Monthly Archives: September 2010

Telephone pole inside new drain on Inobong Road, Penampang

If you are traveling from Inobong, about 100m after Taman Tanaki and heading for Donggongon/Kota Kinabalu, somewhere on the left side of the road you will see this inside the roadside drain:

That’s no so clear isn’t it; well I took another photo from right next to it:

Somebody needs band saw blades “applied” on them?!

Photos taken sometime in June 2010.

Celcom cheat?

UPDATE 19th October 2010

Today I got another SMS, datestamped 8.33am that says:

WOW! 528 MMS ke no Celcom tlh dikreditkan ke akaun anda. MMS Percuma sah utk tempoh 24 jam sahaja. Tambah nilai RM20 utk lebih ganjaran! Info: *118#

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UPDATE 14th October 2010

On 2nd October 2010, datestamped 5.37pm I got another SMS from Celcom (didn’t photograph the screenshot this time) that says:

WOW! 399 MMS ke no Celcom tlh dikreditkan ke akaun anda. MMS Percuma sah utk tempoh 24jam sahaja. Tambah nilai RM20 utk lebih ganjaran! Info: *118#

From what I can understand, that translates to: you have been granted 399 free MMS into your Celcom account, but they have to be used up within 24 hours.

Due to my previous experience, I didn’t even bother to send one test MMS.

At this rate, I’d be wary of any SMS I got, even from purportedly legitimate sources. Usually I’d do a quick scan, then delete any junk-looking SMS I get. That might not be the case if I see an SMS mentioning wii accessories though…

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I got this SMS at 8.56am on 22nd September 2010.

My first thought was: 936 free SMSes, but need to finish them all in 24 hours?

I tested sending to one 019 number just to verify it’s really free:
and what do you know, it was not – my prepaid account was still
deducted.

I tested again to several other 019 numbers, same results.

So Celcom, what is this???

The World Cup fever that came late

I received the following SMS from the number 28000 on 19th July 2010.

The final match of the 2010 World Cup was played 11th July 2010 (South African time) / the early hours of 12th July 2010 in Malaysia, yet the SMS says in essence: the 2010 World Cup fever has just started!

So it’s clear that somebody didn’t do their job, and has wasted his/her company’s funds in sending those thousands/millions of SMSes, which could’ve been better spent, from improving the corporation’s stock performance right down to changing the office’s door hardware

Worst ever Akademi Fantasia performance

It must be Faisal AF6′s performance of Ekamatra’s “Sentuhan Kecundang” on 5th April 2008, in the third week of the season.

He’d been singing off key since the beginning of the season, both during lessons (the diaries) and onstage, but this performance was probably the most cringe-worthy.

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This is the original, sung by Rahmat.

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He was finally kicked out of the show the next week.

I think it’s clear that he suffers from tone deafness, yet it’s boggles the mind as to how he managed to emerge out of the thousands of hopefuls into the finals. Don’t tell me anti wrinkle serums did the trick!

Even more amazingly, he was previously in two nasyid groups, Far East and Mursyidin that released a few LPs and appeared on TV.

Most sensational criminal cases in Malaysian history

Here’s a list, please add/delete/comment/critique.

Datuk Sosilawati’s case

Former beauty queen Jean Pererirra’s murder case in the early 1980s, when in the end the accused S. Kartighesu was acquitted.

Mona Fandey’s case in the early 1990s.

Botak Chin case (Malaysia’s most notorious outlaw).

1970s: Dato’ Seri Harun Idris, the former Selangor Menteri Besar’s case.

April 1982: The State Assemblyman for Tampin, Negri Sembilan, Datuk Mohd Taha Talib shot dead. The then Culture, Youth and Sports Minister, Datuk Mokhtar Hashim was arrested and later convicted in connection with the murder.

July 2000: the Al Maunah case, Malaysia’s first treason case, i.e. waging war against Yang Di Pertuan Agong.

2003: the Canny Ong rape, murder and burning case.

Dec 2007: part-time model Norita Samsuddin, 22 found dead in a posh condominium, in the nude, having been suffocated and her hands and legs bound. No one was ever convicted.

Dec 1999: popular local celebrity and vocalist Along of the group Spoon found murdered by a policeman, apparently due to jealousy.

October 2006: Altantuya.

1986: The 2 Australians, Barlow and Chambers hanging for heroin trafficking, becoming the first Westerners to be executed under Malaysia’s new tougher laws for drug offences.

Rabia Abdul Salam: top Malaysian athlete who apparently committed suicide.

