Archive | April, 2011

GE: “Look After Yourselves First”, WP Tells Aljunied Voters

30 Apr

SINGAPORE: The Workers' Party's (WP) gambit of fielding its top candidates in Aljunied GRC is not meant to force on residents an “emotional dilemma”, but to offer them the choice of having the best slate of Opposition voices in Parliament to act as a check on the Government, said party secretary-general Low Thia Khiang.

The party's “Dream Team” on Friday night addressed voters for the first time at ground zero of what is shaping up to be the hottest battle of this General Election, and Mr Low said the WP was “going for broke” in order to snare a GRC “for the future of democracy in Singapore”.

The long-time MP for Hougang – who left the safe haven of his single-seat ward to lead the WP's “Dream Team” in Aljunied, and has vowed to refuse the Non-Constituency MP seat should he lose – refuted his opponent Foreign Minister George Yeo's remark that the WP's move went “against the spirit of democracy” as it forced the 143,148 voters of Aljunied to choose between looking after their own interests and pushing the larger Opposition cause.

Mr Low, 55, retorted that “nothing is more against the spirit of democracy than the GRC (system)”, a system which is in the People's Action Party's (PAP) self-interest.

He cited the example of the PAP's last-minute induction of Dr Chia Shi-Lu, who became an MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC via a walkover. Since being introduced in 1988, after vote swings against the PAP saw two Opposition members enter Parliament, the GRC system has become “like a rubber band, quite elastic”, growing from three members per GRC to a maximum of six, Mr Low noted.

He told the crowd: “Let me tell you, if no Opposition is able to break through a GRC, you will be forever shackled under the system. The power to vote will be just symbolic and your voice will be limited.”

Others among the WP's five-member team – Mr Low, party chair Sylvia Lim, top corporate lawyer Chen Show Mao, post-graduate law student Pritam Singh and counsellor Faisal Abdul Manap – weighed in also.

Mr Chen, 50, said Aljunied voters should not have to bear the burden of looking after the Opposition's larger interest and – borrowing Mr Yeo's words – exhorted them to look after themselves like everybody else.

“We appreciate your kind consideration but please, please, first look after yourselves,” he quipped.

“Don't worry about the Workers' Party. How can you make your life better? Please, go ahead, don't be shy.”

He urged them to ask themselves if they were better off compared to five years ago, or more hopeful for the future. Did they believe, with the WP providing competition in Parliament, they would get better policies? To the last, Mr Chen declared: “I am sure of it.”

Ms Lim said she could understand that some Aljunied voters might be worried that casting their votes for the WP could mean losing a good minister in Mr Yeo, and that his talents might be lost to Singapore.

But, she pointed out, even if Mr Yeo were defeated at the polls he would still have a “bright future” – as the chairman of a government-linked organisation or an ambassador-at-large like Professor Tommy Koh, perhaps.

“So don't think of voting for the WP as voting against George Yeo. Think of it as helping him into early retirement,” she said, drawing chuckles from the crowd.

Mr Singh, 34, meanwhile likened star football players to ministers – Manchester United did not collapse without Wayne Rooney, for instance.

Ms Lim also took issue with Mr Yeo's criticism of the WP. Disturbed by how the party had described voters as their “secret weapon”, the PAP minister had said: “I would not use them as though they are instruments to be chosen or discarded.”

Said Ms Lim, 46, last night: “If the PAP really respects voters' needs and wishes, why does it keep re-drawing boundaries after every election based on the voting results?

“Why don't we ask the voters in Kaki Bukit who have not moved house for 25 years but have been kicked around from Eunos GRC to Marine Parade and now Aljunied? Who is the one using the voters as instruments to be chosen and discarded?” –

Channel News Asia

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Siapa Layak Jadi Mak Dara?

28 Apr

Ditulis oleh wahida othman
  
  

Pementasan Teater Mak Dara Nyonya akan berlangsung pada 6 hingga 12 Julai ini, namun siapa yang akan memegang watak Ibu Halimah, pengasas Jamu Mak Dara itu masih belum diketahui.

Masih mencari-cari siapa yang layak membawa Mak Dara, menurut Penerbit teater ini, Siti Rohayyah Attan, pelakon yang membawakan watak Mak Dara ini seharusnya kuat dan cukup berbakat kerana pelakon itu akan membawakan watak itu secara monolog panjang.

Ketika diajukan pertanyaan kepada Ibu Halimah, siapakah gerangan yang difikirkannya sesuai dengan watak dirinya itu, dia memilih pelakon dan penyanyi berbakat Ziana Zain.

Mengakui kekuatan lakonan Ziana Zain yang ternyata bagus, Siti Rohayyah Attan juga meletakkan beberapa calon yang lain sebagai antara yang terpilih seperti Juhara Ayub, dan Vanida Imran.

