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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Minum Petang Zaman Gawat

The heroes of Malaysian economy, especially during these trying times for the world, have got to be the operators of mom-n-pop's eateries all over the country. They are not however the big restaurants boasting air-conditioned dining place, but, the small shops and hawkers by the streets of Malaysia, highly visible in cities of Penang and Kuala Lumpur. Consider that you can get a bowl of laksa or noodle to satisfy your afternoon hunger and craving for just about RM1.50-RM2 (about half a US dollar!), and a drink for as cheap as 50-sen to RM1 (your spare coins!).

Check out the prices: 80-sen kopi-o (black coffee), RM1 goreng pisang... a good afternoon snack for under RM2!

In Balik Pulau, there are many of such eatery stalls, both near Pekan Kongsi and Pekan Genting (Simpang Empat). Besides laksa, one can enjoy all kinds of Malay, Chinese and Indian and even Western delicacies including various soups, takua rendang, fried bananas, pasembor, nasi lemak, mee rebus etc. and desserts such as ais kacang and cendul, all for well under RM3 each (under US$1).

Hard to find: 50-sen red syrup! (except maybe in university/college canteens)

Writer was enjoying an 80-sen sirap limau (lime syrup) at the stalls next to the Masjid Al-Mokhtar, Balik Pulau (district mosque) when writing this short note... The stalls are generally open at about 4-7pm daily. BTW, FREE broadband wi-fi too from the public library next to the this small hut - who needs Starbucks!

The stalls at Pekan Genting however opens till late nite. For a plethora food items and goods, check out the weekly Night Markets on Wednesday and Sunday near Genting between 5-10pm and the weekly Agro Market on Sunday morning near the new Market Complex near Kongsi.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Taman Seri Aksiden

Nampaknya, masih tak ada tindakan yang signifikan dari pihak berkuasa atau wakil-wakil rakyat (ada kedua-dua pejabat Gerakan dan PKR di taman berkenaan) biarpun sudah banyak kiranya kemalangan berlaku di Simpang Tiga Taman Sri Indah ini. Hari ini pula, seorang warga emas terpaksa dikejarkan ke wad kecemasan dengan ambulan apabila dilanggar oleh sebuah kereta yang menuju laju ke arah Genting, pada jam lebih kurang 2:30 petang, ketika jalan tersebut agak sibuk dengan ramai orang lelaki yang pulang dari masjid selepas menunaikan solat Jumaat.

Wanita tua tersebut bersama ahli-ahli keluarganya sedang menyeberangi jalan berdekatan simpang tiga jalan di situ ketika dirempuh walau perlahan oleh kereta Kancil yang sarat dengan penumpang, dan kelihatan sedang menahan sakit yang amat sejurusnya. Bertegas tidak mahu mengaku salah langsung atau membantu menghantar wanita yang dilanggar tersebut ke hospial, dengan alasan kereta penuh dengan ahli keluarganya, pemuda Cina tersebut bergegas pergi dengan janji akan membuat laporan polis.


Bilakah agaknya baru lampu trafik atau amaran memperlahankan kenderaan untuk keselamatan pelintas jalan kaki dibuat berdekatan dengan tempat perhentian bas di sini?

Sementara itu, beberapa jam sebelumnya pada jam lebih kurang 11:30 tengah hari, seorang budak juga dikejarkan ke hospital dengan ambulan, juga dari Taman Sri Indah, selepas dilanggar dengar motosikal di sudut belakang deretan kedai.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Merakit Buluh dan Menyampan Papan...


Asal Usul nama Betong menurut bahasa Melayu lama bermaksud buluh-buluh yang dicantumkan untuk dijadikan rakit. Jadi, buluh tersebut telah ditinggalkan di pulau itu dan serumpun buluh telah tumbuh kemudiannya. Sejak itulah dua buah pulau besar dan kecil yang dipisahkan oleh selat dinamakan Pulau Betong.



Menurut salasilah orang-orang dahulu, penduduk asal Kampung Pulau Betong ialah Long Tambang. Berasal dari Pinang Tunggal, Seberang Perai. Mata pencariannya yang utama ialah menambang dengan mengayuh sampannya dari Telok Ayer Tawar ke Tanjung. Beliau bersama isteri tercinta, Tok Yah serta anak-anak mereka telah menyelamatkan diri dengan bersampan dari Telok Ayer Tawar dan mendarat ke Kampung Pulau Betong sewaktu berlakunya serangan Thai ke atas Kedah (Tahun 1821-1876). Sewaktu itu Pinang Tunggal boleh dimudiki dari Kota Kuala Muda...

