Thursday, December 31, 2009
State party vice-chairman Chang Lih Kang (left) told a press conference at the PKR Gopeng branch office yesterday that it is wrong of the BN government to smear the state civil service each time Pakatan lays bare BN's misdeeds.
"Free all the state civil servants from political pressure and intervention," he said.
Chang, who is also Teja assemblyperson, had recently turned the spotlight on a land scam involving 40 lots of state land in Sungai Itek meant for the poor and landless.
Instead, they were given to 10 committee members of the Umno Gopeng division.
On Dec 16, Chang had lodged a report with the state Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) against menteri besar and state Umno chief Zambry Abdul Kadir and Umno Gopeng division chairman Hamzah Mohd Kassim over the scandal.
'Don't blame the officer'
Later, Hamzah and senior BN state executive councillor Hamidah Osman in separate statements denied that they were at fault, blaming the Kampar district and land officer for the "blunder".
Chang rapped Hamidah for defending Hamzah as she did not handle land matters which come under Zambry's portfolio.
He also said there was clear conflict of interest, where Hamzah and Hamidah were both business partners in Projek Bitara Sdn Bhd.
Hamidah is also Gopeng Umno wanita chief.
Chang wants the 40 lots in dispute to be reallocated to poor deserving people and also legal action taken against Hamzah for abuse of power.
"Otherwise, I will be forced to lodge an abuse of power report against the five members of the Kampar land committee members with the state MACC," he said.
seals: where is MACC? Busy with PR only?
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
A Chinese national is crying foul over profiling of foreign women by the authorities, following her eight-day detention by the Subang Jaya district police.
MBA student Li Jun Jie, 23, from Beijing has blogged extensively about her experience, which has attracted a flood of angry comments from both mainland Chinese and Malaysians.
While in detention, she was denied a phone call and an attempt to send a text message to her lecturer about her predicament was met with a kick from a female police officer to her knee.
In was only during the second day of her detention did Li manage to pass a message to her school - International University College of Technology
The school responded on the third day by furnishing the documents proving her status as a student to the police. However, she was only released on Dec 8.
In her blog, Li spoke of how she befriended other inmates, many of whom were foreigners, and described conditions of the lock-up.
According to Li, food was a small packet of rice wrapped in newspapers, salted fish accompanied by a drink she dubs as the "red liquid that cannot be named".
Li described as deplorable the state of hygiene inside the lock-up where no eating utensils were distributed and detainees had to sleep on damp floors.
She added that fellow detainees were also denied requests of sanitary pads.
Police profiling slammed
Malaysiakini caught up with Li at a café in Taman Tun Dr Ismail yesterday where she granted an interview, condemning the police of profiling, discrimination and bad treatment.
"Why don't they inspect passports of women from other countries? They only target Chinese, Thai and African women (on suspicion of prostitution).
"You think that their countries are not rich, but every country has an upper class and working class. You cannot view these countries with a tainted lens," she said.
Li said that the ordeal had left her frightened and she avoids leaving her hostel over fears that she might be wrongly arrested yet again.
"Whenever I go out now, I don't feel safe, particularly after I was released from detention. Lately, when I see patrol cars near my hostel, even though they are there for routine reasons, I feel scared," she added.
Worried over CCTV cameras
On her experience in the lock-up, Li said that among the many concerns were the presence of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in certain areas, such as the lock-up cell toilet.
She was also upset over the presence of cameras in another room where body search was performed.
"We weren't naked but we had lift up our shirts. We were not allowed to wear underclothes... At the time, I wondered if it was a woman officer in the surveillance room. Maybe anyone could be watching the video feed," she said.
Li said she was familiar with the 2005 'nude squat' furore and was worried that compromising visuals of her would end up on the Internet.
She said she had filed complaints about the incident to the Chinese embassy and her school.
On her future plans, Li said she will continue her studies here because it was nearing completion but she had scrapped plans to pursue her doctorate in Malaysia because of this incident.
Top cop: She was happy
Meanwhile, Subang Jaya district police chief ACP Zainal Rashid Abu Bakar said the police released Li after it was verified that she was a legitimate student.
Contacted today, Zainal Rashid said he would personally look into allegations from Li that fellow detainees had to bribe a police officer RM300 in order to see visitors.
Zainal said she met Li yesterday and personally explained the police procedures and regulations to her.
"After she heard my explanations, she was very happy. If you don't believe me you can ask her," he said.
VIDEO l 9 mins [in Chinese]
seals: hmmm will we see another minister visiting China?
They will answer to SURAH 99 verses 7 & 8 for "She added that fellow detainees were also denied requests of sanitary pads."
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Hasan ni pun ajaklah adik perempuan sepupunya untuk temankan dia shopping kat
Sogo. Oleh kerana Hasan Jendul dan Mek Ayu baru dua bulan berkawan jadi si
Hasan Jendul membuat keputusan untuk membelikan Mek Ayu satu topi kain fesyen
baru saje, supaya taklah nampak dia beriya-iya sangat.
Adik sepupu Hasan pulak pegi beli satu seluar dalam hitam
berbunga-bunga baru, sebab ada sale hari tu. Masa membayar, dengan tak sengaja
cashier dah tertukar kotak topi kain hitam tu dengan seluar dalam hitam adik
Selepas membayar, Hasan Jendul pun terus pergi kaunter hadiah dan suruh diorang
bungkus tanpa check dulu. Kemudian dia balik ke rumah dan tulis
Ayu serta mengeposkannya bersama hadiah yang dah tersilap tu.
Istimewa untuk kekasihku Mek Ayu, San pilih hadiah nie kerana Ayu tak pernah
pakai bila kita keluar jalan-jalan dan selalu mengadu sebab panas. Kalau bukan
sebab pasal adik sepupu San,San dah nak beli yang lagi jarang supaya kalau
berpeluh tak lembap sangat.
