Category Archives: National News

Scientists reclassify rempits as brainless organisms

KUALA LUMPUR — Leading zoologists in Malaysia have reached a consensus to reclassify the Mat Rempit as a new species, following extensive studies that found no trace of any brain matter in their heads, other than small clumps of ganglia that control their basic motor and reproductive functions.

NEW SPECIES: The rempitus moronicus is now in the same group as other brainless animals such as the sponge, jellyfish and clams

NEW SPECIES: The rempitus moronicus is now in the same group as other brainless animals such as the sponge, jellyfish and clams

Speaking at a biology conference in University of Malaya today, chairman of the Malaysian Association of Zoological Sciences Datuk Dr Ismail Masaran said that the mat rempit, or new scientific name rempitus moronicus, are in the same group as the sponge (the porifera phylum), the starfish (echinoderms), jellyfish (cnidarians) and common shellfish such as molluscs and clams.

“It is truly an exciting day for us,” said Dr Ismail as he revealed key findings from the studies. “After decades of miscategorisation that caused so much confusion in the zoological community, finally we have a more complete and clear understanding of this beautiful creature. Our discovery of the rempit’s brainlessness has provided much needed explanation for this species’ idiotic behaviour on the road and complete disregard for personal safety as well as that of other road users.”

Explaining the multi-university team’s RM7 million research that began four years ago, Dr Ismail said that the results were much more than they had anticipated. “Initially we wanted to know why the rempit — then erroneously treated as part of the homo sapien family — displayed many behaviours which were unnatural to human beings, such as performing unnecessarily dangerous stunts, aversion to safety tools like helmets as well as violent allergy to good manners and common sensibilities. We were mystified by the way these beasts showed no interest in the preservation of their own lives and limbs.

“Our first hypothesis was focused on psychology; we thought there was something wrong with them psychologically. However, through 3D scans done on their heads, we found that the abnormality is actually physiological — they’re just different creatures altogether,” said Dr Ismail. “We wanted to observe the neurons firing when they’re exposed to different stimuli, but when we saw the scan, there was virtually nothing there but empty space. They’re apparently just built like that.”

Dr Ismail said that to know more, the team decided to conduct a physical examination.

“It was quite challenging to do a physical invasive examination,” said Dr Ismail. “Rempits are mostly nocturnal and are quite elusive creatures, so a good sample was hard to come by.

“Fortunately, we were able to secure some sample rempits — one male ‘Mat’ Rempit and one female ‘Minah’ rempit from hospitals in Selayang and Klang, so we cut them open. The first thing we noticed was how thick the skulls of these rempits are,” said Dr Ismail, as other researchers in the team nodded in agreement. “The skull wall was so thick there was hardly any room inside for a brain, even if the rempits wanted to have one. In a way, this explains why some of them are so relaxed about wearing safety helmets — other than the skull being so strong, there is really nothing valuable inside to protect.”

FULL YET EMPTY: Head scan of a rempit sample

FULL YET EMPTY: Head scan of a rempit sample

The lead researcher concluded that the newly discovered species’s lack of brains is both a curse and a blessing.

“On one hand, their inability to make intelligent decisions and tendency to risk their lives unnecessarily have made road accidents almost a natural, expected thing amongst the rempit community. It’s a cruel fate, but it’s nature’s way of controlling their population — by letting them kill themselves. But on the other hand, their lack of intellectual capabilities means they make their decisions based on impulse — and we all know what’s the strongest impulse for this kind of wild animal.

“Other than behaving like complete idiots on the road, they just end up doing nothing but breed. So I guess it evens out.”

Dr Ismail said that this new reclassification has had an impact in how authorities deal with the species.

“We shared our research with the authorities. As a result, the police has handed over the role of regulating these creatures to the Wildlife Department. The forest rangers will take care of the species welfare and habitat, as well as controlling their migration pattern. To maintain a balance in the ecosystem, their interaction with other species — especially with human beings — will have to be monitored, considering their destructive behaviour.

BETTER REGULATED: Thanks to the reclassification, now rempits are regulated by the Wildlife Dept, here shown directing a herd of rempit in their nightly migration

BETTER REGULATED: Thanks to the reclassification, now rempits are regulated by the Wildlife Dept, here shown directing a herd of rempit in their nightly migration

“Should their numbers be too high, I would recommend effective population control methods such as neutering and in extreme cases, culling.”

