Thursday, April 23, 2015
The struggle and style of the DAP today are no diference than that of the CPM of yore. The end justifies the mean for both the DAP and the CPM in terms of policy of trying to control this beautiful multi-racial country named Malaysia.
Posted by Pasquale at 9:19 AM
Monday, April 13, 2015
|Dr Betty Sim Kim Lee from Kelantan.....|
KUALA LUMPUR, April 12 — At a recent photoshoot by legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz of prominent scientists honoured by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, one woman stood out from the rest.
Dr Betty Sim Kim Lee is the president and leading researcher of an organisation working on the development of vaccines for infectious diseases. She is also a Malaysian, a proud Nyonya born and bred in Kota Bharu.
So, how did this small town girl become one of the most important malaria fighters in the world today?
Tell us about your childhood growing up in Kota Bharu.
My childhood was quite idyllic. My father Sim Seng Watt was born in Sibu and was the Organiser of English Schools under the British Empire in Kelantan in the late 1940s. He taught at the Sultan Ismail College (SIC) in Kota Bharu. Everyone called him Cikgu.
My father would go durian “hunting” during the season and I would tag along in the car going to the nearby kampungs where durians and heaps of mangosteens were sold along the roadside. He told me about the various local flora, the nipah palms along the paddy fields, how to recognise a mango tree, all about rubber and how it was tapped.
I would romp around in the rubber plantation that was behind my home collecting seeds that we would play with. My mother taught me how to plant tomatoes and beans in our backyard.
She also showed me how to catch spiders to keep in a match box! I must have learned the love of science and observation of living things at an early age.
I always felt my education in Kota Bharu was strong even though it was thought of as the hinterland of Malaysia. Our teachers at SIC were superb. The curriculum was outstanding. Students were challenged and expected to perform well.
How did you get into tropical medicine and development of vaccines for infectious diseases?
I received a First Class honours in Physiology and a Masters in Physiology at the University of Malaya. I wanted to pursue a PhD, but did not have the financial support to do so. I applied for a World Health Organisation (WHO) Tropical Disease Research (TDR) scholarship to do my PhD at the Department of Malaria and Filariasis at the Institute of Medical Research (IMR).
I was given the opportunity to work with the other prominent scientists at the IMR. I was sent on field studies in Sabah and other areas where we would work all night collecting blood samples from village to village and house to house.
Later I was invited to join Harvard University as a post-doctoral fellow, where I focused on the molecular biology of the worms that cause elephantiasis and other forms of filariasis.
How has your work changed the way in which malaria and other tropical diseases are treated?
I have been working on the development of an effective malaria vaccine since I started my scientific career. I have identified likely target genes, cloned and sequenced genes, and developed them as subunit vaccine candidates based on one or two of the more than 5,000 genes of the malaria parasite. I was always trying to outsmart the malaria parasite, and this led to wonderful scientific discoveries, but not to a highly effective vaccine.
In 2003, I started a vaccine company called Protein Potential LLC. At the same time, my husband Dr Stephen L. Hoffman started Sanaria Inc, a company solely dedicated to developing a malaria vaccine.
Sanaria is developing a whole malaria parasite vaccine, called PfSPZ Vaccine. It is intended to be used to prevent malaria in residents of malaria endemic countries and for travellers and foreign personnel working in malaria-hit regions. Most importantly it is intended to be used to immunise the entire population for malaria elimination campaigns in endemic counties.
We were repeatedly told by almost all of our colleagues that it would be impossible to manufacture a whole sporozoite vaccine. After several years we were successful, and now there is enormous excitement worldwide about our programme since our PfSPZ vaccine approach has shown 100 per cent protection in several studies, one of which has been published in the prestigious scientific journal Science (Seder et al., Science, 2013).
Trials on testing the vaccine are now being conducted in the USA, Europe and Africa. We expect that when our vaccine is licensed and deployed, it will first dramatically reduce and then eliminate the 200 million clinical cases and greater than 550,000 deaths caused by malaria every year.
You and your husband were recently honoured by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). Tell us more about that.
We were honoured by being invited participants on The Art of Saving a Life, a BMGF project promoting the value of vaccines. The Art of Saving a Life tells the story of the impact of vaccines on improving child survival and humanity in the past, present and future. We were honoured for our life-long and on-going work on the development of an effective malaria vaccine.
Was there ever pressure to excel in your field, as a Malaysian professional overseas? Or was it more from personal ambition?
There was never pressure from my family or peers. I do not believe that pressure from the outside can generate the passion, dedication, tenacity and commitment that are needed to excel in any field. I am a driven person. It is my nature to be curious. I love a challenge.