Tapi San tengok adik sepupu San pakai yang ada bunga tu nampak cantik pulak.San
pilih warna hitam tu supaya tak nampak kotor. Promoter yang jual tu tunjuk dia
punya dah seminggu tak basuh. Nampak elok saje. San suruh dia try Ayu punya
sebab saiz promoter tu lebih kurang Ayu je.
Memang cantik dan menarik! Harapnya Ayu suka sebab San rasa memang sesuai
dengan Ayu. Tak sabar rasanya nak tengok Ayu pakai depan San. San harap Ayu
akan pakai untuk San hujung minggu nie. Salam sayang untuk kekasihku,Mek Ayu.
Yang amat menyintai dan menyayangi dirimumu,Hasan Jendul
P/S : Kalau Ayu nak pakai, San nampak stail terbaru
ialah dengan melipat bahagian depan dan menampakkan
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Missing jet engine: PM promises no cover-up
Raja Rajan: Back in 1995, prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad was quoted as saying 'lama-lama kapalterbang pun hilang juga' when asked about a gold heist at the Subang airport. Well 14 years on, nothing much has improved in terms of national security. It has worsened.
Alright, it's only an aircraft engine, not a plane yet. But the government has always said it was thwarting an imminent threat to national security whenever it arrested its political opponents under the ISA, how come it missed these guys at the Sungai Besi RMAF airbase?
Aren't they traitors who betrayed the government, nation and the king? Remember an arms heist at a Mindef base a few years ago? Nothing happened to the culprits. Nothing will happen now either. What else would go missing? The country? Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi should resign.
Tan Kian Khim: Najib says '...no cover-up in missing jet engine investigation'. Clearly he means that this 'investigation' will be just like the 'no cover-up investigation' over the submarine commissions, Sukhois and Altantuya Shaariibuu murder.
Has anyone checked whether the submarines still have their engines? Do the Sukhoi fighters still have wings? Do the soldiers actually have ammunition in their rifles or did someone sell that to Iran too?
Maybe I should go and pick up a few missiles to sell for extra pocket money, since it seems so easy to smuggle a jet engine off an RMAF base.
Sivakumar Subramaniam: Dear prime minister, let me see if I understand your statement correctly. What you're saying is that a few 'motivated' personnel are all it takes to smuggle our defence capabilities out of the country outside of the control of your Defence Ministry and the only measure you are taking is to let the armed forces discipline their own soldiers.
God help us if some country wages war on us, or if our weapons land in the wrong hands.
Doc: Thank goodness the perpetrators were kind enough to only steal one engine. I presume the jet can still fly with the other engine (assuming that the other engine is still around and in working order). In view of the '1Malaysia' concept; '1engine', also can fly la!
Knowing the current ruling government's trend; they will probably buy back the engine from the South Americans at double the cost they sold it to them.
Playfair: The military has had many cases of goods or/and money being stolen, lost, misplaced and misappropriated. But it has never faced such serious losses of sensitive items as under Najib Abdul Razak's watch as defence minister. The al-Ma'unah arms heist and the stolen C4 high explosives all involved loss of life.
The question is, should not the defence minister then be also responsible and accountable for such glaring thefts at his ministry? At least the moral responsibility to own up to it. It is this kind of evasion of responsibility that undermines the trust in the integrity of the nation's political leadership.
Saya Boleh: What does he mean 'no cover-up'? The whole damn episode has been covered up since 2007. It's shameful.
They roped in an innocent Sin Chew journalist and Seputeh member of parliament Teresa Kok under the ISA for being an alleged threat to national security, but let off a brigadier-general and his 40 thieves (with full pension) who have clearly breached national security. The minister in charge should have resigned or be sacked immediately.
Remember the defence minister's reaction on this issue when he said 'a group of low-ranking officers were in cahoots with civilians in the well-planned theft and sale of the RM50 million engine'?
Well, if the minister of defence considers a brigadier-general as a low-ranking officer, then he has no business being the minister of defence at all. This is another big lie from BN.
Abil: The jet engine was missing from 2007 and only now this has been revealed. Is this not complacency on the part of authorities? C4 explosives too have been lost in the past.
This is a very serious breach of national security and but everyone seems to be waiting for this and that report before bringing the culprits to justice. Great for Najib and his KPI.
AM Ayob: Why didn't Najib promise a 'no cover-up' in the Altantuya case? Is it because he was afraid the most undesirable would turn up? The stinkiest can of worms that can send some individuals to jail for a very long time?
However, in the missing plane engine case, the people implicated are not important to the PM; they are people that he can do without. Allah knows best.
SameSame: Let me get this right. He said there will be 'no cover-up'. Does that mean and that such issues are normally covered-up?
Frankie Tan: No wonder those Nuri helicopters have been crashing so often throughout their lifespans. Could be that some of their engines were stolen to be replaced by Proton car engines?
more news at : http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/120351
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Expressing the need for action be taken against those responsible, he said had such an incident happened in a western country, it would have seen the resignation of its defence minister.
Abdul Hadi told this to reporters after opening the PAS bloggers convention at the party headquarters in Taman Melewar near here.
Yesterday, Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the engine, worth RM50 million and discovered missing in 2007, had been sold to an international company based in South America.
Meanwhile, Abdul Hadi said Pakatan Rakyat , which comprised PKR, DAP and PAS, had not been registered as a political party because they did not want to do it in haste.
He said what was important was to achieve their political objectives and to cooperate by giving their views, although they did not share the same ideology. - Bernama
seals: hmmm Malaysia Boleh?
Friday, December 18, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
But that is where the feel-good story ends.
Sekolah Kebangsaan Tok Pawang and Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil Sg Tok Pawang share the same compound, but it's a different story with the canteen.
SJK(T) pupils have been denied access to the canteen. This was decided by SK Tok Pawang teachers after frequent quarrels between the pupils of the two schools.
The SJK(T) PIBG then organised a makeshift canteen for the 170 Tamil school students at a corridor behind the building.