Kisah Mak Dara menceritakan tentang pahit manis kehidupan Ibu Halimah selama ini, kehidupan sebagai ibu tunggal yang sering dikacau oleh kebanyakkan lelaki dan bagaimana beliau membesarkan anak-anaknya tanpa bantuan suami.

Bercerita tentang kehidupan wanita gigih ini, anaknya, Syed Muhammad Gadaffi Syed Ali Al-Habshee atau Habib menjelaskan, tujuan teater ini dipentaskan bukanlah untuk mencari populariti tetapi sekadar mahu berkongsi pengalaman ibunya kepada orang ramai.

“Sebenarnya saya dah lama berniat nak berjumpa dengan Kak Rohayyah, niat awalnya saya nak buat buku tentang perjalanan kehidupan ibu saya, tapi bila kami berjumpa dan ibu bercerita tentang kisah hidupnya, Kak Rohayyah mencadangkan agar kisah ini dipentaskan.

“Ia bukan kerana kami mahukan populariti, tetapi saya mahu orang ramai merasai pengalaman yang ibu tanggung sepanjang dia membesarkan saya,”jelas Habib.

 

Teater Mak Dara Nyonya akan dipentaskan pada 6 hingga 12 Julai di Pusat Pelancongan Malaysia (MaTIC). Antara pelakon yang terlibat adalah Misha Omar, Sarimah Ibrahim, Tania Zainal, Zaifi Husin, Khatijah Tan dan Sherry Abdullah.
Tiket-tiket boleh di dapati di http://www.ticket2u.biz dengan harga RM32, RM52 & RM82 dan blog rasmi teater ini adalah http://www.makdaranyonya.blogspot.com

Teater Mak Dara Nyonya akan dipentaskan pada 6 hingga 12 Julai di Pusat Pelancongan Malaysia (MaTIC). Antara pelakon yang terlibat adalah Misha Omar, Sarimah Ibrahim, Tania Zainal, Zaifi Husin, Khatijah Tan dan Sherry Abdullah.

Tiket-tiket boleh di dapati di http://www.ticket2u.biz dengan harga RM32, RM52 & RM82 dan blog rasmi teater ini adalah http://www.makdaranyonya.blogspot.com

 

Mangga Online

Misha Terima Teater Biarpun Dengan Bayaran Murah

27 Apr

Ditulis oleh wahida othman
  
  

Penyanyi Bunga-Bunga Cinta, Misha Omar seakan sudah mula untuk beralih bidang apabila dia dilihat tidak lagi berdiri diatas pentas untuk menyampaikan lagu tetapi lebih kepada lakonan.

Namanya kini lebih sinonim dengan pementasan teater biarpun dia baru sahaja melancarkan album terbarunya bulan Mei yang lalu.

 

Entah mengapa, wanita bersuara lantang ini lebih memilih untuk menghabiskan banyak masanya untuk berteater biarpun sudah diketahui bayaran untuk teater ternyata jauh lebih rendah berbanding cabang seni yang lain.

Ditanya sewaktu majlis pelancaran teater Mak dara Nyonya, jelas Misha gembira jika dapat menjayakan teater ini dengan baik.

“Saya pilih teater kerana minat. Sejak akhir-akhir ini saya memang meminati teater, saya senang bekerja keras untuk mejayakan teater kerana saya rasa semua yang terlibat dalam teater ini jujur.

“Ketika pertama kali ditawarkan untuk berlakon dalam teater Mak Dara Nyonya, saya sudah tidak sabar-sabar untuk beraksi diatas pentas.

“Selepas membaca skrip, saya terus jatuh cinta dengannya, biarpun watak saya kecil tetapi saya sudah teruja untuk melakonkannya,”jelas Misha.

Ditanya tentang pencapaiannya dalam bidang teater, Misha mengakui dia akan lebih di cabar dalam teater Mak Dara Nyonya ini kerana teater ini adalah teater sebenar, bukanlah teater muzikal seperti yang pernah dilakonkan dahulu.

“Jika sebelum ini, saya boleh sorokkan kesilapan dalam lakonan saya melalui nyanyian dalam teater itu, tapi kali ini tidak. Sekiranya saya silap, ia akan secara terang-terangan dilihat oleh penonton, itu yang membuatkan saya mahu lebih fokus.

“Kebetulan untuk bulan Julai, jadual saya kosong, maka saya terima tawaran untuk berlakon dalam teater ini,”jelas Misha yang mengakui jadualnya padat dengan pelbagai aktiviti selepas ini.

Mangga Online

Fighting Spreads Along Thai-Cambodian Border

26 Apr

PHANOM DONG RAK, Thailand : Thai and Cambodian troops opened a new front Tuesday in their deadliest fighting in recent history, despite mounting diplomatic pressure to end clashes that have left 13 dead.