After being a scientific researcher for more than 30 years, I am still in awe of the discoveries that can be made upon close and careful investigation. I am proud to identify as a Malaysian, who was able to use my Malaysian upbringing and education to try to make a significant mark on scientific progress in the greater world.
Do you still identify with being a Nyonya after living and working so many years abroad?
I absolutely identify as a Nyonya. Both my paternal grandmother and my maternal grandparents were Peranakan.
My paternal grandmother only spoke Malay and wore “sarong kebaya” every day without her precious “kerosangs”, which would only appear when she was dressing to go out. I remember fondly my paternal grandmother always plastered white “bedak sejuk” on her face after a morning shower.
I love to cook and my family is into food. I learnt to cook some Peranakan dishes from my mother and still serve them at home today. In fact I have thrown a banquet every Chinese New Year where friends gather to cook, talk about and share their family’s most memorable and traditional meals.
Do your children identify with the work you and your husband do?
We have three boys. The eldest Alexander is 35 and is a lawyer, who is our in-house legal counsel for both of our companies. Without his support and legal acumen we would not go very far.
Seth and Ben are 25 and 23 respectively. They are both in medical school. They have always been involved in our work. We often have had visiting scientists and clinicians who are our close friends and collaborators share a meal or stay with us.
The boys would join us at dinner and come with us on trips to the field all over the world, and have conducted scientific research since high school.
Seth and Ben spent a summer during their undergraduate university time and before medical school working on hookworm and malaria near Ende, in a remote site on the island of Flores in Indonesia. Like Steve and me, Seth’s primary interest is in infectious diseases and global health, while Ben is currently focusing on neuroscience and is in an MD/PhD program.
Do your sons see themselves as entirely American or do they also embrace their Peranakan heritage?
The boys are a complete blend of cultures. When they were young, they were surrounded by many languages. They are most intrigued and amused by Manglish and the way Malaysians string Malay, Hokkien and English all together without heed to language structure!
My mother has spent the summers with us for the past 24 years and they grew up with her. They have also visited Kota Bharu many times. In fact Ben is so interested in food and cooking that he took a semester off while at Stanford University a few years ago, to be a student at a chef’s school in Florence, Italy.
In addition to Italian cuisine, he has mastered how to make “rendang” and Singapore laksa, both learnt by painful trial and error in the kitchen. There must have been 20 types of “rending” that he went through before hitting what made him happy!
What inspires you today?
We believe that our PfSPZ Vaccine, a highly effective malaria vaccine, will be available for anyone who needs it, in the near future. This is a statement that makes history. I am living it.
* To learn more about Betty Sim Kim Lee and her work, visit www.sanaria.com. View her photographs by Annie Leibovitz here.
Posted by Pasquale at 10:07 AM
Wednesday, April 08, 2015
In earnest, the scan for candidates begins. Talk is that several senior Umno leaders have been approached to possibly take over in the event that Najib Razak decides - on his own free will, of course - to resign as Prime Minister.
One Sabah politician (SHAFIE AFDAL) was said to have "contemplated momentarily" the tempting offer but in the end shook his head and said no. A well respected politician from down South (MUHYIDDIN YASSIN) has declined (and not for the first time). A vocal politician not far north of KL (NAZRI AZIZ) has turned down the invitation to treat. Wallahualam.
(BM: ZAHID HAMIDI was not invited, neither did HISHAMUDDIN HUSSEIN)
I don't think Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has been formally approached but former Umno & PKR strongman Zaid Ibrahim is strongly proposing the Kelantan prince's name to be our 7th Prime Minister. (We did anticipate this, though. Refer to my March 20 posting Ku Li for PM (A sequel 9 years in the making). In making his pitch for Ku Li, fellow Kelantanese Zaid, for once, agreed with Tun M about this country being "very corrupt" but didn't say who he meant by "leaders who keep close company with business tycoons and get free rides in their business jets"; read h e r e.
“Corruption has flowed into our national bloodstream to such an extent that it will take generations—if at all—to cleanse the system. Our values must first change. We must first feel that it’s wrong to be corrupt. That’s why, if he truly wants to see some improvements in curbing the systemic corruption, Tun should endorse Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah as the one to take over as Prime Minister after Najib.” - Zaid Ibrahim
Ku Li, 78 last month, is relatively young (compared with Dr M, who celebrates his 90th this year). Muhyiddin Yassin, the DPM, turns 69 next week. Zahid Hamidi is just 62. Hishammuddin Hussein will only be 54 in August, and Shafie Afdal a youthful 58. Khairy Jamaluddin, who has managed to remain seemingly neutral in the spat between his boss and Dr M, turns 40 next January. I don't think they have approached anyone under 40 for the job but I may be wrong, of course ...
