Sunday, August 31, 2008


BMW’s electric Mini test

BMW is planning to test a fleet of several hundred Mini cars with zero-emission electric drive soon, the car maker announced.

BMW’s CEO Norbert Reithofer said, in Munich, this would help gather more know-how on how "mobility can be efficiently ensured with vehicles running only on electric-drive".

The Minis, built in Oxford, England, would be shipped to the BMW plant in Munich where they would be modified for electric drive.

The tests would be conducted in the next 12 to 18 months with details of the drive concept and marketing to be announced by late 2008, said a BMW press statement.

Several car makers are also planning to mass-produce electric-drive vehicles.

BMW’s main rival Mercedes has announced it will offer an electric-drive SMART in 2010 while Volkswagen is planning an electric version of its concept car Up!

According to reports, General Motors is already working on presenting a production-ready version of the Chevy Volt next month. – dpa

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Honda's July global output jumps on demand for Fit

TOKYO (AP) - Honda reported that its global production in July jumped 17.7 percent to 342,152 vehicles, a record for that month, highlighting the Japanese automaker's solid growth amid serious trouble at American rivals.

While soaring gas prices have hurt the world's auto industry, Honda's global sales have grown, led by the Fit subcompact, which was the best-selling car in Japan in July for the ninth month in a row.

Mazda Motor Corp. also reported robust global production for July - up 25.5 percent to 126,025 vehicles.

The Hiroshima-based partner of U.S. automaker Ford Motor Co. credited healthy demand for Mazda2, sold as the Demio in Japan, and Mazda6, or Atenza in Japan, for the production increase.

Honda Motor Co., the country's second-biggest automaker, produces more autos overseas than at home. Output abroad shot up 19.3 percent to 229,996 vehicles, while domestic production rose 14.5 percent to 112,156, the first rise in 11 months.

Behind the growth was record production in North America and Asia in July, it said.

July's total output was shy of Honda's monthly production record of 363,532 vehicles last October.

All the world's automakers are struggling to shift their product offerings from the more profitable but gas-guzzling trucks and sport utility vehicles to smaller models.

Honda's exports declined in July for the third straight month at 56,415 vehicles, down 6.9 percent from a year ago.

Despite a falling dollar that hurts the earnings of global Japanese exporters, Honda reported a record 179.6 billion yen (US$1.68 billion) profit for a fiscal first quarter.

U.S. auto sales slumped to a 16-year low in July as automakers failed to keep up with consumers' growing demand for smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles.

American sales at Ford, General Motors Corp. and even Toyota Motor Corp. are falling by double-digits.

Honda had reported U.S. sales increases in the last few months as consumers flocked to its fuel-efficient cars.

But Honda's sales fell 2 percent in July, as a 22 percent drop in truck and SUV sales dragged on a 14 percent surge in Honda's car sales.


Sunday, August 24, 2008


Friday, August 22, 2008

Mitsubishi's new Lancer Evolution arrives

Posted by: Anthony Lim

Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia unveiled its tenth-generation Lancer Evolution yesterday, a relatively short 10 months after it made its Japanese debut.

Well, space was a premium at the launch, let's just say ...

Interestingly, the car is not tagged as the Evolution X here, instead only being called the Lancer Evolution. Supposedly, the X suffix has been dropped from overseas markets to present a different image for the vehicle. Oh well, whatever works ...

Some quick facts about the already familiar-shaped AWD vehicle. The 4B11 2.0l four-cylinder twin-cam, twin scroll turbocharged pot on this one features 291bhp (276bhp for the JDM unit at point of introduction), and 366Nm of torque. The grand news is that there is no speed limiter on this one, so expect this one to be a whole load of fun.

MMM is not offering the vehicle in its five-speed, close ratio manual option form, so the only drivetrain type is the Twin Clutch SST six-speed automated manual transmission, which puts odd (1st, 3rd, 5th) and even (2nd, 4th and 6th) gears on separate input shafts, each with its own clutch.

The system allows the driver to choose between Autoshift fully automatic shifting and Manual Shift, where the driver can change gears as with a manual transmission. A toggle switch located at the base of the shift selector allows the driver to choose between Normal, Sport and Super Sport modes for the optimum shift scheduling.