February 2004: Datuk Norjan Khan, 52, Sabah’s Assistant Minister of Rural and Entrepreneurial Development found dead in a room at Shangri-La hotel, Bandaran Berjaya. There were stab wounds, her valuables were not missing, and there was no sign of forced entry. No one was ever convicted of her death.

October 2000: Noor Suzaily Mokhtar raped and killed by Hanafi Mat Hassan in a bus.

Now should that guy who made the wrong Mesothelioma diagnosis, resulting in needless deaths, be in this list?

Cosmetics millionaire Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya bludgeoned to death and her body burnt

Update 23 May 2013

The High Court found all 4 accused guilty & sentenced them to death: former lawyer N. Pathmanabhan, 43, and farm hands T. Thilaiyalagan, 21, R. Matan, 22 and R. Kathavarayan, 33.

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Update 23rd Sept 2010

More missing people are coming into the picture:

Mohd Shafiq Abdullah, 37, businessman from Kedah, missing since 8th April 2010, leather-strap wristwatch found in the same farm where Datuk Sosilawati and 3 others were allegedly killed

A Muthuraja, multi-millionaire businessman from India, missing since 18th January 2010

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Update 19th Sept 2010

It’s becoming more convoluted, with twist after twist coming from as far as India.

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Update 18th Sept 2010

Sarina Jaafar, 45, Sosilawati’s close friend and fellow cosmetics entrepreneur, founder of Aveer Cosmetics hanged herself in her master bedroom at her house in Penang. Her death was reportedy due to personal problems and not related to Sosilawati’s death.

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Update 17th Sept 2010

- A cricket bat might also have been used as a murder weapon.

- Police found more than 300 human bone fragments at the bottom of Sungai Pan­chau, which could turn out to be the remains of around 20 people. If those people turned out to have been killed by the lawyer, he could well be one of the country’s worst serial killers.

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Update 16th Sept 2010

The “Datuk” might not be a Datuk after all, having “bought” the title from a businessman for RM180,000.

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Update 15th Sept 2010

According to newsreports:

- the Datuk lawyer allegedly worth RM100 million, which is similar to the late Datuk Sosilawati’s wealth, while his younger brother is supposedly worth RM20 million
- allegedly RM7.2 million was found in one bank account of the prime suspect
- he has 9 luxury cars, including 7 Mercedes-Benz
- at least three henchmen killed the 4 after being ordered by the Datuk lawyer
- the 4 were beaten and repeatedly stabbed before they were burnt

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Update 14th Sept 2010

4.30pm: The Star reported that the murder weapon has been found in a river, after searching since 9am.

Unconfirmed sources said his name is Datuk Pathmanabhan a/l Nalliannen (IC: 690211-10-5525) and his brother is Surendren a/l Nalliannen (IC: 720801-10-5773). They both have Facebook accounts in their real names, and made available their photos.

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13th Sept 2010

This could rival the Mona Fandey case in sensation.

According to newsreports:

- the prime suspects are a “Datuk” lawyer, 41 and his brother, 38, also a lawyer, whose practice is based in Banting, Selangor. The others are 6 palm oil plantation workers, including 2 women.


[source: rezamohyin.com]

- the “Datuk” lawyer graduated from Bond University, Australia
- he also dabbles in moneylending, although whether he’s an asset based lenders / not remains to be seen
- he had intentions of joining the MIC – this could be a hint as to the suspect’s ethnicity
- he could be responsible for the deaths of as many as 9 – all killed and the bodies disposed of in the same way – burnt the traditional way (using cow dung + petrol mix) which is more efficient than modern cremation
- a murder weapon, “an iron rod with a hook at the end measuring 30cm” was being sought, probably a palm oil harvesting sickle:

- Deputy Minister in the Prime Mi­­nister’s Department Senator Datuk T. Murugiah said he was informed that the suspect even contacted Bukhari, one of Sosilawati’s ex-husbands on 3rd September to ask “how the family was coping with her disappearance.”
- Sosilawati’s murder was planned, but when she turned up with her 3 companions, they were killed for simply being at the wrong place at the wrong time
- All 4 had their throats slit
- She had wanted to get her refund for an unsuccessful tender from the lawyer amounting to RM4 million.

According to the Malaysian Bar Advocates and Solicitors Directory, there are 13 lawyer firms there.

Could the owner of one of them be responsible for killing the Nouvelle Visages (NV) cosmetic line founder who’s worth a reported RM100 million?

Adding to the magnitude of the crime, she was killed with 3 others, and their ashes scattered in a river near Ladang Gadong, Tanjong Sepat, Selangor.