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Malaysia offers assistance to problem-plagued Sochi

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia has extended an offer to Sochi to help host the XXII Winter Olympic Games, in light of the Russian city’s apparent lack of readiness in organising the event as tweeted by unhappy global media representatives who arrived in their hotels only to find toilets, doors, power outlets and other basic amenities in sorry state.

malaysia_winter_olympicsSpeaking at Sri Perdana today, Prime Minister YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Razak said that the widely-known problems faced by the organisers prompted him to come up with the idea of holding the winter games in Malaysia, seeing how “we should always help our neighbours who are in trouble”.

“It broke my heart when I read all those mean tweets and unflattering pictures of construction materials in hotel rooms, yellow-coloured tap water and non-functioning toilet seats,” said Najib. “I know how hard it is to organise an event like this, and I asked myself, what can we do to help a nation in need?

“Suddenly I had an epiphany — if they’re not ready, we’ll do it for them!”

The PM pointed out that Malaysia has all the necessary facilities, infrastructure and weather conditions to run the winter olympics.

“We have so many hotels, all ready to accept the huge number of guests, seeing how it’s not peak period in our tourist calendar. Our airports are primed to receive all our visitors without problem,” said Najib, adding that while KLIA 2 may not be completely functional, “it’s no more ‘complete’ than the Sochi facilities, so it’s not a major step-down for the would-be passengers”.

“Fine, we have summer-based stadiums as opposed to the ice-based facilities in Sochi, but it’s nothing that a little adaptation to the tools cannot fix. How hard is it to change from skis to wheels?”

The PM said that for winter sport events that ‘really, really need’ ice or snow, there are available private facilities which can be used.

An artist's impression of an adapted bobsledding

An artist’s impression of an adapted bobsledding

“We have a few winter-based theme parks and arenas for that. The Winter Wonderland at i-City is a marvelous spot that can handle all the wintery stuff people from Canada, Russia, Europe and other icy-places want. The ice-skating rinks at Sunway Pyramid and Mutiara Damansara are also open for business, what more do you want?

“Plus, I don’t see why our world-famous water slides can’t handle the bobsled and luge events,” he added. “In fact, I think the sport will be much more interesting when the sleds end up in the pool of water, creating huge, gigantic splashes. So the points can be based not only on speed, but also on the size of the water splashes.”

Najib, telling the media that he’ll be contacting his counterpart in Moscow to discuss the relocation of the venue, medals as well as tools and officials, also said that those who worried about the stifling heat of Malaysia’s tropical climate need not fret.

“All our facilities are air-conditioned, or at least equipped with good fans and ice-cream stalls,” he said reassuringly. “And in case you don’t remember, the recent ‘cold draft’ that brought down the temperatures in some parts of Malaysia has not left us. You’d still need those nice, thick jackets to walk around in those chilly nights.

“We’re cool.”

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Bird expert: Kajang by-election winner could go extinct

KUALA LUMPUR — Winning the Kajang by-election could spell political doom for the victor, a leading ornithologist (expert on birds) said today.

According to Dr Bulleau Plëpha, head zoologist the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, the signs are clearly showing that contesting in the Selangor state constituency was a bad idea, and even if one wins the fight, his career will not take flight.

Cautioning Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (PKR) and anyone else planning to nominate themselves for the N25 ADUN seat, Dr Plëpha said his assessment was based on the fact that the shape of the Kajang constituency is too similar to the dodo bird (Raphus Cucullatus), an extinct flightless bird that was endemic to the island of Mauritius.

RISKY CONTEST: Kajang could spell political extinction to the victor

RISKY CONTEST: Kajang could spell political extinction to the victor

“The similarity just cannot be ignored,” said Dr Plëpha. “Look at them both … Kajang looks like a silhouette of the dodo, looking up to the sky reflecting on its own sad demise. This scientific deduction can only mean one thing — winning the N25 seat will not augur well for the victor’s political ambitions!”

Dr Plëpha added that the dodo’s lack of fear of humans was the reason it was so easy to be captured and killed. “Some people say it was intrepidness that caused the Raphus Cucullatus’ extinction. It had no issues with fraternising with other species which were their own predators. Fearlessness? I’d say it was foolishness!

“And likewise, trying to ‘win’ this dodo-inspired constituency would be an act of foolishness and political suicide!”

The Kajang state seat fell vacant following the resignation of incumbent assemblymen Lee Chin Cheh of PKR on Jan 27. The Election Commission has announced that it would meet on February 5 to discuss the nomination and polling dates. The state seat comprises 38,965 registered voters. At the last general election in May, 2013, the seat saw a voter turnout of 87.9% with 541 spoilt votes. It has 48% Malay voters, Chinese 41%, Indian 10% and others 1%. In the 2013 general election PKR’s Lee garnered 19,571 votes followed by Lee Ban Seng (Barisan Nasional-MCA) with 12,747 votes and Mohamad Ismail (Berjasa) 1,014 votes.