So here's a better, cleaner and clearer take on things.

For electronic aids, there's S-AWC (Super All Wheel Control), an advanced vehicle dynamics control system which integrates the management of the ACD (Active Centre Differential), AYC (Active Yaw Control), ASC (Active Stability Control) and Sport ABS component systems.

While continuing on the MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension arrangement used on previous models in the series, this one features a revamped suspension layout with wider tracks.

The factory-fit equipment list includes Bilstein single tube shock absorbers and Eibach coil springs, as seen on the Evo IX MR. It also includes Brembo two-piece ventilated disc brakes, lighter by 1.3kg per piece over standard Brembo discs, and 18-inch BBS lightweight alloy wheels.

Other standard issue items include a 7-Airbag System (driver and front passenger SRS airbags, side and curtain airbags and driver knee airbag), ELR seatbelt with pretensioner and force limiter and HID headlamps with AFS (Adaptive Front Lighting System).

And ditto for the interior as well.

To complete the premium offering, the new Evolution also comes with Recaro full bucket front seats, multi-mode information display, genuine leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel with mounted audio controls and cruise control buttons and a nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate Premium Sound System. Other functional features include a keyless operating system and sunroof.

MMM is aiming to sell 50 units of the type till the end of the year; so far, there have been 30 bookings for the car.

The new Lancer Evolution is priced at RM315,436 (on the road, without insurance), and the car comes with a one-year or 20,000km warranty. Three colours are available, these being Red Metallic, Phantom Black Pearl and White Solid.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Not too old to blog

By GABEY GOH August 12, 2008 Categories: Blogspot

THE digital divide is getting smaller as more and more senior citizens take that first tentative step into the world wide web, to explore, express and learn.

Surveys have revealed that senior citizens aged 65 and above make up the fastest growing age group online, but as the number of users grows, the amount of content to cater for them remains a step or two behind.

This is where people such as Lily Fu, a 60-year-old grandmother of four, come in. She launched her blog, SeniorsAloud ( in May with one goal in mind.

"I wanted to provide senior citizens with an avenue to network online and share their life experiences. We believe in active ageing, and in living our golden years with passion and purpose," writes the part-time university tutor and English Language trainer who also has a professional blog (

With a host of guest bloggers, topics relevant to the elderly are frenetically discussed to give the senior citizens a voice on the web.

When did you start using the internet?

I was first introduced to the Internet in 1994 when I was visiting my daughter in Canada. One night, I saw her emailing and chatting with her university friends online. I was amazed. What a great way to keep in touch – so much faster than by conventional mail, and far cheaper than paying for long distance calls.

Soon after, I bought my first desktop. As a high school teacher then, I was interested in using the Internet to supplement my English classes. I started a chat-room on IRC for my students in 1996. I believe we were among the early schools with an online presence. I’m quite proud of that.

How did you start to blog?

When I first read about blogging in 1999, I was keen on starting a blog for those over 50 years of age, being in that age group myself. I wrote to a newspaper about it, hoping to get positive feedback. My letter was published but there was no response at all! I guess most seniors in those days were not internet-savvy yet. Now, almost 10 years on, I believe the time is right to start a blog for seniors.

In 2007, a friend, Samuel Goh (, who was already a blogger, invited me to an Internet marketing seminar. I started a blog in order to apply what I had learned. SeniorsAloud is my second blog and the first article was posted on May 10, 2008, just three months ago. So it’s quite new, but the response this time around is much more encouraging. As the word gets out, I’m sure the blog will receive even more visitors.

What were your reasons?

It’s a known fact that many countries, including Malaysia, are seeing an ageing population. The average life span has increased. For males and females, it’s 73 and 76 respectively. In 2007, according to statistics from the National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN), the elderly, or those who have touched 60, make up seven per cent of the population. There are issues concerning the elderly that need to be addressed, like health care, financial management, and housing.

There are also more seniors now with access to the internet and thus a blog would be a great avenue to reach out to these seniors, while also encouraging those who are apprehensive about the internet to take the first baby steps into this whole new realm. It literally opens up a new world, and even those seniors who are homebound can still have an active social and intellectual life via the internet.