Students of both schools also do not share classrooms.
Twenty-three years ago the students of the Tamil school were accommodated at SK Tok Pawang after they had to abandon their own building due to pollution caused by the nearby Lee Rubber building.
The Tamil school received a new lease of life
Menteri Besar Azizan Abdul Razak, accompanied by deputy P Ramasamy and the current state exco S Manikumar, attended the groundbreaking ceremony to a joyful atmosphere of excited schoolchildren and parents.
At the event, he said that the state government is giving the land to the school without any premium charge. They have also waived the assessment and the school needed to pay only a token sum of RM10 for the land.
This happened about eight months ago. The situation has not changed since then.
'Education Ministry's problem, not ours'
SJK (T) Tok Pawang students still share the school building with SK Tok Pawang pupils. There is no sign of a new building being built on the land that was given to the Tamil school.
Azizan had, at the groundbreaking ceremony, clearly indicated that the state government had done their job by giving the land.
It was now up to the school to negotiate with the Education Ministry to obtain the RM1.6 million needed to build the school.
Jerai MP Mohd Firdaus Jaafar said that now the ball was in MIC's court to "pressure the minister (of education) at the federal level to make sure the building gets built."
Balasingham, 35, says that he had been waiting for the school to be built since the day he left the school when he was 12.
His daughter now attends the school in Standard 1, but nothing has changed.
At the moment, students have no choice but to go about their familar routine of sharing the same compound and building, and having their meals under a a makeshift canteen.
Thus far, there is not even a hint of a new school building emerging on the land provided to them.
All you can see is the tractor used by the Kedah menteri besar during the groundbreaking ceremony. It sits forlornly by several oil palm trees, a sad reminder of what should have been.
Watch the video
seals : Thanks to Malaysiakini with their new way of reaching the real news of Malaysia, from the "rakyat" itself.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Oleh Zaini Hassan
(yang berada di kota raya Hyderabad, India dari 29 November-4 Disember menghadiri Forum Editor-Editor Sedunia)
BERADA di kota raya tua India, Hyderabad selama seminggu minggu lalu amat memberi kesedaran kepada diri ini. Setiap inci persegi tanah di kota-kotanya dihuni oleh ratusan insan. Setiap kilometer persegi dihuni oleh ratusan ribu insan dan setiap bandar raya di negara keramat itu dihuni oleh jutaan manusia. Dan India ialah tanah bagi 1.2 bilion umat manusia. Angkanya bertambah setiap saat.
Berada di India bererti kita berada dalam satu realiti kemanusiaan yang sebenar. India ialah tanah bagi manusia ramai. Jurang hidupnya adalah antara langit dan bumi. Yang papa terlalu papa, yang kaya terlalu kaya. Yang kaya, tidak pandang ke bawah, yang bawah tetap di bawah.
Kasta, darjat atau keturunan masih diamalkan secara tebal di seluruh India. Ia semacam satu agama. Kasta atas tidak boleh bersatu kasta rendah.
Jalan rayanya haru-biru. Suasananya hiruk-pikuk. Bas, lori, kereta, basikal, teksi roda tiga, kereta lembu, kuda bersimpang siur. Bunyi hon adalah wajib. Pegang sahaja stereng, bunyi hon dulu. Di belakang bas dan lori tertulis `tolong hon’. Tiada siapa marah jika dia dihon. Hon ialah nyawa.
Semasa dalam perjalanan menghadiri makan malam perpisahan di Istana Chowmohalla (dibina pada 1780 oleh Nawab Nizam Ali Khan, Asaf Jah II),
pemandu bas yang membawa kami tiba-tiba turun lari meninggalkan bas yang dibawanya. Hilang dalam lautan manusia dan kenderaan. Kami terpinga-pinga. Dua lelaki preman masing-masing memegang submesingan jenis sterling yang mengawal keselamatan kami dalam bas berkata ``jangan bimbang’’. Pemandu tadi sebenarnya turun untuk meleraikan kenderaan-kenderaan yang sudah berpintal di atas jalan raya. Dia bertindak menjadi polis trafik.
Sambil dia menyelesaikan kekusutan itu, saya melihat di seberang sana seorang penumpang turun dari teksi roda tiga yang dinaikinya menolak kenderaan itu yang mati di atas jalan raya. Tiada rasa marah pun di muka penumpang itu yang menolong menolak teksinya yang rosak.
Tiada siapa peduli apa yang berlaku di sekeliling mereka. Polis trafik pun menjalankan apa yang terdaya, tanpa memperlihatkan sedikit pun kekerutan di dahinya. Trafik lalu lintas tetap berjalan lancar, walaupun dalam suasana kekecohan.
Sebelah malam, di tepi-tepi jalan insan-insan tidur merata-rata. Ada yang telah nyenyak membungkus tubuh dengan kain selimut daripada kedinginan kota itu. Yang belum tidur, duduk mencangkung sambil memandang ke satu tujuan yang tidak diketahui.
Hampir dua jam bergelut kami tiba di istana bereka bentuk masjid itu. Di sepanjang dinding tembok istana tertulis tulisan dalam bahasa Inggeris ``Ini tempat suci jangan kencing’’. Kencing berdiri sambil si anunya memancut ke dinding adalah pemandangan umum yang biasa. Mungkin kerana terlalu ramai manusia, tandas bukan lagi pilihan. Awas, setiap pagi berhati-hati berjalan di kaki-kaki lima kerana terlalu banyak jerangkap samar dari isi perut manusia berlonggok di sana-sini. Suasana serupa juga juga khabarnya boleh dilihat di bandar raya lain termasuk di Mumbai.
Sampainya di istana itu, kami dibawa masuk ke dalamnya. Satu suasana antara langit dengan bumi. Kawasan istana lama itu diwarnai dengan lampu-lampu berwarni yang menyenangkan perasaan. Bagaikan berada dalam kisah Hikayat 1001. Tarian-tarian Bollywood dari era 50-an hingga kini dipersembahkan kepada kami. Selesai persembahan kami dijamu dengan juadah Hyderabad tersohor di dunia, nasi beriyani.