Anda boleh membaca imbasan lanjut tentang Pulau Betong hasil nukilan Zaidi Ali di blognya, Long Tambang Pulau Betong.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Headlines from Balik Pulau This Month (Jan 2009)

abductor abdullah abu action another attempted attend baru boy brother butterworth captors car case ceremony charge cheating claims coffeeshop counts courts datuk dead death defence deputy dewi dodgers down drove dumped earlier eight elder escaped faces george jalan kabi kamaleshwaran kasturi magistrate national penang plunges police service skipped town will
Penang PKR drops three from line-up
Daily Express, Malaysia - Jan 24, 2009
Balik Pulau division chief Dr Mansor Othman, Deputy Speaker Tan Hock Leong and state PKR election director Mustafa Kamal Mohd Yusoff had been appointed to ...
Shake-up in Penang PKR exposes deep rifts
New Straits Times, Malaysia - Jan 24, 2009
Fairus and Law, both of whom were previously state PKR deputy liaison committee chairmen, have been replaced with Balik Pulau division chief Dr Mansor ...
Deputy CM out of Penang PKR line-up
The Star, Malaysia - Jan 24, 2009
The three were replaced by PKR Balik Pulau division chief and former PKR state chairman Dr Mansor Othman, Machang Bubuk assemblyman Tan Hock Leong and PKR ...
21-01-2009: RapidPenang to break even in 2 years
The Edge Daily, Malaysia - Jan 20, 2009
Previously, there was a bus to Balik Pulau which stopped en route at the airport, but the buses were only available at 30-minute intervals.
Use softer approach, US urged
New Straits Times, Malaysia - Jan 20, 2009
Balik Pulau MP Yusmadi Yussof said Obama's stated desire to reach out to the Muslim world was a breath of fresh air compared to Bush's perceived hostility ...
Melting moments
Malaysia Star, Malaysia - Jan 17, 2009
At the Hawker Stall No.20 in the Balik Pulau New Market, Ah Kim who makes more than 20 different types of cookies and kuih is also known for her very tasty ...
Nice surprise
Malaysia Star, Malaysia - Jan 16, 2009
... 4120 copies of The Star with the NiE pullouts to SK Lahar Kepar in Kepala Batas and SK Sungai Korok in Balik Pulau until the end of the school year. ...
'Datuk Kabi' claims trial for 9th cheating charge
New Straits Times, Malaysia - 15 Jan 2009
He faces eight similar charges in Penang at the Butterworth, George Town and Balik Pulau magistrate's courts. Magistrate Mohamed Ruhi-zat Abdullah fixed ...
No action against 3000 NS dodgers
Malaysia Star, Malaysia - 15 Jan 2009
By K. KASTURI DEWI BALIK PULAU: Police will not take action against some 3000 national service dodgers who failed to attend training since its inception in ...
No Further Action Against 3000 NS Dodgers
Bernama, Malaysia - 15 Jan 2009
He was speaking to reporters after the opening ceremony of the PLKN Sixth Series 2009 by Deputy Defence Minister Datuk Wira Abu Seman Yusop at Balik Pulau, ...
Another charge for ‘Datuk Kabi’
Malaysia Star, Malaysia - 14 Jan 2009
Kamaleshwaran, 29, faces eight other charges at the Balik Pulau, George Town and Butterworth magistrates courts. His elder brother C. Yoganandha Moorthy, ...
No action yet against 3000 who skipped NS
Malaysia Star, Malaysia - 14 Jan 2009
By K. KASTURI DEWI BALIK PULAU: The police will not be taking action against 3000 of the 6000 youngsters who have skipped National Service (NS) since the ...
Brother of 'Datuk Kabi' charged with 11 counts of cheating
New Straits Times, Malaysia - 12 Jan 2009
Earlier this month, Kamaleshwaran was charged with eight counts of cheating -- three in Balik Pulau, four in George Town and one in Butterworth magistrate's ...
Brothers survive after car plunges down slope
The Star, Malaysia - 10 Jan 2009
By K. KASTURI DEWI BALIK PULAU: Two brothers narrowly escaped death when a Honda VTEC they were travelling in ran off the main road and plunged down a steep ...
Boy's abductor 'spoke Thai'
New Straits Times, Malaysia - 10 Jan 2009
His captors panicked when the boy played dead, and dumped him near Balik Pulau. He was rescued by a passing motorist who sent him to hospital. ...
Case filed as attempted murder
Malaysia Star, Malaysia - 10 Jan 2009
He then pretended to faint, and his captors drove him to Balik Pulau and pushed him out of the car in Jalan Baru where he managed to get help from a trader. ...
Another Penang favourite
Malaysia Star, Malaysia - 10 Jan 2009
The coffeeshop is on Jalan Balik Pulau and it is open between 10am and 5pm with extended hours during peak periods.