On a personal level, I know of retirees who have difficulty adjusting to a life without a 9-5 job. They feel a tremendous loss of self-esteem. Some have lost their spouse and feel lonely and depressed.

SeniorsAloud is intended to be a community-based blog where seniors and retirees can network and share their rich life experiences. It is also a channel for them to speak out on issues that affect them, whether it is the lack of elderly-friendly public facilities, or the discrimination leveled at them. It takes a senior to understand another senior and provide moral support for one another.

What have you achieved through blogging?

The blog is only three months old, so it’s still too early to talk about achievements. But to date, the feedback has been very encouraging. "Inspiring" is the word visitors often used after reading the posts. One visitor in her 30s wrote in an email that the post about "Grandparenting – A Pleasure or Pressure?" helped her to better understand her parents.

Any regrets?

I’ve always wanted to give something back to society. SeniorsAloud is the perfect vehicle for me to accomplish this. I can blog at home and still keep an eye on my grandchildren and my elderly mother. And the best thing is that it’s free! So there’s absolutely nothing to regret. Of course, blogging can be quite time-consuming, but I enjoy the challenge of keeping the blog current.

Has blogging changed your life?

I now carry my camera everywhere I go. I’ve learned to be bold in approaching people and telling them about my blog. You can say blogging has given me new confidence and a new direction in life. Through it, I’ve been fortunate to connect with many seniors who have been most supportive in contributing to the blog content.

The "Blogosphere". What does it mean to you?

The Blogosphere adds a whole new dimension to information gathering – almost anything and everything under the sun probably has been the subject of a blog.

That said, one of the challenges of the internet, including blogs, is to sift through all the information out there – sometimes there is an information overload. Nonetheless, it’s always better to have too many options than none at all!

Favourite blogger?

I’ve got several bookmarked under "Favourites", so I won’t commit to singling out any particular one. It’d be like asking me who is my absolute favourite among all my grandchildren. I love them all.

If there were someone you could influence to blog. who would they be?

Definitely all those above 50! This is the fastest growing age group on the Internet, but certainly not in Malaysia. I still meet a lot of seniors who say they are too old to pick up computer skills, or they are simply not interested. Blogging is fun, mentally stimulating and who knows, it may help ward off Alzheimer’s!

When I’m in my 80s or 90s, provided I don’t have arthritis in my fingers, I intend to carry on blogging. I’ll take blogging anytime over knitting in a rocking chair!


Tuesday, August 12, 2008


How To Monitor And Manage Search Engine Results

Autor: mfleischner

Keeping track of where your website ranks on Google for important keywords and keyword phrases can be a full time job. Although many tools exist for monitoring search engine position, properly evaluating SEO performance requires a disciplined approach.There are a variety of ways to measure search engine rankings for your website.

Popular website tools like SEO Elite and Web CEO include search engine ranking tools that can track where your site ranks for identified keywords. But what if you don’t own SEO software?To evaluate search engine rankings, you simply need a means of measuring rankings on a regular basis.

Follow these simple guidelines:Create and maintain a spreadsheet of your rankings. Having a document that you continually update can help you see weekly changes as well as trends over time. Be sure to keep it updated at least once a week so that you are always aware of how you rank for keywords and keyword phrases you are watching.

You can choose your keyword list based on the keyword phrases you’ve selected as important, those your competitors rank well for, or individual phrases identified by SEO software. If you want to get a jump start, you can identify which keyword phrases your site is ranked for in the top 20 on Google using

This tool provides a listing of which keyword phrases your site ranks within the top 20 Google search results for and can be a great tool to identify your competitor’s keyword rankings.Record changes in search engine result placements simply by entering each keyword term in to Google or using SEO software.

You can also find free tools online to report your rankings like CleverStat or to make changes, build links, and record your results. This step will never be completed but rather is an ongoing process. You should strive to become number one on all your SERPs and get so far ahead that none of your competitors will be able to compete.

This requires constant and never ending consideration to building links and creating more and more reasons for other sites to link to you.Consider reciprocal linking, link acquisition, as well as adding free tools to your website, valuable content, and helpful downloads. Access to these tools is ideal if you want to attract links to your website.