Kami makan beriyani kambing dan ayam, tanpa mempedulikan apa-apa lagi. Ia terlalu sedap tanpa boleh ditandingi oleh mana-mana restoran Malaysia, waima Hameediah di Campbell Street, Pulau Pinang mahupun Mahbob di Bangsar.
Di luar tembok sana, suasananya adalah terlalu kontras. India yang penuh warna-warni. India yang penuh dengan drama. Di dada-dada akhbarnya konflik di mana-mana. Di Parlimennya pun haru-biru seperti di atas jalan rayanya juga. Televisyen memaparkan bagaimana seorang speaker dewannya tidak diendahkan oleh ahli-ahli Parlimen yang memboikot sesi soal-jawab. Akhbar Deccan Chronicle dalam karikatur muka satunya (macam Senyum Kambing) keesokan harinya mencuit: Mengapa mereka tidak mahu buat sesi soal-jawab dalam kantin saja, kan di situ tempatnya ahli Parlimen selalu melepak?
India tetap India. Orang India ialah masyarakat yang begitu unik. Jika kita sering tengok wayang Tamil atau Hindi, itulah budaya mereka. Kecoh, kecoh dan kecoh.
Namun, kita di Malaysia pun ada orang India. Kecohnya pun lebih kurang sama. Mereka ini rata-ratanya terdiri daripada ahli-ahli profesional, peguam dan kini menjadi ahli politik. Di Malaysia hanya orang India yang pandai-pandai sahaja yang sering buat bising. Mereka menguasai Majlis Peguam dan kini mereka sudah ramai di Parlimen, bukan mewakili MIC, tapi mewakili DAP dan PKR.
Kerana mereka lantang dan suka buat haru-biru, suara mereka sering kedengaran. Salah seorangnya ialah N. Kulasegaran yang kini memegang jawatan Naib Pengerusi DAP Perak. Beliau lantang mempersoalkan hak-hak orang Melayu.
Katanya, beliau tidak faham mengapa setelah bertahun lamanya masih ada kelompok manusia percaya kepada warna kulit atau penampilan yang lebih tinggi daripada satu kaum lain.
Kita tidak pasti apakah beliau ikhlas dengan kenyataannya itu. Dia tahukah apa yang dia cakap? Tapi yang pasti kenyataannya itu cukup sensitif dan akan membuat kumpulan lain marah. Tapi seperti biasa orang Melayu marahnya tidak lama. Tak apalah. Orang Melayu tidak seperti orang India, walaupun ada juga Melayu yang darah keturunan Keling (DKK), tapi darah Melayu yang lembut banyak menguasai mereka.
Jika di India, mungkin kita akan sentiasa dikawal oleh pengawal bermesingan. Kulasegaran perlu mengambil cuti. Pergilah melawat ke India, dan hayatilah erti kehidupan di sana, hayatilah erti kasta dan darjat, miskin dan kaya, seperti yang saya alami minggu lalu.
Seburuk-buruk Malaysia, inilah tanah tumpah darah kita.
seals: Ooi Zaini.... "Seburuk-buruk Malaysia, inilah tanah tumpah darah kita." that's why even with all the more statements like this and Kambing tak berotak we are still fighting for the MALAYSIA yang semaking buruk to make it better.
Of noisy Indians and 'keling' blood: Utusan strikes again
Tan Kian Khim: This latest Utusan Malaysia article, combined with the reinstatement of Penang Umno chief Ahmad Ismail will do wonders for Umno's credibility among clear-minded Malaysians.
If, say, an Indian or Chinese counterpart of 'Zaini Hassan' or 'Awang Selamat' had insulted the Malay community in another paper, the 'fair-minded' Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein (who saw fit to personally defend the Umno-backed Shah Alam cow's head hooligans) would have no hesitation in applying the ISA to shut down the paper and arrest the writer for making 'seditious remarks'.
But we all know who pays Zaini Hassan and Awang Selamat's bills.
Lee Tat Fatt: Hello, Mr PM, promoter of '1Malaysia'. What have got to say about this? Nothing I guess. But one thing is for sure. If a Tamil newspaper insulted the Malays, we all know what would happen (that's right - they would be classified as a threat to the security of nation).
Acode168: Najib, on one hand you talk about '1Malaysia', on the other you use the Umno-controlled media to provoke racial issues amongst the Malays. Please don't think the rakyat are all stupid and blind.
Rayfire: To the Umno-led BN government, you are the pinnacle of double standards. This Utusan Malaysia is raising sensitive issues on a daily basis and you keep quiet. But you go after people who hold candlelight vigils saying they are a threat to the nation.
As for the Utusan journalist, he is continuing his tirade because of immunity provided by the owner of this newspaper. And people like those 'cow head' protestors who accept it as the gospel truth will go on to harass fellow citizens saying they are second-class citizens.
Habib RAK: DKK apparently stands for 'Darah Keturunan Keling'. I'm a proud DKK. It's an undeniable fact that my grandparents are from India. Other than the Orang Asli, everybody else in Malaysia is also a DK-something.
They are either 'Darah Keturunan Cina, Indonesia (Java, Aceh, etc), Thailand, Burma, Philippines, English, Dutch, Portugese, Japan, Arab.
A commentator has pointed out that 'Melayu' means 'runaways' in the Javanese language. Thus all of who originated from another locality are Melayu in Malaysia. But I know that all of us are now proud Malaysians and we are doing our best for our beloved country Malaysia.
Only those who have a skewed and warped mindset choose to remain ignorant. Zaini Hassan is just one example of an ignorant (jahil).
Paradox: Zaini and the editor of Utusan Malaysia are another product of BTN. Zaini, I hope one day your daughter will fall in love with an Indian man and marry him.
