuan - hanya boleh diketahui pada 27 Julai ini. Yang pastinya kandungan laporan dan rencana BK kali ini adalah lebih menarik, matang dan segar.

Bermula dengan edisi pertama, jilid ke 40 ini juga, harga cetak (publish rate) Berita Kampus sudah dinaikkan ke RM1.00 sesuai dengan peningkatan harga kertas dan kos cetakan yang nilainya melebihi harga cetak (publish rate) tersebut. Bagaimanapun, dengan bantuan universiti, pelajar USM akan diberi subsidi. Berapa subsidinya akan diketahui pada hari ia dijual kelak (27 Julai 2009).

Staf USM, seperti biasa boleh mendapatkan naskah percuma mereka melalui PTJ atau jabatan masing-masing. Namun demikian setiap PTJ diwajibkan melanggan akhbar ini dengan membayar secara tahunan. Borang langganan sudah diedarkan kepada setiap PTJ dan adalah menjadi tanggungjawab setiap PTJ untuk mengisi dan mengembalikan borang tersebut agar ia boleh diproses dengan segera. Kami amat mengharapkan setiap PTJ memahami niat dan saranan Yg Bhg. Naib Canselor yang mahukan setiap PTJ menyokong dengan melanggan akhbar ini secara tahunan (lihat lampiran dibawah).

Harapan kami juga agar akhbar Berita Kampus akan dapat terus bertahan dengan peningkatan dari segi kualiti pemberitaan serta kuantiti cetakan dan edarannya dan seterusnya menjadi akhbar komuniti universiti yang berkredibiliti tinggi, sesuai dengan aspirasi USM sebagai universiti APEX pertama dan terulung.



Friday, July 17, 2009

80,000 foreign students too many?

Malaysia's aim at becoming a regional centre for higher education and also a global education hub by 2010 is fast becoming a reality. Bernama reports that there are some 70,423 foreign students currently pursuing higher studies in both public and private institutions of higher learning (IPTA and IPTS) as at end of 2008. Deputy Higher Education Minister Dr Hou Kok Chung said the figure was very encouraging as it was close to the target of 80,000 set by the Higher Education Ministry by 2010. More foreign student are studying at the IPTS than the IPTA, which had been allowed to enroll up to five per cent foreign students since 2007.

Another report has that the number of foreign students enrolled in private higher education institutions grew from 13,472 in 2001 to 52,000 in 2006/07, the majority of whom were from China, South-East Asia (especially Indonesia and the Middle East) The Government is aiming at having at least 100,000 foreign students in Malaysia by 2010(New Sunday Times, 17 June 2007).

Looks like the government is a bit fickle about their target or number of foreign students they are aiming for in 2010. Nonetheless, 80,000 students is a bit realistic. Maybe they changed that when we had a different minister of Higher Education then.

Are there not too many of them here?

I was at Professor Rashidah's professioral talk this morning (10am-12.15pm). It started a bit late than the published time but the opening presentation/dance and multimedia show was impressive it was worth the wait. The talk was great, I enjoyed and loved every minute of it, although some at the back there would not have appreciated it much (they had their own professioral talk). Anyway, kudos to Prof. Rashidah and the organisers for a great performance.

Immediately after the talk I smsed my wife - "very touching and superb presentation by prof rashidah," and she replied... "in spirit only...".

I wish to be 'engendered' by my wife when we meet soon.

Izaham

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Beefing up security and tutorial room bookings at the C10

In an effort to beef up security at the C10 building, the Dean, Assoc Prof Adnan Hussein has called for an ad-hoc meeting on Monday with related personnel of the school. This particular meeting was a call to last week's 'petty theft' issue and the swift response from the Dean is very much commended. Among others, the meeting was to layout a plan to reinforce monitoring measures and the safety of the building as a whole. The meeting also recognized and emphasized the vulnerabilities of the building's design and a letter to the relevant authority is in the works. A duty roster for the relevant staff to monitor the weak areas of the building's security is also in place.

Meanwhile, I am in the process of doing a weekly time-table for the use of tutorial rooms in the building. At the meantime there is only one room that can be utilised as the chairs and other facilities for the other rooms has yet to come. Room 109, this room is on the first floor and can fit in the most 45 students. So, bookings is on a first-come-first-serve basis. Hopefully, the other tutorial rooms will be ready for occupation in the coming weeks.

Izaham
p/s Su, I have added you to receive automatic email of all postings. Included in this list is Dr Adnan, Pn Kamaliah, Tn Hj Haroon, Dr Khor, Dr Azwan, En. Ismail & Pn Bahiyah (Ahli Lembaga Penasihat Berita Kampus) as I can only list down 10 the maximum. I would appreciate if you can forward this posting to other lecturers too. Thank you.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Thieves among us - did we fail them or did they fail us?