Once you’ve added these valuable tools, make sure to let others know that they exist. Consider a free press release, email campaign or promotion.Expand your keyword list. As you improve your overall rankings on major search engines, consider adding other keywords phrases that may be relevant to your website, products or services. Focusing on an expanded keyword list can result in more traffic and broader appeal.

Monitoring and managing your search engine rankings, especially on Google is necessary if you wish to increase the organic traffic to your website. This begins with basic monitoring and evaluation of your rankings on key search engines. Once you’ve developed your spreadsheet, update your rankings each week with free tools or SEO software.

Continue to focus on your rankings and developing inbound links through free tools and resources on your site as well as proactive link requests. Over time, as you improve your rakings for key terms and phrases, expand your list. Improving your rankings is a never ending process, but an important one. Stay the course and you’ll experience the results you’re looking for.

Source: Free Articles

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Al-Quran Recitation by Syeikh Sa'ad Sa'id Al-Ghamidi

All audio files are compiled in Mp3 format so that you can easily download them directly to your Mp3 players.

Name of Surah
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Al-Fatihah ( The Opening )
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Al-Baqarah ( The Cow )
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Al-Imran ( The Family of Imran )
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An-Nisa ( The Women )
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Al-Maidah ( The Table spread with Food )
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Al-An'am ( The Cattle )
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Al-A'raf (The Heights )
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Al-Anfal ( The Spoils of War )
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At-Taubah ( The Repentance )
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Yunus ( Jonah )
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Hud ( Hud )
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Yusuf (Joseph )
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Ar-Ra'd ( The Thunder )
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Ibrahim ( Abraham )
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Al-Hijr ( The Rocky Tract )
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An-Nahl ( The Bees )
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Al-Isra ( The Night Journey )
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Al-Kahf ( The Cave )
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Maryam ( Mary )
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Al-Anbiya ( The Prophets )
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Al-Hajj ( The Pilgrimage )
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Al-Mu'minun ( The Believers )
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An-Noor ( The Light )
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Al-Furqan (The Criterion )
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Ash-Shu'ara ( The Poets )
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An-Naml (The Ants )
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Al-Qasas ( The Stories )
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Al-Ankabut ( The Spider )
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Ar-Room ( The Romans )
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As-Sajdah ( The Prostration )
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Al-Ahzab ( The Combined Forces )
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Saba ( Sheba )
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Fatir ( The Orignator )
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As-Shoffat ( Those Ranges in Ranks )
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Shod ( The Letter Sad )
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Az-Zumar ( The Groups )
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Ghafir ( The Forgiver God )
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Fusshilat ( Explained in Detail )
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Ash-Shura (Consultation )
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Az-Zukhruf ( The Gold Adornment )
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Ad-Dukhan ( The Smoke )
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Al-Jathiya ( Crouching )
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Al-Ahqaf ( The Curved Sand-hills )
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Muhammad (Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h)
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Al-Fath ( The Victory )
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Al-Hujurat ( The Dwellings )
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Qaf ( The Letter Qaf )
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Adh-Dzariyat ( The Wind that Scatter )
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At-Tur ( The Mount )
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An-Najm ( The Star )
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Al-Qamar ( The Moon )
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Ar-Rahman ( The Most Graciouse )
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Al-Waqi'ah ( The Event )
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Al-Hadid ( The Iron )
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Al-Mujadilah ( She That Disputeth )
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Al-Hasyr ( The Gathering )
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Al-Mumtahanah ( The Woman to be examined )
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As-Shoff ( The Row )
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Al-Jumu'ah ( Friday )
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Al-Munafiqun ( The Hypocrites )
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At-Taghabun ( Mutual Loss & Gain )
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At-Thalaq ( The Divorce )
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At-Tahrim ( The Prohibition )
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Al-Mulk ( Dominion )
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Al-Qalam ( The Pen )
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Al-Haaqqah ( The Inevitable )
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Al-Ma'arij (The Ways of Ascent )
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Nuh (Prophet Nuh a.s)
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Al-Jin ( The Jin )
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Al-Muzzammil (The One wrapped in Garments)
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Al-Muddaththir ( The One Enveloped )
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Al-Qiyamah ( The Resurrection )
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Al-Insan ( Man )
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Al-Mursalat ( Those sent forth )
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An-Naba' ( The Great News )
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An-Nazi'at ( Those who Pull Out )
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Abasa ( He frowned )
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At-Takwir ( The Overthrowing )
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Al-Infitar ( The Cleaving )
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Al-Mutaffifin (Those Who Deal in Fraud)
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Al-Inshiqaq (The Splitting Asunder)
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Al-Buruj ( The Big Stars )
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At-Thoriq ( The Night-Comer )
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Al-A'la ( The Most High )
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Al-Ghashiya ( The Overwhelming )
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Al-Fajr ( The Dawn )
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Al-Balad ( The City )
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Ash-Syams ( The Sun )
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Al-Lail ( The Night )
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Ad-Dhuha ( The Forenoon )
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Asy-Syarh ( The Opening Forth)
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At-Tin ( The Fig )
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Al-'Alaq ( The Clot )
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Al-Qadr ( The Night of Decree )
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Al-Bayyinah ( The Clear Evidence )
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Az-Zalzalah ( The Earthquake )
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Al-'Adiyat ( Those That Run )
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Al-Qari'ah ( The Striking Hour )
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At-Takathur ( The piling Up )
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Al-Asr ( The Time )
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Al-Humazah ( The Slanderer )
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Al-Fil ( The Elephant )
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Quraish (The tribe of Quraish)
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Al-Ma'un ( Small Kindnesses )
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Al-Kauthar ( A River in Paradise)
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Al-Kafirun ( The Disbelievers )
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An-Nasr ( The Help )
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Al-Masad ( The Palm Fibre )
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Al-Ikhlas ( Sincerity )
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Al-Falaq ( The Daybreak )
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An-Nas ( Mankind )
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Sunday August 10, 2008