Karma: MIC is wasting their time lodging a police report. For what? You think the police are so free to drive all the way out to arrest him? There is no promotion benefit for the policemen involved.
The police only act on instructions. They should find time to catch snatch thieves for that would be better.
Nazr: Since most newspapers vendors and distributors are Indians, I suggest they all retaliate by refusing to sell this crappy newspaper. This is the only way to really hurt them.
Chipmunk: The Malays originated in Yunnan, China. They Proto-Malays were also known as Jakun. They were seafaring people. Probably because of their seafaring way of life or trading, they were believed to have lived in coastal Borneo.
They then expanded into Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula. A Portuguese historian, Godinho de Eredia, referred to the Malays as Saletes (Orang Selat, or People of the Straits). Hindu influence on Malay culture is historically very great.
A large number of the Malays were Hindus before they were converted to Islam in the 15th century. So Zaini, who is the 'keling'?
Zainal: Is Zaini Hasan describing Dr Mahathir Mohamad?
Greyhame: No need for words, great need for votes. How I pray that the next general election will come soon.
more news at http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/119590
seals: what should have MIC done about this ? Again it proved MIC is not relevant in protecting the Indians? Let all Indians seek the help of Hindraf, at least they ahve done some thing for Indians ...
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
The following is a count of my journey to Mahavatar Babaji’s Cave in Dronagiri area in Himalayas. I took the trek on 29th of July 2009 along with my Father. After several visions and signals from the Masters, I finally made the trek deep into the Mountains at about 9000 feet.
To view photos from my Trek to Babaji’s Cave, please click here.
Leaving Rohtak for Haldwani
After I could not make the trek to Mahavatar Babaji’s Cave in Pandukholi region during my visit to Almora, Himalayas in 2007 – I had accepted the fact that the time had not come yet for me to visit. During my summer 2009 vacation, I was determined to make the trip and after a small hiccup, it materialized into reality. I will try to be as faithful in remembering the little details as possible and provide you with my experiences during this extraordinary journey that I took with my Father.
My Father and I left Rohtak on Sunday, 26th July 2009 at about 10 AM for Haldwani where we would stop for the night. The drive from Rohtak to Haldwani takes about 7 to 8 hours and is about 340 KMs (337 in our case) if there are no traffic problems. The route is:
Rohtak to Delhi to Ghaziabad onwards to NH 24 all the way through Hapur, Muradabad, Rampur, Bilaspur, Rudrapur to Haldwani. We stopped at Haldwani for the night where an old colleague and friend of my Father Mr. Bisht lives. Haldwani is the last stop in the plains on way to Nainital and surrounding areas and is known as the Pravesh-Dwaar (entrance) to the Dev-Bhoomi Uttaranchal (now Uttrakhand). It connects plains to the Kumaon region of the mighty Himalayas. The next morning was rather hot and muggy as we left Haldwani at around 10 AM for Almora. The drive was scenic as it normally is anywhere in Himalayas. By then we had learned that Monsoon rains had mostly evaded the state of Uttaranchal, but as we started ascending the mountains on NH 87, we noticed raindrops on our wind shield. Due to landslides that had occurred earlier, the normal route (via Bhimtal) to Almora had been closed to public and we had to take a detour and go through Ranikhet and enter from the backside of Almora. On our way, 4 ladies asked for lift to Pilot Baba’s Ashram that was on the way. We gladly accommodated them and dropped them at their destination.
Visit to Haidakhan Ashram, Ranikhet
As we reached Ranikhet, my Father and I decided to pay our respects to Haidakhan Baba and visit his Ashram on the outskirts of Ranikhet. To visit the Ashram, one must enter the Ranikhet Cantonment and take the low road from the Main roundabout beyond the Sadar Bazaar. Here we found another older Gentleman who we asked for directions and we ended up offering him a lift into Ranikhet until the point where the 2 KM slip road took us directly to Haidakhan Baba Ashram. Since it was a cloudy day, we could not see any of the peaks Nandadevi, etc.) that are usually visible from the Ashram on a clear day. We spent about 30 minutes at the Ashram and I meditated for about half an hour. After paying our respects, we left the Ashram at 2:05 PM for Almora in hopes of making the trek to Mahavatar Babaji’s Cave the following day. Little did we know that it was not yet to be. We arrived at Almora at 4:03 PM (odometer 474 KMs).
Fury of Rain Gods
Later that night in Almora, my Father and I both woke up to the sound of raindrops. The next morning turned out to be immensely cloudy and carried dense fog. We could barely see the terrace of the floor beneath ours. The clouds were below us and it felt as if we were in heaven for a moment. At times the floating clouds seemed to enter our hotel room and the very next moment the rain would stop giving us a bleak hope of setting out for Pandukholi where Babaji’s cave is located. The day, however, stayed dismal and rainy for most of the time and by 10 AM we had dropped the plan of making the trek. Later that night, the TV news predicted heavy rains during next 48 hours in the state and my father even suggested that we leave the following day if rain gods continued with their fury. To our relief, rains finally gave way to a light drizzle at about 4 PM. We finally left the hotel room to take a walk on Mall Road and also visited the Almora Market. Before retiring for the night, my prayers seemed to be getting answered as I finally saw the mountains in front of us that had stayed hidden behind clouds for most of the day. The heavy cover of clouds seemed to be saying goodbye to the mountains and I thanked Babaji for keeping my hopes alive of making the trek the next day.