Posted by Pasquale at 11:35 PM
Friday, April 03, 2015
The frenzy over GST was just like the Y2K frenzy, remember that, over the end of the millennium and in rolled a new one, year 2000.
Y2K had people stocking up goods, and withdrawing money from their respective banks, many even thought there was going to be chaos and the landscape would be filled with the walking dead. Many men married another, and many wives were divorced and incest were rife (I was told).
Well somebody painted the same scenario over the GST.
Like Y2K, GST frenzy comes to nought, just an attempt to smear the government the prime minister and also failed.
Then there is this proverbial 1MDB that was supposed to be a money , a lot of money, filled corporation supposedly to be used by the prime minister as his own personal largess to be used at his own whims and fancies. Well the prime minister did asked this corporation to be audited, we shall see. And the Public Account Committee (PAC) has also been asked to check by the prime minster himself. Nothing will come out of it if that was to be used to get rid of the prime minster.
And now this murder and after over 8 years somebody is questioning the case on whether the prime minister is involved. What can I say, the case was deliberated and yes somebody must be arrested for the murder, but you can be rest assured that Prime Minister Dato' Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak is not involved.
Meanwhile Sarawak BN is solidly behind Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. Leader of Sarawak largest Iban party PRS, Dr James Masing, said it is not true Malaysians have lost faith in Najib. Read more here....
Below is an article by Free Malaysia Today for us to read and ponder.
Why bring up Altantuya case after so long?
April 3, 2015
With so many mysteries surrounding the murder, the guns shouldn't be pointing at Najib alone.
By Izack Chin
Eight years and six months after Altantuya Shaariibuu was C4-ed to death mercilessly, the case still puzzles even competent investigators.
Yet, Mahathir Mohamad and Lim Kit Siang have suddenly come up with two mind-boggling statements in relation to the case.
Lim said, “Two former prime ministers, Tun Mahathir and Tun Abdullah, should be sent on a national mission to Australia to find out from Sirul who gave the order to kill Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu.”
Lim’s statement came just hours after Mahathir asked, “Who ordered the killing of Altantuya?” and said, “It would be very cruel for Sirul to die for just following orders.”
It baffles the ordinary citizen why both have decided to resurrect the issue after more than eight years.
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was Prime Minister when Altantuya died in 2006. Surely he was privy to the most sensitive, delicate and confidential information pertaining to the murder. Surely he would not have allowed Najib to succeed him if he had known that Najib could be implicated. It would be utterly inconceivable and preposterous to endorse a murderer or the mastermind of a murder as his successor. Well, Abdullah stepped down and Najib did become PM.
In the same vein of argument, surely if Mahathir had known at the time that Najib could be implicated in the murder, he would not have handpicked him to succeed Abdullah.
The fact is Mahathir never questioned Najib then and even chose him to succeed Abdullah. Eight and a half years down the road, Mahathir is demanding answers to a very pertinent question he should have asked Najib in 2006 before endorsing him as the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia.
Why are Lim and Mahathir not asking how Sirul Azhar Umar managed to escape to Australia and how Mahfuz Omar made contact with him?
Surely authorities should query Mahfuz on what he knows. Why are all guns pointing only at Najib whereas many other mysteries and grey areas about the case remain either concealed or are reverberating in haunting silence?
Why can’t mature political leaders, the police and all authorities in the case come together and talk? And these should include Mahathir, Badawi and Najib.
Reveal the truth openly instead of running down leaders and, in the process, erode our country’s international standing and the business confidence in it.
Izack Chin is an FMT reader
With a firm belief in freedom of expression and without prejudice, FMT tries its best to share reliable content from third parties. Such articles are strictly the writer’s personal opinion. FMT does not necessarily endorse the views or opinions given by any third party content provider.
Note: This article is reproduced from FMT without permission for the sake of common good and common sense.
Posted by Pasquale at 1:37 PM
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
|These guys were arrested for not checking their facts or retracting their story or to even apologise....|
Reuters reported a 16-year-old Singaporean teenager Amos Yee was detained for insulting Lee Kuan Yew on the eve of his state funeral. Yee also insulted Christian and now being detained without being able to seen anyone except on scheduled time. If found guilty Yee is liable to be jailed for up to three ears. Read here
Meanwhile the news portal editors detained by police for writing an article that placed the Ruler's Council in the most demeaning and precarious positions, appear to be happy taking pictures while being detained have them posted in face book wearing a prison garb and all and smiling.
They think they know that the police or judicial systems in the country is a joke and they don't seemed to be afraid of the repercussion, which to them there is no repercussion, that they will be released and become heroes.