Government docs want on-call allowance raised to overtime rate


PETALING JAYA: Government doctors certainly have a lot to complain about, and they’re mostly to do with the much better perks offered by the private sector.

But this time, they are griping about their counterparts who do overtime at government health clinics. And it’s all about a vast discrepancy in the on-call allowance and overtime rate.

Doctors at government hospitals get a RM10 hourly on-call allowance, while those at government health clinics get RM80 for every hour’s overtime.

The hospital doctors say they have to attend to life threatening and emergency cases at casualty units, while the clinic doctors mostly only attend to patients complaining about coughs and colds.

Doctors at government hospitals have to perform on-call duty several times a month, and have called on the Health Ministry to standardise the payment rates.

“The RM10 hourly allowance for on-call doctors is grossly unfair,” said a senior doctor at a government hospital in the Klang Valley.

The doctor revealed that eight to 16 doctors were rostered for on-call duty in most large government hospitals.

”On the other hand, our counterparts at the health clinics are being paid RM80 hourly for treating patients with coughs and flu,” he said.

Other doctors, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they preferred to serve at government health clinics which have extended operating hours to 9.30pm on weekdays, and from 8am to noon on Saturdays.

“We don’t have to work long hours and the workload is also not that heavy at health clinics,” said one doctor.

A 29-year-old doctor from Malacca said that with the current inflationary pressure, young doctors could hardly survive, especially if they were married with children.

The ministry reviewed the on-call allowance after two decades in 2005.

For weekdays, the on-call allowance was increased from RM75 to RM150 per day (calculated at the compulsory 15 hours of on-call duty which has to be performed daily), while such allowance on weekends was increased from RM113 to RM170.

The ministry started the overtime scheme at 16 government health clinics earlier this year for doctors who volunteered to work from 5pm to 9pm.

This means that a health clinic doctor who volunteers to work the four-hour period will earn RM320, compared with RM150 for a hospital doctor's 15 hours' work.

A specialist doctor cautioned that young doctors may be discouraged from serving in government hospitals if this issue was not resolved.

Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai explained that “overtime” and “on-call” were different, likening them to an apple and orange situation.

“Being on call is something that all government doctors have to do while working overtime is voluntary. You cannot compare working overtime with being on call,” he clarified.

He said the ministry was not considering raising the on-call rate but pledged to work on improving benefits for doctors to retain more of them in the public sector.

articles source:

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Johor district worst hit by chikungunya outbreak

By : Syed Umar Ariff
Fang Yun Huat helps his neighbour, M.K. Thangathimuthu, to demonstrate the weakness in his hand after the infection believed to be caused by Chikungunya fever.
Fang Yun Huat helps his neighbour, M.K. Thangathimuthu, to demonstrate the weakness in his hand after the infection believed to be caused by Chikungunya fever.