Bright and Sunny 29th, Trek to Babaji’s Cave
Bright sunshine greeted us the next morning as we woke up to almost clear blue skies. We left soon after our breakfast of Poori Bhaaji at 8:39 AM. Kukuchina was 86 KMs of drive from Hotel Shikhar, Almora. To reach the trekking point, one must leave Almora on NH 87 and pass through Ranikhet and continue towards Dwarahat. From Dwarahat, one must bear right towards Dunagiri Temple and continue towards Pandukholi. We reached Dunagiri Temple at 11:25 AM (odometer 557 KMs) and Pandukholi was still 5 more KMs to go. After driving for a few more minutes we reached Kukuchina, which is the last village before the 2 KM walk to Rathkhaal where the trek begins. We had a cup of hot Himalayan tea at Joshi Tea stall. Mr. Joshi, who runs the shop, carries Himalayan hospitality and a welcoming smile on his face. We were surprised that he remembered us from our brief stop from 2007 when I had failed to make the trek. We discussed the conditions and the weather in the mountains and requested him to arrange a Jeep ride along the 2 KM narrow path to take us to the trekking point. My Father and I decided against taking our own Ford Ikon car considering the extremely narrow and hilly path that, in my opinion, should either be travelled on foot or in a vehicle with 4-wheel drive.
Jeep Ride to Rathkhaal, facts about the Area
On many occasions, I thought the right tire of the Jeep would slide and slip over into the Valley taking all of us along and not to mention, I kept murmuring Babaji’s name all through the nerve-breaking Jeep ride. Once the Jeep dropped us at the point where the YSS (Yogoda Satsang Society) board pointed towards the Cave up in the mountains, we chanted Babaji’s name and began our trek at 12:07 PM (Tuesday, 29th July 2009). Those who wish to get an idea of the geography and the trek must understand a few things. Babaji’s Cave is unlike most of the other sacred places such as Badrinath, Kedarnath, etc. which are visited by thousands of people each year. You will even find people in Almora area that have not heard of Babaji’s cave up in Pandukholi area. The area in particular is 86 KMs. from Almora and the trek requires sincerity, strong will, devotion and intuitiveness on your part. YSS (Yogoda Satsang Society) along with others have done a great job in putting up a few boards and laying out a very basic raw mountain path, but one may still get easily lost if not attentive and intuitive.
Trek begins to Mahavatar Babaji’s Cave
As we started climbing the stony and narrow path along the mountain edge, I felt a surge of strange energy and did not feel any fatigue all through the trek whatsoever. My father took frequent breaks while climbing and I went along capturing the extraordinary Mountains around us through the lens of my camera. Somewhere mid-way during our trek, it started raining heavily and we had to take out our raincoats from my backpack. Climbing a mountain path such as this one could be very dangerous especially when it’s raining. Rain along with pine needles along the path can make the mountain surface very slippery as we discovered during our trek. Interestingly, I slipped more than my father. May be his mountain skills acquired during childhood when he used to climb mountains in Kashmir, helped him along the way. After the rains became too heavy, I said a little prayer to Surya Dev (Sun) and whispered Surya Mantra so the sun would shine and rain would stop. Lo and behold within a minute or so, the rains subsided and sun came out. I was grateful to Babaji as it made the climb a little easier especially for my Father.
Mahavatar Babaji Smriti Bhawan
After an hour or so of climbing through the forest, we came to an ashram, which turned out to be Mahavatar Babaji Smriti Bhawan established on the hilltop by YSS (Yogoda Satsang Society) on 25th July 2002. An elderly couple that met us in front of the Bhawan told us that the Cave was further up, about a couple minutes climb from the Smriti Bhawan. We also ran into a group from Andhra Pradesh that was visiting Babaji’s Cave. Their driver gave us the key to the Cave’s door after I convinced him that we would lock the Cave door and the Smriti Bhawan and hand the key over to a keeper that lived in the village down in the valley. Initially my father suggested that he would rest at the Bhawan and I should continue up to the cave, however, I did not think that he came all the way up here to miss out on visiting the sacred cave. After my suggestion, he accompanied me up.
Arrival at Mahavatar Babaji’s Cave
Finally we saw the steps and the door of the Cave. I asked my Father to do the honors and unlock the door. As soon he opened the door, a sudden rush of energy went through me as I saw the interior of the sacred Cave. On first look, one could say that 4 to 5 people could easily sit next to each other in the Cave. We noticed that drops of water were trickling down from the cave top, which we attributed to the recent rain. Although YSS has put up a marker, gate and the steps, the cave itself is natural and could be thousands of years old. I would like to refrain from making any claim on this, however. Since the plastic spread inside the Cave was wet, we decided to spread our raincoats and sit on them. I sat in the Lotus pose (Padamasana) and was immediately lost in a trance. One does not have to try and meditate as it comes naturally where one almost feels being present on a different plane far away from the mundane world. The silence and the grace that prevailed within the cave were unlike anything I had experienced before in my lifetime.
“It’s time to leave”
Call it the fury of the weather gods or Babaji’s signal to leave – within about 15 to 20 minutes clouds started thundering in the most threatening way and we knew that rains were imminent. I finally opened my eyes and my Father suggested that we get a move on. After taking a few pictures and paying our respects, we locked the door and descended back to the Smriti Bhawan. To our surprise we found that the group of people we had met earlier was still inside the Ashram where we also decided to stay put until the rain ceased. The Smriti Bhawan had 3-4 rooms where one could stay overnight. Since the rains were heavy outside, I decided to sit and meditate inside the Bhawan where a couple of other people from the group were already meditating. Within about 30 minutes, rains gave way to bright sunshine and we decided to leave.
Later while viewing the photos, I found one photo clicked after another where energy circles could be seen on my right. I discussed this with my Uncle, Dr. Rajeev Kaushik, who is a Sahaj Yogi and has recently published a book with Rupa Publications on Kundalini Yoga describing his experiences and revelations. He explained that such energy circles and usually seen at charged and sacred places where sages have done tapas or establish their presence in astral form.