Police identify one of two suspects in abduction case
New Straits Times, Malaysia - 10 Jan 2009
Police have identified one of two suspects, both of whom are still at large, relating to the case where a youth was abducted and tortured on New Year’s day. ...
Rescue alert
Malaysia Star, Malaysia - 9 Jan 2009
A tourist posing in front of a traditional kampung house in Kampung Jalan Bharu, Balik Pulau, Penang. — KE OOI, KT GOH & WAN MOHIZAN WAN HUSSEIN/The Star ...
Higher Education Chance For Rural Children
Bernama, Malaysia - 8 Jan 2009
By Melati Mohd Ariff BALIK PULAU (Pulau Pinang), Jan 9 (Bernama) -- For the 'average' academic achievers, failure to get a place in universities is not the ...
Contest for bus commuters
The Star, Malaysia - 8 Jan 2009
Entry forms can be collected from Rapid Penang headquarters at Lorong Kulit, Weld Quay information counter, Penang Sentral in Butterworth, Balik Pulau ...
It's eight raps for 'Datuk Kabi' now
New Straits Times, Malaysia - 8 Jan 2009
Kamaleshwaran faces three charges in Balik Pulau and four in George Town magistrates' courts. He has claimed trial to all the charges.
Deal to trade python skins goes sour
The Star, Malaysia - 8 Jan 2009
By ANN TAN BALIK PULAU: Four men armed with two pistols held eight people hostage for more than five hours after a deal to trade python skins and mineral ...
Eighth Charge On 'Datuk Kabi'
Bernama, Malaysia - 8 Jan 2009
All the previous three charges at Balik Pulau magistrate's courts and four before Georgetown magistrates, have been set for re-mention on Feb 10 and ...
'Datuk Kabi' faces four more cheating charges
New Straits Times, Malaysia - 6 Jan 2009
He was charged last Friday at the Balik Pulau magistrate's court with one count and at the same court on Monday with two counts. The two counts will also be ...
'Datuk Kabi' Slapped With Four More Charges
Bernama, Malaysia - 6 Jan 2009
Yesterday, Kamaleshwaran faced two charges of cheating at the Balik Pulau magistrate's court. On the first charge, he was said to have cheated C. Rethnadevi ...
‘Datuk Kabi’ faces four more cheating charges
Malaysia Star, Malaysia - 6 Jan 2009
By PRISCILLA DIELENBERG GEORGE TOWN: C. Kamaleshwaran aka “Datuk Kabi,” who was charged with three counts of cheating at the Balik Pulau magistrate’s court ...

Court grants ‘Datuk Kabi’ bail
Malaysia Star, Malaysia - 5 Jan 2009
BALIK PULAU: The magistrate’s court here granted bail to a 29-year-old man, who goes by the name “Datuk Kabi”, despite being told that he had jumped bail ...
Shoplifting mum gets jail and fine
The Star, Malaysia - 5 Jan 2009
BALIK PULAU: She had recently lost her job when the factory she worked in closed down. Desperate, she shoplifted food items to feed her three-year-old child ...
Retrenched young mother resorts to shoplifting
The Star, Malaysia - 5 Jan 2009
By PRISCILLA DIELENBERG BALIK PULAU: A young mother was jailed two days and fined RM300 at a magistrate’s court after she admitted to shoplifting RM275.09 ...
'Datuk Kabi' Faces Two More Charges
Bernama, Malaysia - 5 Jan 2009
BALIK PULAU, Jan 5 (Bernama) -- A man known as "Datuk Kabi" was taken to the Magistrate's Court here today to face two more cheating charges. ...
Woman who lost her factory job gets RM300 fine, jail for shoplifting
New Straits Times, Malaysia - 4 Jan 2009
BALIK PULAU, Mon: A woman who lost her job after the factory where she was working was closed was jailed two days and fined RM300 in default three days’ ...
Mouth injuries stall abduction probe
AsiaOne, Singapore - 4 Jan 2009
He said he then pretended to faint, and his captors drove him to Balik Pulau and pushed him out of the car by the side of Jalan Baru, where he sought help ...
Father wants abductor rearrested
New Straits Times, Malaysia - 3 Jan 2009
"They carried him back to the car and dumped him near Balik Pulau," said Idris. The boy was rescued by a passing motorist who sent him to the Penang ...
Rescued boy tells of kidnap and torture ordeal
Malaysia Star, Malaysia - 3 Jan 2009
Muhamad Akhir said he then pretended to faint after which the abductors drove him to Balik Pulau, about 20km away, and pushed him out of the car by the side ...
Teenager recounts harrowing experience of being abducted and tortured
New Straits Times, Malaysia - 3 Jan 2009
Unable to stand the torture anymore, Mohamad Akhir pretended to have fainted and the men reacted by throwing him onto the roadside in Balik Pulau. ...
Man charged with cheating car owner
New Straits Times, Malaysia - 2 Jan 2009
BALIK PULAU: A man, known as "Datuk Kabi", was charged at the magistrate's court yesterday with cheating a car owner by issuing a cheque which bounced. ...
‘Datuk’ faces 10 years’ jail and rotan
Malaysia Star, Malaysia - 2 Jan 2009
GEORGE TOWN: A 29-year-old man who goes by the name “Datuk Kabi” claimed trial in a magistrate’s court in Balik Pulau to cheating a car salesman of RM75,000 ...
Mangrove replanting takes root
Malaysia Star, Malaysia - 29 Dec 2008
The saplings were planted in Sungai Bu-rong in Balik Pulau, Kuala Sungai Chenaam, Batu Kawan, Kuala Sungai Kerian, Byram in Nibong Tebal and Kuala Muda in ...
Year-long ramblings, soon hello 2009
The Borneo Post, Malaysia - 27 Dec 2008
Ah Lian was a pillion rider holding two big bags of durians when their motorbike rode over a hump in the town of Balik Pulau in front of the bus terminal. ...
Planting saplings to mark tsunami
New Straits Times, Malaysia - 27 Dec 2008
The sites included Sungai Burung in Balik Pulau, Kuala Sungai Chenaam in Sungai Acheh, Kuala Sungai Kerian in Byram, Nibong Tebal, Kuala Muda in Penaga, ...
A certain calm at beach
Malaysia Star, Malaysia - 26 Dec 2008
THE balmy weather on Boxing Day drew crowds to beaches on Penang island except for Pantai Pasir Panjang in Balik Pulau despite the lure of its crystal clear ...
Charming urban village
Malaysia Star, Malaysia - 25 Dec 2008
Dr Wazir opined that the Tanjung Tokong traditional Malay village, like those in Batu Maung, Gertak Sanggul and Balik Pulau, has potential to become a ...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