TANGKAK: About three weeks ago, Umamaniam Muthusamy had a high fever.

Saraswathy Govinda, Thangathimuthu wife, has similar problems.
Saraswathy Govinda, Thangathimuthu wife, has similar problems.
Other than headaches, the 49-year-old tuition teacher also suffered from severe joint pains, especially on her arms and hands. These are symptoms of the chikungunya fever.

"It was awful. I couldn't even do the simplest household chores, such as mopping or scrubbing the floor," she said at her house in Jalan Sawmill here yesterday.

"It hurt so much that I could not bend to scrub the floor or even grip the mop."

Umamaniam sought treatment at the Tangkak Hospital, where she was put on saline drips and prescribed some pills for her headache.
She was not hospitalised. Three days later, Umamaniam's fever subsided, but the joint pains have lingered.

"Although I am feeling much better, the joint pains won't go away," she said, adding that her uncle, M.K. Thangathimuthu, 70, and aunt Saraswathy Govinda, 60, who lived nearby, also suffered from the same symptoms.

Umamaniam asked her neighbours whether they had suffered from chikungunya fever.

To her surprise, she discovered that at least one person in every household in her area was down with the symptoms.

"There are about 200 families in this area and you can say that at least one in every family has had high fever."

Tangkak is in the Ledang district, a district in Johor believed to be the worst hit by chikungunya fever.

The New Straits Times reported yesterday that the country was on high alert for chikungunya following outbreaks in Johor, Perak, Negri Sembilan and Malacca.

Umamaniam's neighbour, Fang Yun Huat, 47, said his father, Fang Wai Chee, died three weeks ago after suffering red rashes, high fever and severe joint pains early last month. He was 83.

"Initially, we rushed him to the local hospital, where he was also put on saline drips and given antibiotics.

"We returned home the same day and, to my relief, my father said he felt better."

However, two days later, Wai Chee fell ill again and was later admitted to a specialist centre in Ayer Keroh.

"He died four days from the day he was warded. The doctor did not mention the name of the fever, but said it was new in the country and was carried by mosquitoes."

Meanwhile, Thangathimuthu suspects that swiftlets' nests in buildings near his home might have contributed to the spread of the fever.

"I learnt that several open water retainers were placed in the nests for the birds to bathe and drink.

"I don't think the water is changed often and I believe this place has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes."


Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Wednesday August 6, 2008 MYT 2:59:48 PM

Permatang Pauh by-election on Aug 26 (updated)


PUTRAJAYA: The Election Commission has set Aug 16 for nomination and Aug 26 for polls for the Permatang Pauh by-election.

The seat fell vacant on July 31 after PKR president Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail resigned as Permatang Pauh MP to make way for her husband Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to contest in the by-election.

In a statement issued after the Election Commission sat for a two-hour meeting Wednesday, its chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman said the commission was informed of the vacancy in the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat by the Dewan Rakyat Speaker on Aug 1.

He said the commission was fully prepared for the by-election, to be held five months after the March 8 general election, and named the Seberang Prai Tengah district officer Roslan Yahaya as returning officer.

“The nomination day will be held on Aug 16 and polling will take place on Aug 26 if there is to be any contest.

“I would like to emphasise that throughout the by-election period, it is extremely important for all parties to adhere to orders and advice of security personnel responsible in maintaining peace and order.

“Members of political parties, candidates, party workers and other individuals involved must ensure that they respect and adhere to the election laws and campaign ethics.

“All parties are also reminded that there are several petition cases from the previous election which are still ongoing. Hence, candidates are reminded not to touch issues involving these cases during their campaigns,” Rashid said.

An Election Commission (EC) officer holding up the statement on the nomination and casting date for the Permatang Pauh Parliament seat by-election in Putrajaya.

As of July 31, a total of 58,459 voters are eligible to cast their votes in the Permatang Pauh by-election. From the total, 57,969 are regular voters and 490 are postal voters.