Losing our way in the forest
In a stroke of wisdom, I suggested to my father that we leave the group behind and be on our way. Little did I realize that the descent back to the village would be even trickier than the climb up. Due the rain, the mountain paths were filled with water and we both slipped at a few places. I tried to be more than alert despite handling my camera and capturing the serenity and beauty of the mountains and trees around us. At a sharp turn, we came to a narrow path off the mountain where despite my strong suggestion; we turned left per my Father’s instinct. It wasn’t too late before we realized that we had not come this way during our climb up. Instead of descending the part of the mountain on our right we had confused the surroundings and were actually heading in a totally strange direction. After ascending the mountain and then descending again, we found ourselves headed straight to the valley into deep forest. At one point we could even see a house in front of us at some distance away, however, it was on the other side of the mountain and it was not possible to reach it unless one crossed the forest that lay at the bottom part of the mountain that we were on.
I then suggested to my Father to bring back his mountain-instincts and guide us out of this predicament. As I mentioned earlier, he had climbed many mountains during his childhood in Kashmir, which at that time was full of wilderness as well as animals. He took a moment to study the surroundings and then eventually with some input from me, we headed to our right and started climbing the part of the mountain that lay ahead of us. It was my understanding that it would bring us back to our original path. At some places, we had some serious hiking on the cliff of the mountains that was also wet from recent rains. I was also worried about my Father and his ability to climb at such rough spots.
By Babaji’s grace, we went through the rough path and also crossed a small waterfall hidden deep within the mountains and eventually ended up in a small field of Turnips. In front of us – lay a villager’s hut who, to our good fortune, was inside the hut and having his lunch at the time. My father told them that we were coming back from Babaji’s Cave and had lost our way in the mountains and requested him to show us the correct way to reach Rathkhaal and then Kukuchina. Before he showed us the correct way, he stressed more than once that we join him for lunch or tea at the least. We politely thanked him for his generosity and went our way after getting directions. This along with other minor incidents strengthened our faith that people in the mountains were still filled with the hospitality, trust and kindness that has almost disappeared from the plains.
After descending through another rough spot that was filled with water and stones, we reached the 2 KM stretch (Rathkhaal) that would take us to Kukuchina where our car stood parked near Joshi Tea Stop. Earlier we had taken a jeep ride to save time and avoid any fatigue before beginning the trek; however, we decided that it was best to walk back to Kukuchina so we could cherish the beauty and serenity of the sacred mountain.
Guide welcomes us!
On a lighter note, I later pointed to my Father a little incident that had happened earlier while were inside the Smriti Bhawan up in the mountains after our visit to the Cave.
Father had mentioned about the challenges involved in our trek (from the heavy rains to the difficult trek) and I had casually remarked back (almost boasting) “what more challenge can Babaji present us with?” We chuckled later that Babaji indeed gave us another small challenge by making us take the wrong route and getting us lost in the forest. Lord works in mysterious ways to teach us lessons, both big and small in life.
Our trek back became very tiring due to the extra fatigue we had to undergo after losing way up in the mountains. We took frequent breaks and just sat in silence to breathe in the mountain air. At one spot, we came across a Black Dog who was waiting on the edge of the mountain by a boulder and came running towards us as we approached that spot. Since I have never been close to dogs (that’s another story), my father cajoled him into making him go away. On a very interesting note, the dog stayed ahead of us all the way to Kukuchina and even stopped and waited for us as we took breaks during our trek back on the stony Himalayan path. We both had our own ideas about the dog, which would be later revealed to us by Sh. Netraballabh Joshi at Joshi Tea Stall.
Arrival back at Kukuchina
After about 55 minutes, we arrived at Kukuchina at 3:30 PM and Mr. Joshi greeted us with a smile. My father was quick to request 2 hot cups of Himalayan tea and a couple pieces of bread to chase away the fatigue of the trek. We also met Shri Netra Ballabh Joshi with whom we held discussion on Mahavatar Baba, Mahabharata, Ashwatthama, and other related topics. Some excerpts from our conversation can be viewed on Youtube in form of Part 1 and Part 2 . He also told us about the dog that had been guiding visitors on the 2 KM stretch back to Kukuchina for a few years now. I silently bowed down to the humble creature for his generous services and we later fed him with Biscuits and Bread as a small token of our gratitude.
The extraordinary day ended when we finally took leave of Joshis, bowed down to the Dronagiri Mountain and Mahavatar Baba in reverence for making this trek possible. It was once in a lifetime experience and one must physically go there to feel the energy, aura and blessings of the Dronachal Valley and Mahavatar Baba.
Arrival back at Almora
We left Joshi tea stall at 3:55 PM (odometer 562 KMs) and arrived back at Almora Hotel at 6:44 PM (odometer 648 KMs). If anyone has any questions about the trip or our trek, feel free to contact me through this website. May Babaji guide us and bless us.
Important pointers/interesting observations about/during the Journey
- Before you begin the trek, I highly recommend that you stop at Joshi Tea Stop at Kukuchina. Mr. Joshi can provide you with any guidance needed for the trek.
- Be prepared to face Kaanwariyas on NH 24 if you travel during the month of July. They can cause serious traffic problems and 1-lane is usually reserved and shut down for them. This is the period during which Kaanwariyas celebrate their Shivratri.
- Do NOT make Almora your base camp like we did. Best place to stay is Ranikhet. Pandukholi is only about 55 KMs (as compared to 86 from Almora).
- People in the mountains may frequently ask you for lift. This might be considered out of question in the Northern Plains. We were surprised when an elderly mother asked lift for her newly wed daughter!
- Even the simplest and financially challenged person may turn out to be the most hospitable and courteous. Such is the culture in Himalayas!
- It is best advised to not undertake the trek during Rainy season, but if you are as daring as us, do not forget to pack raincoats!
- Lastly, I would quote what I once read in an article. “Leave your cold intellect behind before approaching the sacred and serene mountains.”
Om Namah Shivay.
Gautam Dhar/Anupam Dhar
8th August 2009, Rohtak, INDIA
Trek date: 29th July 2009
seals: you should go to the web site to read the comments.....
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Like many other government projects, this one is well on the way to a familiar outcome involving the unproductive use of millions of ringgit of taxpayers' money.