Unfortunately, Amos Yee the Singapore teenager detained was actually detained and no one was allowed to see him until he is being judicially processed, unlike our detainees, they are not afraid nor do they feel remorse over what they have done.
|Smiling away like a martyr, no care in the world for what they have done, since they know they will be released and cannot wait to break the law again? Facebook some more from police station!|
To start with Pulai MP Nur Jazlan Mohamed, should be charged with something for not thinking like a Malay and as an Umno MP because he does not behave like one.
He thinks the will be a backlash on Putrajaya, read the government and Umno, over the arrest of some irresponsible editors of a news portal reporting on the Rulers Council. Read here!
He should also be charged for conduct un-becoming for an Umno MP who should be supporting the ruling party and the government, but instead he sows a seed of doubt on the people over the act of the recent arrest of journalists from Malaysian Insider (MI) for misleading the public over the alleged Rulers Council on hudud.
If I read the defaming news I did not see any shred of error being implied by half-Chinese Nur Jazlan, that MI news report that reported the news on the Ruler's Council allegedly was against the implementation of Hudud.
The way I see it the news was deliberate and not an error, it was reported with Malice Intended
How can any new media or portals write stories without checking and with concrete back-up to back their storied.
Report only the truth and check your facts says Rockybru...
MI probably thought it could get away with the news report when later on it can say "oops we made a mistake, sorry".
Lately a lot of politicians big or small are in a habit of being defamatory but later say sorry as though nothing happens!? No can do, you make mistake you pay for it or else the country will be in chaos.
Back to pseudo-Malay Nur Jazlan you must at least have some of your dad's Javanese traits of being loyal to your cause. My question to you is what is your cause or even your raison d'etre.
Posted by Pasquale at 9:04 PM
Saturday, March 21, 2015
|The presentation may be cute but you can die from cancer from using it.|
Roundup, one of the world's most popular weed-killers -- and the most commonly one used in the United States -- has been declared a "probable carcinogen" by the World Health Organization. The International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of the WHO, released the results of its review of five herbicides and pesticides on Friday.
But the classification is not binding, said the IARC. "It remains the responsibility of individual governments and other international organizations to recommend regulations, legislation or public health intervention," the agency said in a statement. According to the Associated Press, the United States Environmental Protection Agency said it would consider the IARC's evaluation.
The IARC did clarify that the new ruling is mostly directed at the industrial use of the herbicide, and that use by home gardeners does not fall under the same classification. Glyphosate is employed in more than 750 herbicide products and has been detected in the air, during spraying and in foods, reports the IARC.
The determination is sure to alarm the agro-chemical industry and particularly Monsanto, the agribusiness giant that is the leading producer of glyphosate. Worldwide annual sales of the chemical are estimated at $6 billion annually. The company put out its own statement Friday: "All labeled uses of glyphosate are safe for human health," said Monsanto's Phil Miller, global head of regulatory and government affairs.
“We don’t know how IARC could reach a conclusion that is such a dramatic departure from the conclusion reached by all regulatory agencies around the globe,” said Miller. Monsanto requested an urgent meeting with the World Health Organization to clarify the scientific basis of the ruling.
A summary of the agency's findings were published in the British journal Lancet Oncology on Friday.
Posted by Pasquale at 10:04 AM
Friday, March 20, 2015
|This is not in accordance to the teaching of Islam! A woman being lashed under Hudud law in Acheh....soon this type of scene will be a common sight in Kelantan and Malaysia!|
When Islamic States militants swept through the Middle-East they brought with them the most stringent and parochial interpretation of what they believed and perceived as part of the syariah law. They subscribed to the hudud law recently passed by Kelantan state legislative assembly.
Remember this, the IS militants who also believe in Hudud behead non-believers, women raped were punished, if you are caught stealing your hands were cut off.
Non Islamic historical artifacts were destroyed by IS. Indeed a very limited and strict interpretation of the hudud laws, based on a narrow interpretation of the syariah law.
Among other stuff hudud is definitely anti women's rights, and under hudud women do not have any rights at all. Read more here an article by Sisters in Islam.
Frankly speaking, what many Malaysians are still slow to realise is IS is coming here and we are still blase about that fact.
The way I look at it is, today IS is in Kelantan, and yes in no time it will spread to neighbouring states by that time the fate and value of our sacred Federal Constitution will be rendered worthless and meaningless. I just pray for things to be how they were!
ISN'T MALAYSIA BEING CONSIDERED AS A MODERATE MODERN MUSLIM COUNTRY.....WHAT HAPPENED TO US!?
Posted by Pasquale at 9:05 PM