Dr Plëpha offered his advice to interested contenders: “Should you feel the need to contest in that dodo danger-zone, keep your expectations low. It’s not a thriving place for any bird or fowl, what with Kajang being famous for its chicken satay. Your political outlook may just be similar.”

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Sayur-sayuran cadang anjur demonstrasi bantah harga Kangkung turun

KUALA LUMPUR — Beberapa jenis sayur-sayuran hari ini mengumumkan cadangan untuk mengadakan demonstrasi aman bagi membantah penurunan harga sayur Kangkung yang dianggap ‘terlalu drastik’ dan akan membebankan golongan sayur tempatan. Tindakan ini diambil susulan pengumuman pengurangan harga kangkung kepada RM2 sekilo oleh YAB Perdana Menteri Mohd Najib Razak baru-baru ini.

TURUN HARGA: Sayur kangkung

TURUN HARGA: Sayur kangkung

Menurut presiden Persatuan Sayur-sayuran dan Buah-buahan Tempatan (PERSABUT), En. Kailan, komuniti sayur-sayuran tidak dapat menerima kenapa harga sayur Kangkung diturunkan dengan begitu mendadak tanpa sebab. “Kami tidak mengerti mengapa penurunan harga ini hanya membabitkan sayur Kangkung, dan tidak sayuran lain,” kata Kailan kepada para wartawan di pejabat PERSABUT di Kelana Jaya. “Adakah Kangkung lebih istimewa dari sayur lain? Lebih berkhasiat dan berserat tinggi?

“Ataupun, mungkin Kangkung mempunyai ‘hubungan’ yang lebih tinggi dengan sesiapa di Putrajaya?” sindir Kailan, sambil disambut dengan sorakan “Warna Sama Hijau!”, “Kangkung Bukan King!” dan “Kangkung Pakai Nasi Kangkang!” oleh para sayuran yang lain yang tidak dapat menahan perasaan marah.

Kailan juga melahirkan rasa khuatir permintaan terhadap sayuran lain akan terjejas.

“Cuba bayangkan, dengan penurunan harga yang tidak adil ini, Kangkung akan menjadi pilihan utama setiap kali anda semua ingin membeli sayuran di pasar. Setiap menu yang mempunyai sayur lain akan digantikan dengan kangkung!

KEBAJIKAN SAYUR TEMPATAN: Demonstrasi bagi memastikan keadilan untuk semua jenis sayur

KEBAJIKAN SAYUR TEMPATAN: Demonstrasi bagi memastikan keadilan untuk semua jenis sayur

“Bayangkan, timun di dalam nasi lemak diganti dengan kangkung? Pucuk paku, sawi, petai dan bermacam lagi ulam-ulaman untuk dimakan dengan sambal belacan, diganti dengan kangkung? Kobis dibiar terbuang oleh pengusaha-pengusaha restoran ayam penyet? Tidakkah pemimpin-pemimpin kita fikirkan tentang perasaan sayuran lain?” hujah Kailan, sambil menenangkan setiausaha PERSABUT, Cik Timun yang menangis tersedu.

“Kami tidak dapat menerima keputusan ini. Ketidakadilan ini perlu dilawan, dan kami sayuran lain telah memulakan kempen “NAIK” bagi menaikkan kembali harga kangkung,” kata Kailan. “Kempen ini akan bermula dengan perarakan ‘Sejuta Sayur’ pada hujung minggu ini, bermula dari Cameron Highlands dan akan berakhir dengan penyerahan memorandum bantahan kepada pihak kerajaan di Putrajaya. Kami harap setiap jenis sayur tempatan akan dapat bersama menyuarakan rasa tidak puas hati dan mendapatkan keadilan kepada semua.

Kailan juga berkata, para sayuran tempatan berharap para pemimpin dapat memahami keadaan terdesak yang dihadapi oleh masyarakat mereka. “Kami tahu, mungkin para pemimpin dapat hidup mewah, dan makan hanya sayuran impot seperti Brokoli dan Asparagus. Mereka mungkin membuat keputusan tanpa mengetahui apa yang dirasa oleh sayuran watan. Tapi kami, sayur marhaen, tetap punyai harga diri dan akan mengambil apa juga jenis tindakan yang menjadikan harga semua jenis sayuran sama kompetitif, termasuklah tindakan undang-undang, jika perlu. Kami pentingkan prinsip sama rata, dan akan memastikan kebajikan semua jenis sayur terjaga.