Just last week, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission had revealed that 60 percent of infrastructure funds in Sarawak, possibly amounting to billions of ringgit, have been siphoned off.
From what is known of the RM500 million Shah Alam Hospital project, it is estimated that as much as RM100 million could have already gone to waste.
Its construction was mooted 10 years ago as the state's second - and more accessible - general hospital, after the one in Klang.
“The new hospital can provide better services to people here besides reducing the burden on the overloaded Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital (in Klang),” said former Selangor health, tourism and consumer affairs executive councillor Dr Lim Thuang Seng when announcing the project in 2007.
Awarded to newcomer Sunshine Fleet Sdn Bhd, the construction contract raised eyebrows from the onset.
Although initially announced as costing “about RM300 million”, the eventual contract has come to be worth a whopping RM482 million - a mark-up of RM182 million.
Sunshine Fleet was also awarded a separate earthworks contract of RM9 million, which has brought the total project cost to nearly half a billion ringgit. This is based on information recorded on the website of the Construction Industry Development Board.
The contract value is seen as high for a 300-bed hospital. Industry insiders insist that a hospital of that capacity could have been built for RM350 million, even after taking into account rising material costs.
In comparison, the 608-bed Serdang Hospital completed in 2004 cost about RM300 million while the 960-bed Selayang Hospital cost RM600 million, when it was completed in 1998 at the height of the East Asian financial crisis.
Speculation abounds about how the company, owned by the Selangor royal family and which has no track record in healthcare services or hospital construction, was awarded the contract.
An Internet search of several construction directories only lists Sunshine Fleet as contractors for 'renovations for office and homes'.
A search with the Companies Commission of Malaysia revealed that Sunshine Fleet is owned by the Selangor sultan's sister, Tengku Putri Arafiah ibni Sultan Abd Aziz Shah (70%), her son Putera Azamuddin Shah bin Abdul Aziz (10%), and her uncle Tengku Abdul Samad Shah ibni Sultan Salahuddin Abd Aziz Shah (20%).
The royal trio also makes up the board of directors of the company.
Job given to sub-contractor
Sunshine Fleet awarded full construction of the hospital to sub-contractor Isyoda (M) Sdn Bhd, an ailing construction firm.
Based on documents received by Malaysiakini, the sub-contract deal was for RM451 million, leaving Sunshine Fleet to pocket an immediate RM31 million.
On top of that, Isyoda was expected to pay a portion - as much as RM46 million - of the RM451 million to Sunshine Fleet as the work progressed, when payments were periodically issued by the Public Works Department (PWD).
The sub-contract deal was hailed by analysts at the time as a boon for Isyoda, in that it could help to revitalise the troubled construction firm.
However, they were wrong. Months after starting work on the hospital, Isyoda ran into trouble and had to withdraw from the project.
This may have also contributed to its parent Isyoda Corp Berhad de-listing from Bursa Malaysia, citing “the challenging environment surrounding the construction industry”.
Early this year, Isyoda filed winding-up proceedings against Sunshine Fleet in the Kuala Lumpur High Court.
This was however abandoned when both parties signed an agreement of mutual termination and release on May 21, 2009.
Related documents referred to the court case, stating that the proceedings were intended to recoup Isyoda's expenses for work done on the project, as well as for certain advances, loans and payments to Sunshine Fleet.
The two agreed to end their contract amicably with Sunshine Fleet refunding Isyoda all costs incurred, as well as payments received.
The amount which included “advances” and “loans” to Tengku Arafiah and expenses paid on Sunshine Fleet's behalf by Isyoda, totalled in excess of RM15 million.
However, after deducting the RM10 million which Isyoda had taken as an advance from the PWD, the sum was reduced to about RM5 million.
New sub-contractor takes over
In February this year, another sub-contractor GM Healthcare Sdn Bhd (GMH) took over the construction.
Industry insiders said the construction firm came to Sunshine Fleet's rescue by helping to pay off Isyoda.
GMH itself is a new player in the construction business, although its founders are industry veterans, said to have been involved in several prior projects, including the Selayang Hospital.
According to sources, GMH managed to reverse the roughly 80-day delay in construction under Isyoda to currently being three weeks ahead of schedule.
However, it may be sailing into troubled waters, just as Isyoda did. GMH is also beginning to suffer from the huge amounts of advances and expenses demanded by the turnkey contractor, Sunshine Fleet.
Sources close to the project said such appropriations of funds for “expenses” other than construction costs may “have an adverse economic effect on the project”.
GMH chief executive Elvin Toh, when contacted, confirmed that “this (situation) has been going on for some time”.
“If they have been doing this to us, they have also been doing it to others,” he said, although expressing surprise that the news has been leaked.
When contacted, an employee of Sunshine Fleet said its personnel are prohibited from revealing any information, and that all inquiries should be directed to the PWD, “which owns the project”.
PWD could not be immediately contacted for comment.
It is not clear whether the Shah Alam General Hospital will be able to open by its target date of November 2010.
Even if it does, it will not heal taxpayers sickened by yet another scandal of massive proportions.
more news at : http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/119276
seals: what the PAC is doing here? MACC is being busy with RM2000.00 cases and letting go million Ringgit cases just because the Millions are at UMNO side? Or they are made to believe UMNO is government?
So who can we trust with the taxpayers money? Should the people start investigating the MACC and their acts and the governments spending?
I am sure there will be a total silence from MACC. It is time to investigate all and each every projects of the BN government.
Do we have to bring an external auditors (outside Malaysia) to audit Federal Government spending and also do a costing assessment?
This is a clear message to people:
IT IS TIME TO HAVE DUAL PARTY SYSTEM IS PLACE NOW!!!!!
The same applies when the other government is in place!!!
Thanks to MALAYSIAKINI
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Now I have to ask Malaysia ...Is this true? If not true we should clarify to the WORLD.