Scores of media personnel were left disappointed when the usually media-friendly Rashid refused to hold a press conference Wednesday.

After about two-hours of waiting, the EC public relations officer Sabri Said came down to the lobby where pressmen were waiting to distribute the statement.

When asked why the chairman did not want to meet the press, Sabri said: “What Tan Sri (Rashid) wants to say is all in the statement.”

When contacted by The Star later, EC secretary Datuk Kamaruzaman Mohd Noor said transparent ballot boxes would be used in the by-election but no decision had been made on the use of the indelible ink, despite calls by PKR for its use.

“If they want the ink to be used in the Permatang Pauh by-election, then they should write officially to the commission,” Kamaruzaman said.

On whether voters would find it difficult to cast their votes as polling fell on a working day, the EC secretary said this should not be the case as previous experiences proved that voters had turned up to exercise their rights even on a working day.

“We will also ensure minimal disruption and the 25 schools to be used as polling stations will only be closed for a day.

“We will secure the premises a day before polling when school session is over and will re-open the very next day after the by-election,” he said.

articles source:

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Thursday July 31, 2008

Touch therapy


Infant massage can help in baby’s growth and well-being.

A MASSAGE is usually what a mother needs after a long day of looking after her children.

Datuk Dr Zulkifli Ismail, consultant paediatrician and former president of the Malaysian Paediatric Association, demonstrating the Touch Infant Massage technique for a baby’s leg, which includes bringing the knees up to the body.

However, studies from as far back as 1997 show that massaging babies not only relaxes the child but also has physical and psychosocial benefits.

There are many medical practitioners who think more in-depth research needs to be done to substantiate this.

However, Datuk Dr Zulkifli Ismail, consultant paediatrician and former president of the Malaysian Paediatric Association, said a gentle massage revitalises any individual and it works the same for babies.

“Massages can help a baby increase his body weight, strengthen his resistance and help build self-confidence,” said Dr Zulkifli, who adopts massage techniques advocated by the Touch Research Institute (TRI).

Among the techniques in the Touch Infant Massage set of techniques are (from top pic) the chest, back, hand, and leg massage.

The TRI was established in 1992 by Dr Tiffany Field, a pioneer of modern massage research, at the University of Miami’s School of Medicine via a start-up grant from Johnson & Johnson.

Dr Zulkifli added that studies have also shown that massage reduces the intensity and duration of colic in babies.

“In children with sleep problems, massages help them fall asleep faster and they have fewer night wakings,” said Dr Zulkifli, who specialises in paediatric cardiology.

Johnson’s Baby recently launched its Touch Infant Massage Workshop Series in Petaling Jaya, which saw the first workshop conducted involving about 200 mothers and nurses.

These workshops, to be held in seven states from July to October, will involve demonstrations of proper infant and baby massage techniques by qualified trainers.

A 2007 AC Nielsen survey on 300 Malaysian mothers with babies aged up to 36 months showed that the incidence of infant massage increased from 48% in 2003 to 56% in 2007.

However, Stanford Guo, marketing director of Johnson & Johnson Sdn Bhd, said there is still a large number of mothers who do not practise it.

“Physiological and psychiatric studies have shown that infant massage or touch therapy can trigger notable changes that help infants attain growth and development in several positive ways,” said Guo at the launch.

Another study conducted in Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia between 2000 and 2001 on 72 babies showed that moderate touch on skin leads to better food absorption and also relieves stress, thus improving immune function.

These findings are consistent with clinical studies presented in 1997 at the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) annual meeting. The studies found that touch therapy also helps premature newborns gain weight faster, asthmatic children improve their breathing function and diabetic children comply with treatment.

In 1997, researchers at TRI also found improved motor development in premature newborns and cocaine-exposed infants, specifically in terms of habituation (decrease in responsiveness upon repeated exposure to a stimulus), orientation and motor and sensory development.

The top three benefits of massaging babies, Dr Zulkifli said, are weight gain, bonding between parent and child, and better psychosocial development of the child.

“Infant massage is about empowering parents with the knowledge to care for the child,” said Dr Zulkifli, who also encourages fathers to perform the massage.

The complete Touch Infant Massage advocated by Johnson’s Baby consists of a set of techniques performed on the baby’s head and face, chest, stomach, back, hands and legs. Throughout the massage, it is important to maintain eye contact, and sing or talk to the baby.