Tens of thousands of civilians have been forced to flee their homes on both sides as heavy weapons fire pounded the jungle frontier, shattering a fragile ceasefire that had held since February.

The two armies exchanged fire Tuesday near the 900-year-old Preah Vihear temple, which has been the focus of strained relations between the neighbours since it was granted UN World Heritage status in 2008.

Fighting erupted near the ruins at 1:30 pm (0630 GMT) and lasted for 30 minutes, said Thai army spokesman Colonel Prawit Hookaew.

“They fired artillery and mortar and we retaliated,” he said.

Cambodia blamed Thailand for starting the clash.

The fighting took place 150 kilometres (90 miles) east of two other disputed temple complexes that have been the scene of hostilities which have left at least 13 soldiers dead since Friday.

In February 10 people were killed near the Preah Vihear temple, prompting a UN appeal for a permanent ceasefire.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday urged Thailand and Cambodia to show restraint and said Washington was “deeply concerned”.

She said that the United States had engaged directly with Thai and Cambodian officials in hopes of ending the violence, without providing further details.

The neighbours agreed in late February to allow observers from Indonesia into the area near Preah Vihear.

But the Thai military has since said the monitors are not welcome and they have not been deployed.

Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said on Tuesday that Bangkok would review its policy towards Cambodia including trade, border checkpoints and cooperation at all levels, but would not sever diplomatic ties.

Kasit is due to hold talks with Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, whose country is the current chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations regional bloc, on Thursday in Jakarta.

“Thailand will inform him that Thailand agrees to international observers but Cambodian troops must withdraw from Preah Vihear,” Thai government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn said.

The World Court ruled in 1962 that the temple belonged to Cambodia, but both countries claim ownership of a 4.6-square-kilometre (1.8-square-mile) surrounding area.

A total of eight Cambodian soldiers and five Thai troops have died in the latest fighting further west along the border, while another Cambodian soldier is missing.

Thailand said nearly 26,000 people had been evacuated on its side of the border and were being housed in 22 shelters. Three districts — Phanom Dong Rak, Kap Choeng and Prasat — have been declared emergency areas.

More than 22,000 people have been displaced by the fighting on the Cambodian side, authorities have said.

Apisan Boonpradub, director of Thailand's Phanom Dong Rak hospital, said 65 Thai soldiers have been injured so far but no civilians have been wounded.

“The majority of them were hurt from the impact of explosions. Most of the patients we are treating at the moment were injured in the fighting,” he said.

Cambodia has accused Thailand of using spy planes and poisonous gas in the recent fighting — which Bangkok has strongly denied.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Monday said he hoped the border situation would improve before he meets his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen at a regional summit on May 7-8.

-AFP/ck/wk

Channel News Asia

GE: Election Rally Sites Queue Formed

26 Apr

SINGAPORE: The queue for election rally sites has already formed at Police Cantonment Complex even though registration only starts at 2pm Wednesday.

Channel NewsAsia understands that there are more than seven representatives from different political parties in the queue.

The first person in line is believed to have started queueing in the early afternoon on Tuesday.

Election rally sites are allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis daily.

Political parties may start queueing for election rally sites daily from 8am after Nomination Day on Thursday.

-CNA/wk

Channel News Asia

GE: PKMS Warns Members Against Contesting In Tanjong Pagar GRC

26 Apr

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Malay National Organisation (PKMS), a component party of the Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA), on Tuesday warned it would expel any member who submit nomination to contest in Tanjong Pagar GRC.

The party stressed that it would not endorse any member contesting in Tanjong Pagar GRC – be it as an Independent Candidate or as a member of another party.

The latest comments come a day after one of its members – Abdul Malik Mohammed Ghazali – issued an unauthorised media statement on behalf of the opposition team, who had intended to contest in Tanjong Pagar GRC.

The statement said the opposition, which includes members from SDA and PKMS Secretary-General Nazem Suki, was unable to contest in Tanjong Pagar GRC due to a shortage of funds.

The SDA clarified that it was not an issue of funds but a matter of accountability.

It said the main reason the SDA is not contesting in the ward is because it does not want to appear as a party which only wants to contest for the sake of doing so.

– CNA/de

Channel News Asia

Peminat Berhujan Demi Justin

26 Apr

Oleh ABD. AZIZ ITAR
aziz.itar@utusan.com.my
Gambar SHAHRIL AZMAN ZAIN


JUSTIN Bieber berjaya muncul dengan lagu-lagu popular dan gaya tariannya yang memukau para peminatnya di seluruh dunia.

SUASANA di sekitar Stadium Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur sesak teruk gara-gara konsert Justin Bieber My World Tour 2011 baru-baru ini. Perkarangan stadium itu bukan sahaja sendat dengan orang ramai terutamanya remaja berusia bawah 20 tahun yang beratur panjang.