Thieves are like predators, constantly on the alert, waiting for the right moment to pounce on its prey. They are not choosy about their victims, be it their own friends, family members, teachers and mentors or even the hands that feed them.

It doesn't matter if their victims are the from the highest authority where they are getting their education from (for this is what I am about to expose), when opportunity strikes, the craving can only be satisfied by blindly taking things that are not theirs. There is a sense of fulfillment when their actions are accomplished, and more fulfilling if the amount or value of possession is bigger than before.

People steal for a variety of reasons. Greed, insecurity and the insatiable urge for attention are some of it. For others it is for excitement and pleasure, a challenge, or even a symbol of status among their peers. No matter the reason, parents wonder where they went wrong and how it could happen in their family. Teachers worry that it may signal future anti-social behavior. All want the stealing to stop.

Last Friday, at around 3.30 to 4.00pm, a group of Persuasive students came to me to get some assistance about their work. So, I had to leave my room to discuss the matter with another colleague in his room upstairs on the first floor of the C10 building. Mine is on the first floor adjacent to the Berita Kampus lounge and newsroom. Since I thought I was still around in the building, I left my room unlocked, but the door was not ajar. The discussion with my colleague, En. Razak and the students took around half-an-hour or so. Unfortunately, this was when the thief got in and took the opportunity to plunder one of our precious belongings.

When I came back to my room I saw someone had left 2 flyers under the door (to which I checked with the sender, Pn Suriani who said it was sent in by another colleague, En. Adli). After doing some work with the computer on my desk, I felt like there was something amiss. I tried to look for the box set of USB Modem I left on the desk. It was not there. I searched hi-and-lo including every nook and corner of the room, but it was futile.

I double checked with my wife who was with me in the room when we brought it in from the shop and she said it was on the desk, where I left it, before I sent her home and went for Friday prayers.

We bought the modem and registered an Internet line for my wife earlier in the day so that she can use it in Kuala Lumpur, as she had to attend a four months course there. And since we still haven't had any, we decided to buy one as the broadband offer from that particular ISP was hard to refuse. And then, a few hours later some mischievious 'petty thief' in the form of a 'Warga Universiti' had the cheek to enter my room and justify his/her actions by stealing from us something we paid for from our own sweat and tears.

Some of you might want to question, why did I blame a 'Warga Universiti' for the theft? Well, there is no other group of people using that area of the building (what more enter my room) apart from my own colleagues, whom I had worked with for so many years. The other party must be from the final year Journalism and Persuasive students.

For your info, and as I've mentioned earlier, my room is adjacent to the Berita Kampus lounge, and the students who ply that area are mainly the Journalism students, particularly the group who are doing the first edition of Berita Kampus. And this group of students had just begun to use the building and its facilities, the most for 5 days, since Tuesday or Monday.

Mind you, I am not simply blaming a particular group or people here, but if you were in my shoes, you would likely want to ask around and shortlist the people who were there on that day, and this is what I am doing. I already have their names shortlisted, and if that 'petty thief' happens to read this, you better watch out. Make a wrong move again and I will catch you and the beat the living daylights out of you and make sure you'll swear you never knew my name before. OK, I'm exaggerating a bit here, but just to show how serious I am, I will do whatever it takes in my power to catch this thief.

Last semester, a group of students were made to pay for a digital device from the school's facilities that was (I believe) stolen from one of them. No one admitted, and nobody returned the device. So someone had to make an authority to decide and 'force' everybody pay for it, which incidentally was unfair for the rest of them, but was the only option to settle the case and pay for the stolen device. I have to mention this in particular because reports on the lost of digital devices belonging to the school or personal ones were not isolated cases. As what had happened previously, many cases of theft had been reported with similar modus operandi. And apparently, all of them points to none other than that particular group of 'Warga Universiti'.

Shame on them and shame on us too. We, as their mentors have to take part of the blame. One, due to our 'misguided' trust on their maturity and two, for not being more vigilant in taking care of our belongings.

But then, even if we were to put more regulations and enforce whatever routines that they want to do, there will always be pros and cons, loopholes and miscalculations here and there - to which we have to bear the consequences through trial and error.

So, what went wrong here? Did we fail them or did they fail us?


Still no sign of the CCTV
Izaham

Thursday, July 2, 2009

UTM 'bermurah hati' tawar yuran percuma


Agaknya berapa ramaikah pelajar yang akan berjaya dapat yuran percuma ini? USM bagaimana pula?

Go look for activities to participate

The Dean, School of Communication, Assoc. Prof. Adnan Hussein expects postgraduate students of the school to be more alert in looking for activities to participate, especially if it involves them as presenters rather than participants.