Termasuklah sayur Kangkung.”

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Selangor introduces more water authority bodies to combat confusion

SHAH ALAM — The Selangor state government today announced the formation of more organisations that would look over water supply matters in the state, in an effort to counter the confusion amongst the people regarding the roles of the existing water authority bodies.

CLEARER WATER: New authority bodies to simplify water management & avoid confusion

CLEARER WATER: New authority bodies to simplify water management & avoid confusion

Speaking to reporters at his office, Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said that the government realises that with the many different national and state agencies, firms, commissions, service departments and committees dealing with the water issue today, such as SYABAS (Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor), PUAS (Perbadanan Urus Air Selangor), LUAS (Lembaga Urus Air Selangor), SPAN (Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Air Negara), Puncak Niaga, PUSPEL and perhaps several others, the rakyat may be rather confused about their functions and responsibilities.

“We admit, it’s hard to point the finger at the right organisation when facing problems such as the emergency water stoppage this weekend,” said a forlorn Khalid, cautiously and slowly sipping on a glass of water. “I mean, we in the administration also have problems trying to figure out who does what and who’s supposed to be taking care of which part of the water supply, what more the regular folks?

“And this confusion is further made worse by the tug-of-war between the Federal government and the State goverment … the different messages and propaganda you find in newspapers and portals on both sides are clouding the complicated situation even more!” said Khalid.

“As such, we’re taking the proactive measure of introducing more bodies to take care of the specific functions in the complex process. Hopefully this would simplify things and make the people happier.”

Asked to give the specific numbers and names of the new agencies, Khalid said that in total, there will be around 10 to 15 new bodies, plus minus 2 or 3 and depending on whom you ask at what time of the day and what day of the week.

“We’ll have the Kumpulan Eksesais & Latihan Air Selangor (KELAS) to train all the waterworks employees in the art of waterworking, Krew Enforsmen & Rondaan Air Selangor (KERAS) to handle all water supply and billing collection enforcement-related matters, Perbadanan Urusetia Laluan Air Selangor (PULAS) to take care of the turning on and off of water taps in the reservoirs and Team Percikan Air Selangor (TEMPIAS), who will smoothen the water pipes and canals to ensure that we don’t lose too much water from splashes and leakages.

“Of course, we’ll have our emergency response committee to deal with water disruptions, Committee for Emergency Management and Action for Selangor (CEMAS), and they will work closely with the Legal Management Affairs of Selangor (LEMAS), when things really get out of control,” said Khalid, confidently. “And we’ve also got the Pejabat Anti Negatif Air Selangor (PANAS) to handle the public and media relations, and they will be supported by the state-funded, pseudo-NGO Kumpulan Inspirasi Penduduk Awam Selangor (KIPAS), who will manage public perception.”

Khalid said that he was confident the new organisations will help the rakyat get a clear picture about the water supply issues in the state, and they would be happier with the improved service.

“The authorities I mentioned just now, along with a few others I can’t recall right now, plus some yet-to-be properly named ones, will work as one to ensure everyone gets some seriously quality water. Everyone has a job to do, and clear functions for the people to refer to.

“So no worries about hitting a brick wall or not getting any response when you need action — each of these organisations will be centrally managed by a committee that has the authority to take immediate and decisive action when needed, the Majlis Agensi-agensi & Lembaga-lembaga Air Selangor (MALAS).”

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EC to introduce invisible ink in Kuala Besut by-election

PUTRAJAYA — The Election Commission today announced that the July 24 Kuala Besut by-election will utilise a high-technology invisible ink to ensure a clean and fair voting process.

FAIR & TRANSPARENT: The new invisible ink to be used in Kuala Besut

FAIR & TRANSPARENT: The new invisible ink to be used in Kuala Besut

EC Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yusof said the decision was made based on the  post-mortem on the use of the indelible ink in the 13th General Election, which was heavily criticised by several parties for its non-permanency, casting doubt on the electoral integrity. Stressing that the new ink, made from high-grade, permanent invisible pigments of natural origins, would leave no room for doubt, he said that it was chosen to ‘silence the critics’.

“The recently-concluded election was the first time we used indelible ink and admittedly, there were some weaknesses,” said Aziz. “Among them were the ink was easy to be removed, slow to dry and caused difficulties to voters since it could  stain the ballot papers.