City of Balik Pulau!

Now tell me... is this Los Angeles or is this Balik Pulau? ;)

Actual scene observable during maghrib (sunset) hours from the Tun Sardon Road that connects Kongsi (Balik Pulau Road) and Relau (Paya Terubong Road). You can also stop while halfway through this 8 Km hill stretch, at the peak of Relau Hill Reserve Forest (gazetted in early 1900s) at an observatory area called Anjung Indah (beautiful verandah) to enjoy Malay-Thai and Chinese delicacies plus a local "icy" desert named "ais kacang" (or ABC).

Photo from flickr user hugolim.com (wklim).

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bersantai sambil bermodel di Balik Pulau...

It's time for selected pics and blogs again... (and this time, the theme is... RED - merah sangat lah mak ngah!)

Above photo showing Eileen posing for Jamie's Dawn Rose Creation on a paddy field near Genting/Simpang Empat...


and Ariena's "red baby" (tribute to RedMummy.com) posing with a "peace" sign at Pulau Betong's Pantai Pasir Panjang (on the southwest tip of Penang Island side, and not on the Betong Island itself)

Retracing Hakka splendour...

GEORGETOWN: There are plans to turn Balik Pulau into a Hakka landmark because of its significant heritage traits.

Federation of Malaysian Hakka Associations deputy president Datuk Dr Cheah See Kian said there was a proposal to build a museum in the area and the National Central University of Taiwan Hakka Research Centre was conducting research on the feasibility.

“We want to commemorate the Hakka community in Penang, especially those in Balik Pulau, as we discovered it was a pioneer Hakka settlement.

“It was truly a ‘Hakka village’ in the early days,” Dr Cheah said.

“Balik Pulau may have lost much of the Hakka splendour of the olden days but from the historical point of view, it’s still recognised as the first shelter for those who first migrated here.

“Through the passage of time, though, it’s no longer the realm of the Hakkas, but it remains a Hakka-speaking community,” he said during a workshop on studies of the Hakka community in South-East Asia at Han Chiang College yesterday.

Heritage researcher Tan Yeow Wooi, who was invited to speak on the architectural heritage of the Hakkas, said that the building of the clan’s associations, temples, clan houses and houses were integrated with other clan elements like the Cantonese and Teochew.

SOURCE: The Star - Balik Pulau to be a Hakka landmark

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Balik Pulau welcomes visitors from 578 cities...

...virtually, that is.

Since this Balik Pulau blog started about 21 months ago on a Saturday afternoon, on the seventh day of the fourth month in common era year of 2007 (19 Raby` al-awal 1428 After Hijrah), humans and robots from 578 cities in 77 countries/territories from all five habitable earth continents (Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe and Australia/New Zealand), and perhaps from Antartica too, have visited this "bppp" (or b3p) domain - a simple blog which was first hosted on blogger.com's blogspot domain, and later shifted to its own dedicated balikpulau.org domain towards the end of 2008.