Malah, keadaan trafik juga seakan-akan tidak bergerak di luar Stadium Merdeka sehingga ke arah Jalan Loke Yew sehingga menyebabkan kesesakan lalu lintas yang teruk seawal pukul 3 petang lagi. Walhal, konsert artis remaja berusia 17 tahun itu bermula pukul 9 malam.

Bukan setakat dipenuhi dengan kereta, puluhan bas yang membawa para peminat Justin dari merata-rata tempat menambahkan lagi kesesakan apabila ia diletakkan di bahu-bahu jalan di stadium tersebut. Ia memaksa puluhan anggota polis tampil meleraikan kesesakan di sekitar kawasan stadium tersebut.

Semua itu gara-gara penangan Justin Bieber yang kini mencetuskan fenomena sebagai penyanyi remaja nombor satu dunia. Apatah lagi, lagu popularnya yang berjudul Baby dan Love Me menjadi siulan remaja walau di mana-mana juga. Justeru, konsert julung kalinya di negara ini itu dinanti-nantikan para peminatnya.

Tambah meresahkan apabila hujan lebat pada pukul 5 petang menambahkan lagi kesesakan di sekitar Stadium Merdeka. Namun, penangan populariti penyanyi kelahiran Kanada itu menyebabkan para peminat tidak berganjak walaupun sedang beratur panjang di luar stadium tersebut.

Dalam keadaan hujan lebat itu, pihak penganjur telah menyediakan baju hujan percuma kepada para peminat yang kebanyakannya datang sambil ditemani ibu bapa masing-masing. Seawal pukul 6 petang sebahagian ruang tempat duduk Stadium Merdeka telahpun dipenuhi oleh para penonton penyanyi terbabit.

Jeritan para peminat yang tidak sabar sedikit sebanyak terubat pada pukul 8 malam apabila lampu sorot menyuluh ke arah pentas menyaksikan Mizz Nina muncul sebagai artis pembuka tirai. Biarpun cuma sekadar 15 minit sahaja muncul di atas pentas ia meredakan rasa keterujaan para peminat Justin.

Sayangnya, penyanyi yang merupakan tunang kepada vokalis kumpulan Hujan, Noh itu diibaratkan sekadar melepaskan batuk di tangga. Pihak penganjur cuma sekadar menyelitkan Mizz Nina sementara menantikan kemunculan Justin yang julung kalinya beraksi di negara ini.

Selepas itu, suasana acara di Stadium Merdeka seolah-olah terhenti seketika selama 35 minit sebelum seorang lagi artis undangan, DJ Tay James tampil dengan persembahannya selama 10 minit. Berbekalkan alunan lagu-lagu latar dan geselan turn tables dia mengalunkan lagu-lagu hip hopnya.

Sejurus terhentinya persembahan DJ Tay James, sorakan, jeritan dan laungan nama Justin semakin membingitkan telinga apabila penyanyi remaja itu muncul bersama empat penarinya. Dia memulakan konsertnya selama 90 minit itu dengan lagu pertamanya berjudul Love Me.

Di hadapan hampir 17,000 penonton Justin menari sambil menari. Sorotan kamera yang memaparkan aksinya di dua skrin gergasi di kiri dan kanan pentas jelas memaparkan kelincahannya menari sambil menyanyi. Ada kalanya suaranya seperti tenggelam timbul.

Ini kerana, kebanyakan peminat menyanyi setiap bait lirik lagu-lagu yang dinyanyikannya pada malam itu. Antara lagu yang dinyanyikannya berjudul Bigger, Runnaway Love, One Less, Somebody To Love, Never Say Never, One Time, That Should Be Me, Walk This Way, Eenie Meenie dan Pray.

Bukan setakat menyanyi dan menari tetapi Justin juga menunjukkan bakatnya bermain alat-alat muzik seperti gitar dan dram. Contohnya, sewaktu menyanyikan lagu Runaway Love, dia yang bermain gitar dengan tangan kidalnya berjaya menambahkan lagi keriuhan pekikan para peminatnya.

Selain itu, penyanyi yang menjadi kegilaan remaja perempuan ini turut menunjukkan skilnya bermain dram sambil mendendangkan lagu Walk This Way. Dengan tiket-tiket berharga dari RM98 hingga RM498, para peminat kelihatan puas dengan bakat yang ditonjolkannya itu. Ia suatu kenangan indah buat mereka.

Malaysia merupakan antara lebih daripada 20 negara seperti Israel, Kanada, Amerika Syarikat, Jerman, Filipina, Belgium, Denmark, Indonesia dan Jepun yang dijayakannya menerusi My World Tour 2011 itu sejak awal tahun ini sehinggalah penghujung tahun ini.

Utusan