"Go out and find activities to participate or even suggest programs to organize here in USM. We would try as much as possible to provide the fund needed for you to organize or participate in seminars or conferences outside the university or even regionally," he said.

The Dean, in his welcoming speech to some 30 post-graduate students at the school also expressed his satisfaction that the number of postgraduate students has increased slightly this year. He hoped the numbers commensurate with the quality.

"As post graduates students who are supposed to be more mature, do not restrict yourself to classroom lectures only. We expect you to know your way around. Put some initiative and get information on your own with regard to your studies and research, you are no more undergrads..." he reminded them.

He emphasized that the focus now is more on research and that there are so much facilities in the university that students can make use of. "Be more resourceful and don't just rely on what is being prescribed in the course outline," he stressed.

In wrapping up his speech the Dean reminded the students to interact more with the faculty members apart from being more active in participating in every activities organized by the school.

Sixty three students from various countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, Sudan and the Middle East including Malaysia qualify as post-graduate students in various modes of studies at the school. While only a handful of them showed up to register today, the on-line registration at the school is open until 6 July 2009.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tanda aras 3.0 cabaran kepada pelajar baru PPK

Dekan Pusat Pengajian Komunkasi (PPK), Prof Madya Adnan Hussein mengharapkan supaya pelajar perintis universiti APEX di pusat pengajian ini menjadi model contoh kepada universiti dengan menetapkan tanda aras CGPA 3.0 sebagai cabaran asas untuk mereka perolehi dalam keputusan pengajian mereka sepanjang berada di USM.

"This is the type of students we want in an APEX university (inilah jenis pelajar yang kita mahu dalam universiti APEX ini). Malah kalau boleh kita mahukan lebih ramai lagi pelajar mencapai tahap Anugerah Dekan, iaitu CGPA 3.5 dan ke atas," ujarnya penuh semangat.

Dalam ucapan aluannya kepada 120 orang pelajar di Dewan Kuliah U pagi ini, Dekan PPK telah menyatakan keyakinan dan kepercayaannya bahawa kumpulan pelajar ini adalah gabungan calon terbaik pelajar komunikasi yang telah dipilih. Ini, ujar beliau adalah berdasarkan banyak kriteria, termasuk keputusan ujian MUNSYI USM dan juga ketrampilan mereka dalam sessi temuduga.

"Daripada 600 calon yang layak pohon setelah lulus ujian MUNSYI, PPK cuma memanggil 250 orang calon. Dan daripada itu pula, 170 calon yang datang, dan setelah disaring kami hanya memilih 120 orang sahaja. Dan kami mengharapkan 120 orang pelajar ini adalah gabungan terbaik yang dipilih untuk mengikuti pengajian di sini," ujarnya meyakinkan.

Dekan PPK juga mengharapkan agar kumpulan pelajar baru ini melibatkan diri mereka dalam semua aktiviti dan agenda pusat pengajian dan universiti selain agenda komunikasi negara.

"Agenda komunikasi universiti adalah selari dengan agenda universiti, iaitu agenda APEX. Agenda APEX bermaksud transformasi pengajian tinggi ke arah kelestarian untuk hari esok," ujar beliau.

Menyentuh mengenai agenda Millenium Development Goals (MDG) yang diperkenalkan oleh Pertubuhan Bangsa-bangsa Bersatu (UN), iaitu kesepakatan 192 negara dalam UN untuk menghapuskan kemiskinan tegar dan kebuluran menjelang 2015 beliau berkata, "Pelajar juga mesti melibatkan diri mereka dalam agenda MDG ini atau sekurang-kurangnya prihatin mengenai permasalahan kemiskinan dan kebuluran yang menimpa negara-negara termiskin dunia," katanya.

Diakhir ucapannya Dekan mengingatkan pelajar agar menerima cabaran untuk berdikari semasa di universiti selain menjaga hubungan baik dengan pensyarah, staf dan juga sesama pelajar.

"Sebagai universiti contoh, saya mahu pelajar mengambil tindakan proaktif untuk memberi layanan sama rata kepada rakan-rakan mereka sebagaimana universiti ini memberikan layanan tersebut kepada mereka dengan tidak membezakan diri mereka melalui warna kulit, bahasa dan sebagainya. So, get cracking and adapt yourself to the university's surrounding," katanya lagi.

Turut serta mendengar ucapan beliau ialah 40 orang pensyarah dan staf sokongan pusat pengajian di mana di akhir sessi perjumpaan itu Dekan telah memperkenalkan semua pensyarah dan staf kepada pelajar.