Over 80% of the visitors were from the home country Malaysia and the rest came primarily from United States (~5%) and Singapore (~4%) while United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore and Japan contribute about 1% visits each. About 30% of visits from Malaysia came from 'cities' and towns in the home state of Pulau Pinang, and the rest were primarily from Kuala Lumpur (23%), Ipoh, Perak (16%) and Sungai Petani, Kedah (1.5%).

Traffic Trends

Traffic has been gradually growing, and practically increasing every month, with an exception during the month of July 2008 or specifically on Sunday of 27 July 2008, when this small town website receives a three-digit unique visits on a single day during which a student (alumni) reunion was held at MRSM Balik Pulau in conjunction with the school's Silver Jubilee (25-year anniversary) celebration. Another post on the upcoming opening of first western-food franchise in Balik Pulau was also made on the evening of the same day.


Technical Trends

Our visitors mostly use Microsoft Internet Explorer as their web browser (at nearly 70%, compared to Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Opera and Google Chrome at 27%, 1.5%, 1% and 0.3% respectively) and it's surprising that there are a few people who still use the archaic Netscape browser which was dying a slow death since 2004, and finally discontinued by AOL last year on Feb 1, 2008.

Over 95% of our visitors still rely on various flavours of Microsoft Windows as their computer operating system, while nearly 3% are sticking with or have switched to Apple Mac OS, and about 0.5% are using Linux. Other operating systems used by our visitors include FreeBSD and SunOS, and mobile OS-es including SymbianOS and Apple iPhone & iPod. These numbers however do not represent visits to our mobile-specific website at m.balikpulau.org.

Our visitors are fast on the superhighways, mostly using high-speed broadband connection with DSL being the most popular at nearly 60%, and other known types including T1 (6.23%), Cable (2.74%) and OC3 (0.64%). No stats on mobile broadband (GPRS, 3G/HSDPA etc.), which is estimated at around 10% or more, are available at this time, although wished for in the near future. By the way, at 1% or a lot more, it's surprising that many people still uses dial-up internet connection at this knowledge economy age. Over 65% of the traffic to this site comes via Telekom Malaysia (TM) Berhad's network, while other significant networks (at 0.5-3%) include Maxis Communications Bhd, Jaring Communications Sdn Bhd, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Time Telecommunications Sdn Bhd, Intel Corporation, Avago Technologies, Government Integrated Telecommunication Network (GITN), Starhub, Singnet and Core IP Development Network.

Well over 80% of our visitors enjoys viewing this site using comfortable screen resolution
of 1024x700 or larger, with the largest practical resolution being 2048x1536 and the smallest resolution being 122x101 (of a mobile phone).

Over 85% of our visitors upgrade their software regularly or using the latest software installed with Flash version 9.0 or newer and as many as 97% of devices used to access our website currently supports Java.

Human Trends

As this blog is primarily filled with posts in English (without integrated automatic translation as of yet), it's no surprise that our visitors mostly choose English (well over 95%) as their default web browser language, while a handful were observe to have opted for Chinese, French, Japanese, German and Spanish.

Most of our visitors are one-timers while over 15% have made two or more separate visits, and over 1% who are definitely our most loyal visitors/readers have returned 25 times or more. Over 20% stays more than a minute at the site viewing up to two pages (of multiple posts each) per visit, and about 13% stays for three minutes or longer at the site viewing three or more pages per visit.

More than two-third of visitors found us using the two most popular search engines, Google and Yahoo at 37% and 33% respectively entering keywords like "balik pulau" and "pemandangan indah". Other popular items looked for by our visitors are situated in Balik Pulau such educational institutions (KKTM, MRSM, KKBP, PBU, ICT/KTP, SMK Seri, Giat MARA etc.), public amenities (hospital, PLKN training camp, Rapid Penang bus depot, Kompleks Sukan etc.), housing and lodging (Upen Inn, botanica.ct, Fortune Residences and miscellaneous properties/land/houses/development etc.) and tourism attractions (laksa, durian, air terjun (waterfalls), Pasir Panjang Beach, taman negara (national park), homestay programme, Pulau Betong etc.).

Other search engines/portals like Blogger.com, Google Images, MSN/Live and MyBlogLog also contributed some visits in addition to the following sites/blogs that in combination contribute as much as 15% of the traffic to this blog (Thank you!):-
  1. rasarasa.net
  2. ritahyahaya.blogspot.com
  3. anilnetto.com
  4. haziamyperspective
Social media like twitter (microblogging), facebook (profile portal) and flicker (image blogging) have also been contributary to some traffic...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sebuah Bas Kilang Melanggar 6 buah motosikal, 3 maut di Jalan Tengah Relau

Berlaku pada 6.00 petang semasa kesesakan lalu lintas di Jalan Tengah, Relau, Pulau Pinang. Kemalangan dikatakan berlaku di mana sebuah bas kilang ASE hilang kawalan kerana memandu laju akibat mengejar lampu trafik sebelum bertukar kepada merah. Akibat kerakusan pemandu bas dan pada masa yang sama segerombolan motosikal dari arah yang berlainan yang juga tidak sabar menunggu lampu hijau turut memecut. Akibatnya 6 buah motosikal menerima akibat bila bertembung dengan bas kilang tersebut. 3 daripada mereka maut dan yang paling mengerikan ada seorang penunggang motosikal tersangkut dan terheret di bawah bas.