“However, we’ve learned from these weaknesses and have taken the necessary steps to ensure this by-election process is air-tight. Unlike the indelible ink used in GE13, the invisible ink we are using in Kuala Besut can never be washed off, no matter how hard you try,” said Aziz confidently.

With an assistant demonstrating the effectiveness and ultra-permanent properties of the ink, Aziz said that the invisibility of the liquid would make it virtually impossible for would-be fraudsters to do their dirty deed.

UNWASHABLE: Aziz's assistant showing her index finger, still clearly marked by the invisible ink

UNWASHABLE: Aziz’s assistant showing her index finger, still clearly marked by the invisible ink

“While in May, those who may have thought about voting twice found it possible to wash off the coloured ink from their fingers, this time, since they won’t be able to see the ‘before-and-after’ effect of any attempted washing, they would never be able to know if they’ve really managed to remove the ink successfully!” declared Aziz, showing his assistant’s clean, untainted index finger to reporters after laboriously scrubbing it with 8 different kinds of soap, cleansers, solvents and lotions. “I ask you now — can you see any difference on this finger from the time it got painted just now?”

Aziz assured the public that the invisible ink, designed to last for at least a week, is halal and completely safe.

“Don’t worry, the ink is both JAKIM and SIRIM certified, it is very safe and would not impede any normal activity. Also, unlike the indelible ink used before, it would not stain your ballot paper or your clothes.”

Answering a question about a statement by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim that the indelible ink used in GE13 was actually only food colouring, Aziz said that it was a simple misunderstanding, based on different interpretations of what ‘indelible’ means.

“Well, if you think about it, ‘indelible’ strongly alludes to food,” Aziz explained. “What does ‘deli’ mean? It’s short for ‘delicatessen‘, a place where food is served, and ‘indelible’ simply means [in] here is food [deli], and it is edi[ble]. See? Moreover, the word ‘delicious’ also has ‘deli’ in it, so technically we were right.”

Aziz said that it was crucial for EC to ensure that the process and tools are absolutely tamper-proof.

“We will always do more than what is necessary to make sure everyone is confident in the election results. In fact, in order to further strengthen the process, we have instructed our officers tasked with applying the invisible ink on each voter’s finger to paint clear water on their other 9 fingers, as a ‘placebo’ control mechanism. This way, the voter would never really know which finger had been painted with the actual invisible ink, and would not be able to wash it off,” he said.

“This move will prove to everyone that we are clear and transparent, like the invisible ink.”

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Ibrahim Ali appointed Minister of Awesomeness

KUALA LUMPUR — PERKASA president and all-around perfect guy Datuk Ibrahim Ali today expressed his gratitude and happiness to be included in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s new cabinet line-up, heading the newly set-up Ministry of Awesomeness (Kementerian Kedahsyatan).

Speaking at a Press conference filled with journalists awed by his overwhelming awesomeness, Ibrahim said that his perfect, manly and chiseled figure, coupled with his stunning and flawless facial structure, made him the ideal candidate for the post.

OVERWHELMING AWESOMENESS: Ibrahim showing his hyper-awesome aura

OVERWHELMING AWESOMENESS: Ibrahim showing his hyper-awesome aura

“I don’t want to brag, but I am the obvious choice to head the ministry in charge of everything awesome in the country,” said Ibrahim confidently. “It’s natural selection.”

Oozing with greatness, the supreme leader continued, “No other leader exudes the level of perfection that I nonchalantly display. Try as they may, but they all pale in comparison. It’s not their fault, really. I’m just born this way.

“I mean, have you seen this?” he asked, flashing his ripped biceps to the pleasure of the ladies in the room and abject horror of the male reporters squirming in shame.

“Other people need to put in a lot of effort to be as outstanding, sexy and desirable but I, well, I just have to be me,” he added, his face glowing radiantly with love and magic.

Ibrahim also said that his appointment by the PM was not only due to his physical perfection, but his unparalleled substance too.

“I know it’s hard to believe, but the PM really looked past my good physical features in picking me for the job. He said to me, ‘Ibrahim, I want a cabinet that is more than skin deep, so please don’t get upset that I’m not looking at you directly when speaking to you. I don’t want to be swayed by your good looks.’

BIG RESPONSIBILITY: The new Ministry of Awesomeness

BIG RESPONSIBILITY: The new Ministry of Awesomeness

“I told him that I understood his need to have ministers with substance, and I fully respected that. Fortunately, I have unsurpassed intelligence and unchallenged moral compass, so that didn’t affect his decision to exclude physical beauty in his assessment,” said Ibrahim reflectively, as vapours eminated from his head due to his brain working beyond normal human capacity.