“The use of baby oil is optional,” said Dr Zulkifli. “For older babies, you can use slightly more pressure on the stomach to reduce wind.

“Remember to keep the room warm and also rub your hands to warm them up. Be relaxed when you do the massage and don’t do it when you are in a rush as your baby can sense how you feel through your touch and expression,” he said.

  • The Touch Infant Massage workshops will be held in Ipoh on Aug 2, Penang on Aug 3, Seremban on Aug 9, Johor Baru on Aug 10, Petaling Jaya on Aug 17 and Temerloh on Oct 11. For enquiries or registration, call 1-300-88-0566 on weekdays from 9am to 5pm.


    Sunday, August 3, 2008


    Home hygiene survey
    Tan Teong Li

    Hygiene Council, a global initiative supported by Dettol, recently revealed the following results in the annual Dettol Global Hygiene Survey.

    The survey is based on interviews conducted with over 10,000 people from 10 countries about hygiene practices in the home and community.

    • 70% of swabs and samples taken in Malaysia were highly contaminated. The dirtiest items were cloths – 100% were heavily contaminated.

    • Malaysian homes had the most heavily contaminated sites (70%), with Indian homes coming in second (57%) and German homes (6%) being the least contaminated.

    • Most Malaysians (47%) agree that hand washing is the most effective way to prevent the spread of germs. However, 31% said they spend less than 20 seconds in the process.

    • Most Malaysians (71%) believe that the rubbish bin posed the highest risk of transmitting germs to family members.

    According to the survey, which included 1,000 Malaysians, more people agreed that hand washing is the most effective way to prevent the spread of germs (47%), followed by disinfecting surfaces (29%), keeping animals out of homes (12%), avoiding kissing (7%) and disinfecting laundry (2%).

    A large majority (80%) said that their children wash their hands before eating. However, when asked how long they spent doing it, 34% said five seconds and another 34% said 10 seconds.

    Asian Hygiene Council chairman Dr Christopher Lee said: "The optimum time for washing hands is 20 seconds.

    "Washing hands is the most inexpensive, simple and highly effective method for significantly preventing the spread of diseases."

    The kitchen cloth is universally one of the most contaminated items in the home. Some 89% of kitchen cloths across the world have unsatisfactory levels of bacteria and 78% are heavily contaminated (it is 100% in Malaysia).

    This means that when cleaning up, bacteria will be spread all over the kitchen – the opposite effect of cleaning.

    Overall, Malaysia had the most contaminated homes in the study, followed by India.

    Malaysia had the dirtiest bathroom taps, with 95% failing the standard and 75% being found to be heavily contaminated. Detailed results showed high levels of E. coli (on 50% samples).

    "Greater emphasis needs to be placed on using simple, effective hygiene habits such as proper and regular hand washing and surface disinfection," said Catherine Tantoco, marketing director of Reckitt Benckiser (Malaysia and Singapore), the manufacturers of Dettol.

    "The public should use disinfectant on frequently touched surfaces such as light switches, door handles, bins and toys.

    "Dettol is committed to promoting good hygiene practices in the community not just through the quality of its products but also through public education initiatives.

    "As a brand, we continue to be trusted by doctors and mothers because we are scientifically proven to kill germs and prevent the spread of infection," she added.

    The work of the Asian Hygiene Council is supported by Dettol through an educational grant.


    Friday, August 1, 2008


    Masak lemak cekur ikan keli

    Ingredients1/2kg catfish (ikan keli), barbecued

    To be ground:

    10 cili padi
    3 shallots
    2 garlic
    500ml fresh coconut milk
    5 pieces daun cekor,
    cleaned and sliced thinly
    1 piece asam jawa
    Salt to taste


    1. Put coconut milk into a medium-sized pot, add the ground ingredients, and mix well. Cook over medium fire.

    2. Add the barbecued catfish, cook till the gravy begins to boil. Stir constantly.

    3. Add salt, asam keping and daun cekur into the gravy, and cook over slow fire for another 10 minutes. Stir constantly.4. When the gravy thickens, it is ready to be served.

    - Recipe contributed by Suriyati Paijo