Permasalahan yang berlaku di sini ialah sikap para pemandu yang masing-masing tidak sabar dan rakus dan yang paling malang tentulah pemandu motosikal khususnya yang amat terdedah dengan bahaya.

Adakah kerajaan perlu memasang strategi yang lain seperti dengan menggantikan lampu sedia ada dengan lampu trafik mengikut kiraan nombor untuk memastikan langkah keselamatan pada masa akan datang. Bersama kita beringat-ingat dan saling mengingati pemandu kita untuk lebih bersikap berhati-hati semasa memandu.






















Sunday, January 11, 2009

Spotlight on crimes...

Looks like the fresh new year of 2009 for the small, usually calm Balik Pulau is being marred with crimes, one after another - trade cheatings, illegal trades & armed hostage and now, attempted murder? Read on...

GEORGE TOWN: The case of the 16-year-old schoolboy who was abducted and forced to drink liquids, which scalded his mouth and throat, on New Year’s Day had been classified as attempted murder.

State police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Wira Ayub Yaakob said they were now looking for two men, in their 20s.

“One of them is a local youth who is well-versed in Thai. He has ‘more or less’ been identified based on a photofit from Muhamad Akhir Idris’ description.

“The victim, who is now recovering at the Penang Hospital, is only able to talk slowly.

“We should be able to get more from Muhamad Akhir when he is fully recovered,” he said.

DCP Ayub, who visited the boy at the hospital yesterday, said a suspect, in his 50s, who had been arrested in connection with the incident on the same day has been released on police bail.

Muhamad Akhir claimed that he was abducted outside his home in Sungai Gelugor and driven to an office in Minden Heights nearby.

Once there, he was first forced to drink a purple liquid, and later tortured and forced at gunpoint to drink a second liquid that caused a sharp pain in his mouth and throat.

He then pretended to faint, and his captors drove him to Balik Pulau and pushed him out of the car in Jalan Baru where he managed to get help from a trader.

On the five unknown liquids recovered from a building in Per­matang Pasir, Balik Pulau on Friday, DCP Ayub said police were waiting for the results of a chemical analysis to determine whether they were same liquids forced down the boy’s throat.

SOURCE: The Star - Case filed as attempted murder


Perhaps, the guys and gals in the District Police HQ need to run more rounds... or it is time to revive the ol' Rukun Tetangga (neighborhood watch) initiative in addition to the Rakan Cop programme...


The start of new year 2009 in Balik Pulau:-

Deal to trade python skins goes sour
The Star - 8 Jan 2009
By ANN TAN BALIK PULAU: Four men armed with two pistols held eight people hostage for more than five hours after a deal to trade python skins and mineral ...
Teenager recounts harrowing experience of being abducted and tortured
New Straits Times - 3 Jan 2009
Unable to stand the torture anymore, Mohamad Akhir pretended to have fainted and the men reacted by throwing him onto the roadside in Balik Pulau. ...
Rescued boy tells of kidnap and torture ordeal The Star
Father wants abductor rearrested New Straits Times
all 6 news articles »
‘Datuk’ faces 10 years’ jail and rotan
The Star - 2 Jan 2009
GEORGE TOWN: A 29-year-old man who goes by the name “Datuk Kabi” claimed trial in a magistrate’s court in Balik Pulau to cheating a car salesman of RM75,000 ...


Terjun Gaung Puaka

By K. KASTURI DEWI

BALIK PULAU: Two brothers narrowly escaped death when a Honda VTEC they were travelling in ran off the main road and plunged down a steep slope in Paya Terubong.

The brothers, both in their 20s, were believed to be on their way back to their house in here when they apparently lost control of the vehicle along Jalan Paya Terubong in the 3.30am incident Sunday.

A witness said the car whirled a few times before hitting an electric pole and plunged down the slope nearly 30 metres.

The witness also said the electric pole which was hit by the car fell onto the road, causing about six motorcycles to stumble.

However, no motorcyclists were injured.

Passers-by helped the driver who had fractured his arm and his brother who had sustained minor injuries out of the vehicle.

They were sent to the Penang Hospital in an ambulance.