The handsome specimen of the perfect human being said that he would ensure that his ministry makes Malaysia  more awesome.

“The target is clear, make Malaysia a High Awesomeness Nation by 2020,” he said. “The rakyat have spoken, and the message is clear: they want to live in an awesome country, where everyone can be a little awesome too. The PM had promised that we SHALL be awesome, so I will ensure this Janji gets Ditepati.

“As such, I will use my limitless super-sapien abilities and personal experience being awesome to initiate projects that will benefit everyone, regardless of race, religion, social- and economic standing as well as political affiliation,” he affirmed, tears of joy and commitment streaming down his smooth cheeks. “I will work tirelessly to ensure that we all will have perfect lives, with absolutely nothing to complain about.

“I am the Awesome Minister for ALL Malaysians. I, am yours.”

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Phantom voters demand more phantom-friendly conditions

URGING EQUAL REPRESENTATION: PHAK president Minah Jelir

URGING EQUAL REPRESENTATION: PHAK president Minah Jelir

KUALA LUMPUR — Phantoms, ghosts, demons and other Malaysian supernatural beings across the country today urged the government and the Election Commission to make voting easier for them this coming 13th General Elections.

Speaking at their headquarters during an awkwardly-timed Press conference past midnight, Minah Jelir, President of Persatuan Hantu Kebangsaan (PHAK), said that in light of the huge number of registered ‘pengundi hantu’, the authorities should be more sensitive to their unique needs.

“For the longest time, we feel neglected and marginalised despite the fact that we make up a good percentage of the 13 million registered voters in the country,” said Minah, an 83-year old pontianak (female vampire) dressed in a fashionably long torn white robe, with the odd blood and dirt stain or two. “But every single election season, my people find that the voting conditions are simply deplorable.”

Minah pointed how the voting period of 8am to 5pm does not consider the nocturnal nature of ghouls and demons.

“For goodness sake, which phantom in their right mind stays up in the middle of the day?” asked Minah angrily. “Our skin burns when exposed to sunlight. No amount of SPF100 sunblock can protect us while queueing for our turn to cast our votes!” she growled, before relating the unfortunate incident in 2008 in which 3 hantu rayas (a type of demon that acts as a double for a black magic practitioner) burst into flames in the hot sun in Kodiang, Kedah. “It’s no secret that the undead are only active at night, so please extend the voting hours for us. Stop being so living-centric!”

Eyes glowing with fury, Minah also raised the issue of having to bring along an identification card in order to be allowed into a voting centre.

“Look, some of us ghosts pre-date Identification Cards and Malaysian passports, okay? Hantu Galah (pole ghost) out there is over 6,000 years old,” said Minah, gesturing to a tall, thin demon hiding behind a huge tree in the HQ compound. “And like many ghosts, he’s the introvert type too scared and shy to go to the National Registration Department to get his IC made. But does that mean he doesn’t have the right to determine who governs this fair land on which we haunt?”

Minah however said the association agreed that the Malaysian general election is only for Malaysian citizens. “We at PHAK fully support the condition that only Malaysians — humans or ghouls — get to vote here, this is our country and we should have the exclusive right to pick who leads us. so Count Dracula and his expat ‘mat salleh’ minions don’t qualify, just like my Kuntilanak cousins from Indonesia. But please, find another way to identify us. Surely you have the technology to do that?”

“And what’s with the indelible ink?” asked the bloodsucker from Kuala Selangor, whose victim tally is reportedly in the hundreds. “Sure, it works on human fingers, but what about those with less-than-alive skin and brimstone-hardened talons? The silver nitrate content of the ink does not go well with our dead cells!” she said, taking a swipe at the table she was seated at, leaving a set of horrifying deep gashes on the teak wood that made several Press members faint in fear. “Frankly I don’t see the point of painting some red ink on our fingers when our entire hands are covered in blood.

JUSTICE FOR EVERY'BODY': The Penanggalan vampire

JUSTICE FOR EVERY’BODY’: The Penanggalan vampire

NOT HANDS-ON: The tightly-shrouded Pocong

NOT HANDS-ON: The tightly-shrouded Pocong

“Plus, you know what’s the toughest part about this indelible ink business? It totally disregards the phantom voters who can’t get their hands extended to be painted, such as the Pocong (ghost in death shroud). And where is the Penanggalan (floating vampire head) supposed to be painted with the ink? Her entrails?” said Minah, pointing towards the ghastly ghoul at the back of the room while telling her to stop feeding from the neck of a petrified Harian Metro journalist.