Timeline:

12th September: the 8th suspect picked up

11th September: the Datuk lawyer and his brother picked up

10th September [first day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri] : 5 of the suspects were picked up.

6th September: Her BMW X5 discovered. Her lawyer’s BMW M5 also discovered at a different place.

2nd September: She was reportedly seen buying cookies

30th August: Datuk Sosilawati last seen.

10th September 2010: first major flood in Penampang in almost 2 years

The last time the Moyog River, Penampang burst its banks was on 22nd November 2008, which was also the seventh time it happened that year.

Not to say that it didn’t rain at all in 2009 or most of 2010 – there were several close calls, and some minor flooding, but not at this scale.

Due to the long lapse, one could be forgiven for forgetting the tone of the 3rd and final warning, which blared at 7.45pm. We thought it was the 2nd warning, because the floodwaters didn’t come within 5 minutes.

Blame it on our ever-efficient Timorese maid who plugged the drain leading to the river shut immediately after.

Later on, I was working in my room when around 9 pm I heard a trickling sound, yet it was not raining, and it came from the direction of the river.

When I looked out the window, my heart sank – the river had burst its banks and it was only the embankment around our house which prevented water from flooding downstairs. If ever the barrier gave way, it would spell disaster downstairs, for it will be immediately flooded, no amount of creatine will give us strength to hold it back.

We knew the drill – move vehicles and other water-sensitive items to higher ground and tie down things which could float and carried away by the current.

9.25pm: floodwaters started pouring in because the water level is now higher than the embankment. The sound is terrific.

9.40pm: it’s suddenly quiet because the water level inside & outside the embankment is now level – of course I’d expect the water level to keep rising – hopefully for not much longer. It’s now slightly higher than waist level downstairs.

11pm: thankfully, the water started to subside.

3am: fully subsided.

What is the world ranking of Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS)?

Earlier today I read that Malaysia’s perennial top university, Universiti Malaya (UM) is no more in the list of the world’s top 200 universities as compiled by QS World University Rankings: at 207th place, compared to 180 last year. All the other established Malaysian universities like UKM, USM, UPM and UTM were ranked within the top 400.

So that made me wonder: what about Sabah’s own university i.e. Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS)?

The list by QS Quacquarelli Symonds only listed the top 200 for the world & Asia. However other, more comprehensive lists, with their own methodologies, and I think is ballpark correct, which I consulted gave the following ranking for UMS:

[1] 4Internal Colleges & Universities [4icu.org]: 1,833th. This same organization gave UM a rank of 338th. So working on that logic, UMS would be ranked around 1,700th in the world.

[2] “Webometrics Ranking of World Universities” by the Cybermetrics Lab, Spain: 2,825th. It listed UKM as Malaysia’s top university, at 585th (UM at 850th!). So working on that logic, UMS would ranked around 2,500th in the world.

According to my trawlings, depending on one’s definition of a “university”, there are between 7,500 and 20,000 universities in the world. Around 2,600 are in the US and around 4,000 in Europe. So, thrown into the US-Europe mix, UMS would be somewhere near the middle.

Still, a rank of more than 1,000 is already a sign that there’s lots of work to be done.

Later, a little bird mentioned that earlier in the evening a TV newsreport announced that the Director of the Borneo Marine Research Institute of Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Prof Dr Saleem Mustafa had just received a “coveted international award” called “Leading Scientist of the World 2010″ given out by an organisation called the International Biographical Centre (IBC) based in Cambridge, England. This was also reported by Bernama.

I had never heard of such an award, so digged deeper.

What I found made me despair, sobered by the fact that academically highly qualified people still need to learn more, and wonder if this could cause our beloved UMS more harm than good:

- Professor Jeffrey Shallit, of the School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo, Canada blogged back in 2007 that these awards are an “academic vanity scam,” because “no legitimate award requires you to pay for anything related to the award, and no legitimate institution would send a prestigious award announcement via bulk mail.” Prof Shallit received his offer of an award via bulk mail, asking him to pay USD395 for it. Shockingly, the letter also has a part where he could nominate 10 of his colleagues to get their own “special recognition”, meaning not only is it an “academic vanity scam”, it is also a “chain letter.”
- The Government of Western Australia termed the IBC’s activities a scam.
- The IBC, and its American counterpart the American Biographical Institute (ABI) merely “creates awards”, then “offers them widely,” yet claims to subject awardees to a “special research process considering their work and qualifications.”
- The IBC and the ABI confers many many “awards,” some with outlandish names like “Greatest Living Legend” and “International Man of the Millennium.”
- The list of people, some genuinely prominent, even some world/religious leaders, who fell for this has been called the “Who’s Who of Gullible People”.