SOURCE: The Star - Brothers survive after car plunges down slope

Saturday, January 10, 2009

From Rural to Urban with (ICT) Education

By Melati Mohd Ariff

BALIK PULAU (Pulau Pinang), Jan 9 (Bernama) -- For the 'average' academic achievers, failure to get a place in universities is not the end of the world as the Island College of Technology (ICT) here provides the opportunity for them to pursue degree, diploma and certificate-level studies.

"When the college (ICT) was established (in 1998), there were only a few Bumiputera private colleges in the Peninsula's north. At that time, Malay students with average academic performance did not have ample opportunities to pursue further education.

"In Pulau Pinang, many of the Malay girls chose to work in factories as the easy way out to look for money to assist their families. We do not wish to see the Malays particularly the girls end up as factory workers," ICT President/Chief Executive Datuk Siti Mazenah Saat told Bernama here recently.

"Such a scenario is rather poignant, as even though the academic achievement is good, they have to give way to poverty," said Siti Mazenah who has 21 years experience serving Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) before retiring in September 1998. She had also served the Education Ministry and Public Service Department.

ICT'S COMMITMENT

Since ICT's inception in 1998, the college's vision is to be a premier tertiary-level education institution with its commitment for excellence via exemplary work quality and culture.

According to Siti Mazenah, who had served as the USM Registrar, the college is unwavering in implementing its social obligations towards human capital development.

"From my years in the academic field, I have witnessed the gap between the brilliant and average performers. For those who have good results, usually there would be no problems in getting a place in the universities but what about students who have average results?

"They (average performers) appeared lost. Hence, we need to show them a way to pursue higher education," she said.

Siti Mazenah said ICT's academic staff would go to the field regularly to attract school leavers to attend English language classes at the college for three months.

"While attending the English Language class, we would fire their spirit to learn as high as possible as academic excellence would change their life and that of their family as well," she said.

CHILDREN OF FARMERS, LABOURERS

Siti Mazenah said 80 per cent of ICT students are Malays who were from the rural areas of Pulau Pinang, Kedah, Perlis and south Perak, most of them being the children of farmers and labourers.

According to the 65-year-old Siti Mazenah, she always reminded the ICT students on the sacrifice made by their parents and the occasion they spend at the college is the time to 'reimburse' the sacrifices made.

"This is the time to repay their parents' sacrifices by studying very hard for them to have better future," she said, adding that apart from having students from the Peninsula's north, ICT also admits students from other states including Sabah and Sarawak.

COURSES OFFERED

Each year, ICT admits between 600 and 700 new students and among the courses that the college offers are those in the business management, information technology, accounting, human resources management and entrepreneurship.

ICT also collaborates with Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) for its diploma programmes like that in science as well as business and communication studies. The college also has a tie-up with Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) for its bachelor's degree courses in management and pharmacy.

For short-term programmes, ICT offers various courses like English Language, Executive Development, Marketing, Computer Application and Information Technology.

According to Siti Mazenah almost all of the ICT's students receive funding from either MARA or National High Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) while for those who are unable to get the funding, they could negotiate with the MARA Education Foundation.

"Hence, there is no problem studying here. The students need only to come and study," she said with a smile.

10-YEAR PLAN

Siti Mazenah said ICT has laid out various programmes to boost the college's academic fineness over the next 10 years.

"Our previous focus was on management and health science including pharmacy. The next focus on health sciences is nursing and dietetic.

"Within the next 10 years, we hope to offer more degree programmes. I am in the midst of negotiations with Asia-e University (Kuala Lumpur) for e-learning programmes like the Master's in Business Administration (MBA)," she said.

With the e-learning programmes, expected to commence either this February or June, Siti Mazenah hopes more ICT students would go for the degree programmes.

"For the time being, only half of the diploma-level students pursue the degree programmes. The main reason is that they wish to work early to help their family.

"With the Asia-e University programmes, they could both work and study through the e-learning," she said.

MORE PLANS

Siti Mazenah said ICT plans to expand its English Language course.

"At this college, the focus is on the English Language and every Monday and Wednesday all students are required to speak in that language. It appears effective.

"We need to have more avenues to improve the students' command of English for their own good particularly upon moving into the job sector," she said, adding that ICT plans to have collaboration with universities in Australia and United Kingdom either by sending students there or having twinning programmes.

The ICT has signed a memorandum of understanding with Kuala Lumpur University for the university to send 100 students from Africa including Botswana to attend the one-year basic course at the college.

"They would be our first batch of foreign students," she said.

UNIVERSITY STATUS

Siti Mazenah said ICT hopes to be upgraded into a university college within the next 10 years.

"With the upgrading, we would have our own degree programmes as compared to that franchised by other universities," she said.

The college also plans to boost its student population by taking up to 4,000 to 5,000 students.

"For now, the ICT campus is able to accommodate only 1,500 students. To have more students, the college administrators need to provide more lecture rooms, hostels and other facilities," said Siti Mazenah, adding that high-rise buildings would have to be constructed to replace some of the existing chalet-like premises.