“The Election Commission also must address the age requirements for voters,” she added. “While the rules for the living may be clear, the EC should think about how the 21-and-above rule applies to my old-but-forever-young colleague, Toyol (child spirit used by black magic practitioners to steal). He may look like a typical 2-year old, but ladies and gentlemen, he’s been 2 for the last 150 years.”

The pontianak continued, “We want the government to introduce some comprehensive changes to enable ghosts and phantom voters to perform our civic duty in peace. We understand that you humans may not want to cast your votes amongst us — our horrid appearance may strike mortal fear in many of you, but believe me, some of us do not wish to be seen amongst the living too.

KID AT HEART: The Toyol

KID AT HEART: The Toyol

“So we urge EC to provide a separate venue and time for us soulless beings. A place where we can vote without causing mass hysteria or being jeered, or worse still — victimised by ghost hunters. A place where less-than-modest ghosts like Hantu Kopek (demon that suffocates her victims with her killer breasts) can do her deed without shame,” said Minah, her fangs glistening in the moonlight peering through the window.

Asked what would be the association’s hopes for the future of Malaysia, Miss Jelir said that she envisions a time where phantoms and humans can co-exist in peace and harmony.

“Yes, we may have many issues to iron out,” she said, eyes tearing from her emotions and raw exposed nerves. “Our kind may find difficulty finding alternative food sources — you living do taste good. But if we could just put all these petty issues behind us and focus on our future and the rakyat’s wellbeing, we can all be happy together.

“I’d like to see one of my kind in Parliament one day. Imagine that, a Yang Berpuaka debating on education or defence issues with a Yang Berhormat. That would be just inspiring!” said Minah, before letting out a banshee-like laughter and flying off into the cloudless night.

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Anwar: PR to take Cyberjaya if Putrajaya bid fails

ANWAR: "Putrajaya isn't the only option"

ANWAR: “Putrajaya isn’t the only option”

KUALA LUMPUR — With the general election date looming, Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today said that Pakatan Rakyat’s drive to take over Putrajaya is in full swing. However, he stated that should that goal not be met, the coalition, comprising PKR, DAP and PAS, would be happy to capture Cyberjaya instead.

“We understand that with all the campaign money spent by the other side, it’s an uphill battle to wrestle Putrajaya from Barisan Nasional,” said Anwar at the campaign headquarters in Kelana Jaya to reporters. “What more with constituency demarcations and other naughty things that happen during the elections, we’ve certainly got the odds stacked against us.

“So our strategy is two-prong: should Putrajaya fail, our Plan B is to take its next-door neighbour, Cyberjaya,” he said confidently, as his lieutenants nodded in unison. “It may not be as glamorous as Putrajaya, but it has its charms.”

“Cyberjaya has some good-looking buildings and road designs. I think the Shell building, with its futuristic theme, looks awesome. And the MDeC office building — its homely atmosphere is absolutely a bliss,” he said, showing some A3-sized photos of iconic structures in the IT hub.

COMPARABLE: Putrajaya night scene (top) and Cyberjaya's planned Sky Park (bottom)

COMPARABLE: Putrajaya night scene (top) and Cyberjaya’s planned Sky Park (bottom)

“Fine, Putrajaya has a big lake and a bunch of fancy bridges littering the city, but really, who needs a huge lake with bridges? And Alamanda mall? Cyberjaya’s got Street Mall, baby!” said Anwar, referring to the cluster of various stores comprising Hassan’s Cafe mamak shop, Gomez Polyclinic, Kyros Kebab, Penang Cafe and the odd sundry shop, telco distributor, art shop, print shop, laundry service and other eateries. “And with more shopping centres and office blocks coming up such as de’Pulze, Shaftsbury and Sky Park, it’s a thriving place to be seen at.”

Anwar also pointed out the difference between the Putrajaya population and the residents of Cyberjaya. “While Putrajaya may have the clean-cut family community, Cyberjaya is filled with young and energetic students, thanks to Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, Multimedia University and a few other colleges. This is not counting the young technocrats that make up the population. For goodness sake, Cyberjaya’s got TWO Starbucks within walking distance to each other!,” he enthused.

Answering a reporter’s question about what he’d do if Pakatan fails to capture even Cyberjaya, Anwar gave a firm answer, “Well, there’s always Petaling Jaya, Subang Jaya, TTDI Jaya or even Bertam Jaya, which was formerly known as Batang Berjuntai. So, there’s plenty of options for us. We’re very confident of capturing at least one of those.”