Izaham

Monday, June 29, 2009

Hakikat AH1N1 Kini Menjadi Nyata

Amaran atau teguran Dr Irfan Mohamad, Pensyarah Kanan ORL, Pusat Pengajian Sains Perubatan, USM (Utusan 13.6.09) mengenai betapa glamornya influenza A H1N1 yang pada ketika itu jauh lebih ketara berbanding denggi, kini semakin menjadi nyata. Seolah-olah mengiakan kepopularitiannya dengan munculnya gelombang kedua epidemik ini, penularan wabak ini sudah sampai ke tahap membimbangkan.

Perkembangan terkini wabak H1N1 di Malaysia sehingga 28 Jun, 2009, klik di sini----------------------->

Bagaimanapun dalam rencana yang ditulis oleh Mohd Khuzairi Ismail, dia berbeza pendapat dengan kenyataan bahawa ramai yang ambil berat mengenai penularan wabak ini. Barangkali kerana merasakan berada di dalam zon selesa, maka langkah pencegahan dan berwaspada tidak begitu diberi perhatian.

Dalam Utusan Malaysia hari ini (29.6.09) Mohd Khuzairi sempat menemubual Dr Irfan yang baru pulang dari Hong Kong dan mencatatkan pengalaman beliau ketika di sana dalam rencananya 'Sikap Tak Peduli H1N1'.

Dr Irfan turut memberikan pendapatnya bagaimana kerajaan boleh membantu mengurankangkan impak penularan wabak ini. Antaranya ialah dengan menyediakan kemudahan membersih tangan menggunakan dispenser automatik yang diletakkan dikebanyakkan tempat awam. Berita lanjut klik...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Restriction by USM on traveling abroad

We know Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) imposed a temporary prohibition on travel abroad to its staff and students in view of the Influenza A(H1N1) pandemic. The directive was issued last week (read here). But did USM issue a same directive to its staff and students?

It did, according to a KOSMO report on page 3, 25 June 2009 (pic on the right). According to the report bylined Zaki Salleh, Megat Ramli Megat Raof and Suhana Yusof - Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof Ahmad Shukri Mustapha Kamal when contacted by the paper confirmed the ban. Prof Ahmad Shukri said, "Jika ada keperluan mendesak untuk ke luar negara, kita akan kaji tetapi sebaik-baiknya ditangguhkan semua perjalanan khususnya (ke) negara yang mempunyai ancaman serius wabak H1N1."

Meanwhile, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) have not decided on anything yet on the ban. However, Universiti Malaya (UM) is supposed to come out with a decision last Thursday (25.6.09). A peak on UM's official website found nothing (of that sort of news).

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ceupacs wants designated rooms for puffers?

I thought somebody misunderstood and misreported Omar Osman's call on Public Service Department (PSD) to not impose a blanket ban on smoking in government premises but to provide smokers with designated smoking areas.

Now it seems quite clear. While the PSD wants de­­partment heads to strictly monitor the rule on smoking, Cuepacs feels the rights of smokers, both employees and customers, should be safeguarded. It was reported in the Star's 19 June 2009 report titled 'Huff and Puff Over Rule on Smoking' where Cuepacs president Omar Osman said the blanket rule was unfair and called on the Government to provide designated rooms for smokers.

Yesterday's NST (24 June 2009) upped the ante on the issue when they got Prof Dr Rahmat Awang from USM's National Poison Centre and Malaysian Trades Union Congress adviser on indoor air quality Dr T. Jayabalan to comment on it. Both expert gave their piece of advice to Cuepacs on the protection of rights of both smokers and non-smokers. They said it had been proven that ventilation systems could not filter the particles and gases in tobacco smoke to safe levels.

Dr Rahmat said tobacco smoke contained more than 4,000 chemicals, including more than 200 that were poisonous, and at least 69 that were carcinogenic. He disagreed to the notion that designated smoking areas was a responsible alternative to a smoking ban.

Both expert also disagreed on having designated smoking areas due to certain factors:- smoking sections without floor-to-ceiling partitions between the non-smoking section and smoking section do not prevent exposure to second-hand smoke;- designated rooms pose a threat to those who have to clean and work in them; and - smoke escapes through the open door when people enter or leave the smoking room.

Another point of contention brought out by the experts was the report produced by International Labour Organisation which showed that 200,000 workers were killed each year by exposure to second-hand smoke at work.

In wrapping the non-bylined report on page 13, a report by a purported survey carried out in Malaysia found that 61.3 per cent of adult smokers had wanted to quit but found it difficult. It said enforcing eight hours of non-smoking would be a step in the right direction to kick the habit (I have to check on this later).

"It must be remembered that there is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke and scientists have concluded that the only effective protection is 100 per cent smoke-free places"- the 11 para report concluded.

- I was just wondering what more excuses do these smokers (supporters included) want to articulate after this to merely justify their cravings? We have smoking rooms with chimneys at airport lounges... so what's wrong with smoking rooms with chimneys in offices...?

NOT CRAVED
Izaham