At the moment the college has an academic staff of 45 where 44 of them are full-time lecturers. More than half of these lecturers have the Master's qualification while three are PhD holders.

She said the college has achieved its first 10-year objective and is striving towards having a curriculum that meets the industry and nation's needs.

PERSONAL SATISFACTION

For Siti Mazenah, nothing satisfied her more other than seeing the ICT graduates queueing up proudly to receive their respective scrolls on convocation day.

She was also touched when parents of the graduates came to thank her personally.

Siti Mazenah said she also received 'Thank You' cards from the ICT graduates who found employment.

"That was very touching. At least we have managed to extricate these children from the poverty cocoon and their success proved that those from the rural areas could succeed if given the chance.

"ICT would continue to implement its social obligations for the benefit of the society and Malays," she added.

-- BERNAMA: Higher Education Chance For Rural Children

Friday, January 09, 2009

Air Tenang Jangan Disangka Tak Ada Buaya (Ular Sawa)...

By ANN TAN

BALIK PULAU: Four men armed with two pistols held eight people hostage for more than five hours after a deal to trade python skins and mineral stones went sour in Pulau Betong here.

The buyer and his seven workers met the four men inside a hut at 2am yesterday but could not come to an agreement on price.

Illegal business: DCP Ayub (right) looking at th sheets of python skin recovered from the hut in Pulau Betong.

It is also believed that the buyer also owed the four men a large sum of money from an earlier transaction.

Tempers flared which led to the eight being forced into a room at gunpoint following an argument.

State police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Wira Ayub Yaakob said the police received a tip-off about the matter at 2.50am and monitored the situation for a few hours before surrounding the hut at 9am.

“We managed to persuade the four men, in their 20s and 30s, from the Klang Valley to surrender and release their hostages after a 50-minute negotiation. Nobody was injured during the tense situation.

“Two Sig Sauer pistols with two magazines, a shotgun, a BMW, a Perodua Myvi, 164 python skins and over ten buckets of mineral stones were seized, together with the arrest of the 12 people,” he told a press conference yesterday.

In custody: The suspects being led away from the crime scene in Pulau Betong yesterday.

DCP Ayub said the stones, containing traces of gold were smuggled here from a neighbouring country, adding that the python skins would be sent to the state Wildlife department to see if they were from protected species.

“Our investigations showed that the hut had been a centre for smuggling for quite some time. We are now looking for the other accomplices.

“We are investigating the case as wrongful confinement under Section 342 of the Penal Code and firearms possession under Section 8 of the Firearms Act (Increased Penalties),” he added.

State Wildlife operations enforcement unit chief Khairul Nizam Yahaya said the python skins could be sold for between RM200 and RM300 each to be made into handbags and shoes.

From The Star: Deal to trade python skins goes sour

Komplot Emas Acheh di Pulau Betong


INILAH rumah kayu milik bekas anggota polis yang disewa kepada penjenayah dan dijadikan markas oleh Geng Batu Emas sejak setahun lalu.



BALIK PULAU - Siapa sangka sebuah rumah kayu di Jalan Datuk Bashar, Pulau Betong di sini menyimpan rahsia besar aktiviti satu sindiket menjual batu mineral emas yang diseludup dari Aceh, Indonesia.

Kegiatan itu terbongkar berikutan polis menerima satu maklumat daripada seorang penduduk kampung pukul 2.50 pagi semalam yang memaklumkan ada sekumpulan lelaki India yang menaiki dua buah kereta iaitu BMW dan Perodua MyVi membuat kecoh di rumah tersebut.
Sepasukan polis yang tiba di rumah tersebut kemudian mendapati kumpulan lelaki India itu sedang mengugut dan mengurung lapan lelaki di dalam rumah kayu itu.

Pasukan polis cuba menyelesaikan perbalahan tersebut tetapi ia bertambah kusut apabila empat lelaki tersebut mempunyai senjata.
AYUB (kanan) menunjukkan sebahagian barang yang dirampas ekoran penahanan 12 lelaki di
Pulau Betong, Balik Pulau semalam.

Pasukan polis yang gagal memujuk kumpulan lelaki bersenjata itu menyerah diri terpaksa meminta tambahan anggota bagi memastikan semua yang ada di dalam rumah tersebut selamat.
Ketua Polis Pulau Pinang, Datuk Ayub Yaakob berkata, polis kemudian mengepung seluruh kawasan rumah tersebut sebelum mengarahkan empat lelaki India yang berusia 19 dan 33 tahun dari Lembah Klang itu menyerah diri.

"Hanya pada pukul 9.30 pagi kesemua lelaki India itu menyerah diri sementara lapan mangsa turut dilepaskan oleh mereka," kata beliau.

Petikan dari Kosmo, 9 Januari 2009

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