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EC confirms 13th General Election on May 5, to exclude swimsuit competition

KUALA LUMPUR — The Elections Commission today announced that the Malaysian 13th General Election will be held on May 5, 2013, and would not be including the swimsuit portion of the competition.

Making the announcement after a two-hour meeting in Putrajaya this morning, EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said that the commission decided to omit the traditional pageant two-piece portion to make the elections process more clean and Syariah-compliant.

“We will, however, still continue with the evening gown and talent contest,” said Abdul Aziz, much to the relief of the Press members present at the media conference. “In lieu of prevalent sensitivities, we must ensure that the election respects everyone’s feeling, despite the need to keep it exciting and entertaining, as well as transparent and fair. And lovely too.”

Abdul Aziz said that the race to capture Parliament and state assembly seats would begin with candidate nominations on April 20, and urged the competing parties to use the the 3-week campaign period in in a civil manner.

“No shenanigans, no tomfoolery, and that is final. The EC expects each candidate to carry themselves with dignity and grace,” he said sternly. “In the past we have received complaints of sabotage and other unsportsman-like conduct to discredit opponents. Well, no more. We will be deploying many more officers to check on unfair campaign tactics and ensure voters would be able to make free and informed decisions.”

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FOR THE WINNER: Abdul Aziz showing the winner’s tiara

Abdul Aziz then offered his advice, “Candidates from all parties, be it Barisan Nasional, Pakatan Rakyat or independent ones, should be focusing on clarifying their promises and manifesto to their potential constituencies, as well as clarifying their facial complexion. A beautiful complexion, together with a presentable attire and good stance, is very important to capture the imagination of the voters.

“Spend the campaign period wisely by engaging the best beauty products, beauticians and mak andams (beauty consultants typically hired by brides for their special day). Book your spa sessions early, as you may be amongst the few left on their own come polling day!,” he said, adding that traditional mandi lulur, mandi susu and make-up packages are not government controlled items, so the prices would probably be inflated for the next few weeks. “Ensure that the spas and beauty salons are registered with us to avoid being cheated.

“Other than that, do spend some time preparing for the talent competition,” said Abdul Aziz, referring to the most challenging portion of the contest. “In the past, we’ve had to endure many candidates making a fool of themselves on stage, singing off-tune, forgetting lyrics or completely destroying songs banging on the piano. Please, take this competition seriously.

“If you’re playing any musical instrument, please ensure that they are presentable and fully-tuned. And whatever you’re singing, be it pop, rock, ethnic-creative or reggae, do bring the minus one in the correct format, preferably WAV or MP3, and please, no lip-sync this year. If you’re telling jokes, test them out to friends and family members whom you know would give honest critiques.

“And for goodness sake, if you’re performing any tricks involving fire, do not wear pyrophilic attire or fire-prone wigs, that’s just asking for trouble!” said Abdul Aziz, referring to one rather unfortunate second-degree burn incident involving a PAS candidate during GE10.

Abdul Aziz also encouraged the parties to ensure their nominees get proper health check and quality assurance. “Not only should the candidates be screened for elements of corruption or wrongdoings via MACC or other auditing bodies, they should also be screened to exclude any genetically modified (GM) ingredients.

“In fact, I would go so far as to encourage them to get proper SIRIM and ISO certifications, in addition to obtaining Halal certification from JAKIM. This would tell the voters ‘I’m a winnable candidate’!”

The EC chairman added that the GE13 organiser have spared no expense in ensuring that the elections are of the highest, global quality.

GLORY & GRACE: A sample of the sash for the winning candidates

GLORY & GRACE: A sample of the sash for the winning candidates

“The tiara for the ultimate winner — the PM’s post — was specially designed by Habib Jewels,” he said, proudly showing the gorgeous creation, made with platinum, diamonds, set with a twenty-one carat cabochon-cut white opal and a three carat Burmese pigeon’s blood ruby. “And this sash, to be given to the winning candidate of each parliamentary or state seat, is made of pure Chinese silk, woven by the the finest artisans.”

The grand finale is scheduled to be televised ‘live’ via RTM on the eve of polling day.

EC has also engaged the best local couturers for the evening gown event. “Datuk Jimmy Choo, Zang Toi, Rizalman, Bernard Chandran — you name it, we’ve got it!” said Abdul Aziz, snapping his fingers three times, moving his head from side-to-side. “It’s going to be completely fah-bulous, honey.”

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